a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - The Maria Holder Diabetes Centre for the Caribbean is now officially open

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Maria Holder Diabetes Centre for the Caribbean OpeningWith the opening of The Maria Holder Diabetes Centre for the Caribbean on February 1st, The Barbados Diabetes Foundation (BDF), registered charity #484 established in 2001, achieved a significant milestone. The tasteful opening ceremony was held on the grounds of the Centre in the presence of such distinguished guests as the Rt. Honourable Freundel Stuart, QC, MP. Prime Minister of Barbados, HSH Prinz Eugen Von und zu Lietchtensein, Chairman of the Medicor Foundation;Mr. Christopher Holder, Co- Founder and chairman of The Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Mrs Heather Zacker, Director of International Programs and Operations of Joslin Clinic (Harvard), Dr Ernest Pate, PAHO/WHO Regional Representative (acting) for Barbados and the Caribbean, and Ms. Noreen Merritt, President of the Diabetes Association of Barbados.

Dr. Oscar Jordan, Chairman and Founder of The Barbados Diabetes Foundation, opened the programme with a historical perspective of the road from conception to the achievement of this significant milestone.

Maria Holder Diabetes Centre for the Caribbean

Dr. Pate, on behalf of the PAHO, delivered a short address highlighting the importance of multidisciplinary teams in diabetes management and commended the BDF on the success of this venture. In closing he recognized that this development was a substantial gift, not only to Barbados but to the Caribbean. He also confirmed the support of PAHO for this venture.

Mrs Simone McConnie, Co- founder and Trustee, closed the program with a warm thank you to those in attendance and to all who supported the efforts of the Foundation in reaching this milestone.

The ceremony encapsulated the main theme of the Centre which is to eradicate excessive ill health and premature death due to diabetes through prevention, effective treatment and the search for cures. One of the highlights of the ceremony was a wonderful performance by students of the Cuthbert Moore Primary school which focused on exercise and healthy eating.

The Centre will house a clinic, a data centre and a programming centre. The clinic will exemplify the concept of a multidisciplinary team consisting of podiatrists, internal medicine and diabetes specialists, diabetes specialist nurses and nutritionists as a basic clinic team with available consultations from Ophthalmologists, psychologists, intervention radiologists, nephrologists, and vascular surgeons.

The Barbados Diabetes Foundation is very grateful to all those who have contributed in any way to this venture, and looks forward to working with everyone over the coming years.