Professor Virginia Murray

The speakers slated for the upcoming annual Cayman Islands Healthcare Conference will cover topics including disaster risk management, climate change and the ‘One Health’ approach.

Registration is full for the 10th annual conference, which is set for 26‑28 Sept. at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, but organisers said the sessions will be live streamed, with videos available on the event website,, for anyone who wants to watch them for continuing medical education credit.

The symposium will feature experts from Utah State University, the Pan American Health Organization, Public Health England, the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture and St. Matthew’s University.

Dr. Kerry A. Rood, extension veterinarian and associate department head at Utah State University, will present on ‘One Health’, an initiative that deals with expanding interdisciplinary collaboration in all aspects of healthcare for humans, animals and the environment.

He will speak on ‘The Veterinarian’s Role in Combating Antibiotic Resistance, Zoonotic Disease and Climate Change’, and then participate in a related panel with other experts that will be moderated by Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, medical officer of health at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority.

“Antibiotic resistance is a serious global threat. Because of the unique human-animal bond, the risk of zoonotic disease caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites that spread between animals and humans is increased,” said Dr. Rood. “Couple the threat of antibiotic resistance and the fact that many newly emerging diseases are animal related, the conversation of One Health is timely. Attendees will appreciate the unique position that veterinarians hold at the interface of humans and animals and will be inspired to embrace the conversation of One Health.”

Nasolo Thompson, PAHO consultant for family, health promotion and the life course, will talk about the challenge of climate change and health for the Caribbean, touching on issues including the influences of weather, such as extreme heat, hurricanes, heavy rains and storm surge, on human health; temperature-related death and illness due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, and vector-borne diseases brought about by high- and low-temperature extremes.

Dr. Kerry Rood

Professor Virginia Murray, head of global disaster risk reduction at Public Health England, will round out the conference agenda with a presentation on ‘Disaster risk management through a health lens’. She will address questions including what are the health emergencies, disasters and environmental threats and how to tackle the effects from them; how are international agencies working together; and what should Cayman be thinking about at the government, institutional and domestic levels to mitigate these public health threats.

For more information, including conference agenda and speakers, go to

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