The keynote speaker at the opening of the annual Cayman Islands Healthcare Conference on Thursday night is not a medical professional but an architect and city planner. James Moore, with the Urban Land Institute and the Florida-based engineering firm Jacobs, will talk about how the planning and design of communities can impact the health of people who live or work there.
Research links common conditions such as diabetes and obesity to diet and a lack of exercise, which in turn can be connected to how communities are developed.
Studies from the Urban Land Institute connect the design of a community to the health of the people who live there. Mr. Moore will present the institute’s “10 principles for building healthy places” and present case studies. He will also compare the concepts to the Cayman Islands and show how some of the ideas would be applicable here.
The Urban Land Institute defines healthy places as communities that offer affordable housing with safe and convenient transportation options, access to healthy food, the natural environment and other amenities. Additionally, healthy places make it easier for people to make healthy lifestyle choices.
This year’s healthcare conference will focus on emerging healthcare trends.
The event, which runs Thursday through Saturday at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, includes speakers from Cayman and the United States who will talk about seemingly futuristic treatments available for patients now.
Speakers will focus on mental health, palliative care and allied healthcare.
Friday afternoon conference-goers will have the option of three workshops on real-world issues that doctors and other health professionals face regularly. One will look at making end-of-life decisions and palliative care, essentially how to make a patient comfortable as they near death. Another workshop will consider non-medical interventions such as acupuncture, talk therapy and music therapy.
The third workshop, “Mental Health – Let’s talk about it,” will look at mental healthcare from different perspectives, including from service providers and insurance companies.
Other sessions will address minimally invasive robotic surgeries, new stem cell treatments and evolving treatments for heart failure.