Healthcare conference open for registration

Registration for the upcoming annual 20/20 Cayman Islands Healthcare Conference is now open.

The three-day conference, which will be held from 17 to 19 October, brings together an array of speakers and delegates from throughout the healthcare industry locally, regionally and internationally.

At a recent press conference, Health Minister Osbourne Bodden announced the dates of the conference, which is hosted by the Ministry of Health.

The fourth annual healthcare conference will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

Mr. Bodden said many Caymanians continue to follow an unhealthy lifestyle and urged them to pay heed to the information the conference would bring with regard to the importance of following a healthy diet and regular exercise.

The theme of this year’s conference is, “Taking Care of Business: A Shared Approach to Workplace Wellness”.

Health Services Authority CEO Lizzette Yearwood explained this year’s theme choice thusly: “Drawing on our experiences from previous conferences, as well as recent healthcare surveys that show the prevalence of non-communicable diseases in Cayman, we realised that this year’s conference ought to be as inclusive of as wide a section of the public as possible. We hope that everyone will see the relevance of the presentations and attend.

“The need for a closer adherence to healthier lifestyles has been highlighted in a national health risk factor survey done last year, which indicated that nearly three quarters of Cayman’s population are either obese or overweight, while screening of young children entering primary school for the first school has shown that a third are obese or overweight,” she added.

Minister Bodden said getting the nation healthier is a priority for his new ministry and that education initiatives such as this healthcare conference are an important aspect of this policy.

“The findings of our 2012 Healthy Nation survey have thrown into sharp focus that we are still leading unhealthy lifestyles, such as continuing to smoke, eating unhealthy foods and not participating in regular exercise,” he said. “We therefore anticipate that the healthcare conference will help to inform the audience about ways in which they can improve their health.

“Targeting wellness in the workplace, it is hoped that the conference will go a long way to improving the health and wellbeing of all employees across industries. The workplace is, after all, a location in which we spend a large part of our day, so it is an excellent place to focus our energies, health-wise. If we get Cayman leading a healthier lifestyle we hopefully cut down the prevalence of diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.”

As well as attending presentations, conference delegates will also get to take part in workshops themed “Info to Action”.

Health Ministry Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn explained: “These sessions will present and expand on the theme in more detail, bringing together perspectives from a broad range of individuals, including healthcare providers, general practitioners, patients, and so on, in an attempt to build a bigger picture of health issues facing people in Cayman today. The session results will then be presented to the delegates on the final day of the conference during an overview session.”

The conference is free to attend and open to all members of the public, not just members of the medical and healthcare professions. However, anyone who wants to attend is required to register through the conference website, www.healthcareconference.ky.

The government hosts the conference for free due to the support and sponsorship of local organisations and companies, including Tenet Healthcare, 21st Century Oncology, Tower Marketing, Health Services Authority, the University of California – San Diego Health System, The Wellness Centre, The Caymanian Compass, Broward Health, Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital and Cleveland Clinic.

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