US health expert returns to Cayman for conference

| 17/09/2013

(CNS): Dr James Merlino, Chief Experience Officer and Associate Chief of Staff of the Cleveland Clinic Health System will be delivering the opening speech at the fourth annual Cayman Islands Healthcare Conference, organisers said following his great reception at last year’s event. Themed ‘Taking Care of Business: A Shared Approach to Workplace Wellness’ the conference will take place from 17 to 19 October at The Ritz-Carlton, Speaking on the topic ‘Sickness to Wellness: How we must redefine our approach to Patient Care’ Dr Merlino is a practicing staff colorectal surgeon in the Digestive Disease Institute and is also the founder and current president of the Association for Patient Experience.

As a member of the Clinic’s executive team, he leads initiatives to improve the patient experience across the Cleveland Clinic Health System.

Giving some background to his topic this year, Dr Merlino said that transforming society’s approach to the care of its citizens requires “a shift from sick care to well care”. “Well care is the promotion of wellness,” he explains, “and, within our collective healthcare delivery ecosystem, the approach must include a paradigm shift focused on developing several key themes.”

These themes include the need to develop a sustainable system to reign in healthcare costs, a redefinition of focus where healthy habits, personal responsibility and prevention drive the care continuum and put patients first. Dr Merlino will talk about the need for being holistic in the approach to care and the need to partner to align the ecosystem of care.

In addition, he will discuss the challenges of moving to a culture of wellness focussing on national and international trends in healthcare and highlighting innovations that Cleveland Clinic has developed and implemented to help facilitate this paradigm shift.

Osbourne Bodden, the Cayman Islands Government’s Minister of Health, said he was grateful to Dr Merlino for agreeing to participate in our national Healthcare Conference once again. He is a recognised world leader in the emerging field of patient experience and we anticipate that delegates will learn a great deal from his presentation this year,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr Ebi Awosika, President of Pinnacle Occupational Health Consulting and Subject Matter Expert, Employee Health Promotion Disease Prevention, is another expert in her field who will be presenting at the Healthcare Conference. Dr Awosika directs Employee Health Promotion Disease and Impairment Prevention in the Veterans Health Administration, a large healthcare system with 270,000 employees and she also serves as an Occupational Health and Wellness consultant to companies in the United States and Canada.

Dr Awosika completed her residency in internal medicine at the Harlem hospital, New York and her Occupational Medicine residency at Emory University, Atlanta. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota.

Her conference presentation is entitled ‘Achieving Comprehensive Worker Health: A springboard for enhanced National Health’ and she will be providing ways of promoting health, safety and productivity and preventing disease in the workforce.

“It will energise your readiness to take action,” she said. “The time to act is now. Your nations’ health depends on it.”

Bodden added that this year focuses on improving health and wellness in the workplace and Dr Awosika’s presentation speaks to the very heart of what we are attempting to achieve. “We …urge everyone to attend and enjoy what is set to be another first class Healthcare Conference,” the minister said. 

The conference is free for delegates to attend and open to the public.  Registration is now open online             

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