UP parliamentarians hold talks with Florida Adventist Hospital

MPs Dr. Lloyd Richardson, Cornelius de Weever and Theo Heyliger with Florida Adventist Hospital representatives.

SINT MAARTEN/FLORIDA – Preliminary talks were concluded recently with top brass of Florida Adventist Hospital by United People’s (UP) party Members of Parliament (MPs) Theo Heyliger (leader), Dr. Lloyd Richardson,  and Cornelius de Weever. Their focus is on developing supportive programmes for improving health care in the country.

MP Dr. Richardson, who spearheaded the mission, said it was rewarding to share the relationships with his colleagues for the advancement of healthcare in the country. He focused on the medical and para-professional human resource needs.

MP De Weever, who is also a medical professional, looked into the needs from a ministerial perspective to develop a solid relationship with the hospital group. MP Heyliger focused on the infrastructure and facility needs.

“In establishing a relationship with Florida Hospital, doors will open to the highest level of quality of care for the people of St. Maarten that is at the cutting edge of medical and health,” said Dr. Richardson, who has dedicated a great portion of his life to talking care of the people of St. Maarten medically and is now doing same on the policy and legislative level.

Developing a relationship with Florida Hospital will not cause St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) any adverse effect. “Our own SMMC will be able to work alongside this team of nationally recognized professionals who can help in every conceivable area of medicine, health and wellness,” Dr. Richardson said. The working relationship will allow SMMC to take a proactive approach to prevention, health management and healthcare “that we have never before been able to realize right here on St. Maarten.”

The use of telemedicine is the advantage of working along with Florida Hospital. “This will allow the medical specialist to stay abroad and participate in operations via technology. This will help across the board to better determine and substantiate specific treatment needs. By executing this approach, we can minimize the cost of treatment abroad and build up our services on the ground and only refer those cases that cannot be handled via the services of telemedicine,” said the doctor.

Policies are presently under the microscope to examine the variance in cost between the present treatment approach and what is being proposed to ensure affordability and to even the financial playing field so that the ultimate goal of saving lives and improving health can be realized for St. Maarten and her people.

“The familiarity of English as the language of communication, the location and proximity of the Florida Hospital when the diagnosis demands, is an advantage for our people,” said Dr. Richardson. “The ability of our own personnel at SMMC to reach out to highly skilled teams of fellow medical professional in a setting that affords added research experience who are willing to assist and support our own medical professionals at SMMC is a win/win for the patient and the professionals involved.”

Heyliger said the sessions were was very informative. “I am very enthusiastic about strengthening these ties for the benefit of the people of St. Maarten,” Heyliger said.

The three MPs met with almost a dozen of the top representatives of Florida Hospital Systems and Adventist Health Systems among those were Dr. Sy Saliba and Jay Voorhees.  Voorhees is the Director of Global Strategy and Physician Leadership Development for the Florida Adventist Hospital systems.

Dr. Saliba oversees the implementation of multi-platform marketing strategies, business development, campaign initiatives, media relations, research objectives and promotional activities for the eight-campus Florida Hospital system and for the 22-campus Florida Region, an Adventist Health System (AHS) Division.

Florida Hospital Systems and the Adventist Health Systems comprises of some 22 medical facilities in Florida alone. The campus visited by the MPs includes Florida Hospital for Women, Florida Hospital for Children, Florida Hospital for Cancer Institute, Florida Hospital for Diabetes, Florida Hospital Global Robotics Institute, Florida Hospital Orthopedics Institute, and Florida Hospital Transplant Institute.  Florida Hospital is recognized by the U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best Hospitals in all nine of their specialties.