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Health Symposium Focuses on Quality Healthcare

On Nov. 22, more than 50 local and federal government officials, healthcare providers and professionals, policymakers, and advocates took part in the Inaugural “Quality in Healthcare Symposium,” hosted by the Virgin Islands Medical Institute (VIMI), AARP Virgin Islands and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

See Also: Affordable Care Act in the Virgin Islands – One Year Later

Dr. Cora Christian, Medical Director of VIMI welcomed the participants, introduced the goals of the symposium and Lieutenant Governor Gregory R. Francis.

Lieutenant Governor Francis gave the opening remarks, thanking VIMI and its collaborators for its work in spearheading efforts to improve the level of healthcare quality in the Virgin Islands.

Lieutenant Governor Francis stated in highlighting the state of the territory’s healthcare that “…there are issues that need to be addressed sooner rather than later… Governor deJongh and I agree that healthcare dollars need to be spent here in the territory, not on airfare and stateside facilities…”

Additionally, the Lieutenant Governor highlighted the work of the Virgin Islands Healthcare Reform Task which was formed pursuant to an Executive Order 449-2010.

The Task Force was formed to coordinate the implementation of the health care reform bill enacted by Congress in March and to oversee a number of local initiatives undertaken by his administration to expand access and improve the health care system for all residents in the Virgin Islands.

AARP State Director Denyce Singleton was commended by Governor deJongh and Lieutenant Governor Francis for her leadership in advocating for quality healthcare in the Virgin Islands. Singleton gave remarks on behalf of AARP Virgin Islands. She spoke on the launch of the Learning and Action Networks (LANs).

LANs are convened and sustained by VIMI with the goal of promoting primary care prevention and early diagnosis using the measures of flu immunizations, pneumococcal immunization (for patients 65 and older), appropriate low-dose aspirin therapy, blood pressure (BP) control, LDL-C control (adults with ischemic vascular disease), tobacco cessation, colorectal cancer screening, and breast cancer screening. Singleton emphasized that through the LAN called Prevention through Promotion of Immunizations and Screening, we hope to continue the work of educating beneficiaries on the importance of taking advantage of these services.

As part of the LANs, participants divided up into working groups to work on specific issues related to target areas of better and affordable care. The groups were Patient Safety, Care Transitions, and Prevention. Each group was headed by VIMI leaders who served as moderators within each group.

The symposium ended with the reconvening of all participants. During the final session the moderators presented feedback for each group related to action plan(s) of their related assigned health concern that they came up. Based on the action plans that were developed, policy makers were encouraged to move forward to work in their chosen area.

Come back to the AARP VI webpage to get information on our new Health Literacy Project.

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