SMMC screens a record number of 150 men for prostate cancer

Dr. Diego Ramos, President of the Elektralytes Foundation Mercedes “Elektra” v/d Waals, and Dr. Carlos Ramos.


CAY HILL, Sint Maarten — On Saturday, September 23rd, St. Maarten Medical Center and the Positive and Elektralytes Foundations hosted their annual Men’s Health Day which saw a record-breaking number of men being screened for prostate cancer. 150 men visited SMMC and were screened for prostate cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and HIV. 

The event was made possible by partnerships with St. Maarten Laboratory Services (SLS), SZV Insurances, Guardian Group Dutch Caribbean, FLOW EC, SXM AIDS Foundation and ILTT. SMMC’s two permanent Urologists Dr. Carlos Rojas and Dr. Diego Ramos led the screenings and were supported by Dr. Perry Simmons and Dr. Laurien Reinders, two local General Practitioners who volunteered to help provide this necessary service to the men in the community.

Prior to the event, the men were required to have a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test done at SLS so the physicians would have the results to determine whether a physical examination was necessary. While most local insurances cover the PSA test, SMMC and the foundations acknowledge that a number of men on the island do not have health insurance. To overcome this, the foundations and St. Maarten Laboratory Services (SLS) partnered to cover the cost of the test for uninsured men, making the service available to all interested men, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. This was the second consecutive year that SLS participated in the event as a partner. 

For the men who did not have the opportunity to have the PSA test done prior to the event, they received a physical examination. Men also had the opportunity to receive follow-up appointments at SMMC’s Urology clinic if necessary. 

SMMC’s Communications Officer and event organizer Shari de Riggs said “Every year, this event grows considerable. In 2021, we screened 65 men, in 2022, we screened 75 and this year, thanks to the assistance from Dr. Perry Simmons of Pure Health BV and Dr. Laurien Reinders of Bush Road Clinic, we were able to screen 150 men for prostate cancer. This is largely due to the tireless advocacy of our Urologists, Dr. Ramos and Dr. Rojas and the Positive and Elektralytes foundations throughout the year but especially during the month of September”.

“This event and events like it are one of SMMC’s ways of giving back to the community and it would not be possible without our staff volunteers and corporate partners such as SLS, SZV, Guardian, FLOW, SXM AIDS Foundation and ILTT”.

Persons interested in making an appointment at SMMC’s Urology Department can do so by calling + 1 (721) 543-1111 or 910 extension 1379 from Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm and PSA testing is available year-round at any of SLS’s locations. 

On Saturday, October 28th, SMMC, the Positive and Elektralytes Foundations, SZV Insurances, Guardian Group, FLOW, Prime Distributors, SXM AIDS Foundation and the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) will partner to offer free breast cancer screenings and other health checks during their Women’s Health Day.