Johns Hopkins has been treating Bermudian patients and providing medical expertise on the island for more than 30 years. For the past year-and-a-half, our close connection to the island has included serving as a clinical consultant to Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB), which offers high-quality health care to 64,000 Bermudians.
The origin of this affiliation began in early 2018, when BHB began searching for a collaborator with experience in providing clinical education and training, expanding care capacity and introducing new medical services. It selected Johns Hopkins based on our demonstrated excellence in clinical care, medical education and hospital operations, and we have been honored to have the opportunity to work alongside BHB.
Here are highlights of our successes — so far — in providing clinical care programs with a large impact in the local community, and in establishing robust continuing education programs for clinicians on the island:
We are helping BHB to establish a primary care center for stroke, a leading cause of death on the island. We are working with our BHB colleagues to create a coordinated stroke service that emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of stroke. Toward this goal, we are aligning all the departments that participate in stroke care, including critical care, nursing, social work, pharmacy, rehabilitation and pre-hospital emergency services.
We are helping BHB to ensure its patients receive high-quality psychiatric care. An early focus has been on providing integrated, comprehensive care for BHB patients with a dual diagnosis of mental health issues and addiction. In January 2020, our experts presented a two-day, onsite workshop to about 20 BHB specialists in psychiatric and substance abuse services, sharing best practices for treating addiction and psychiatric illness together effectively. Our experts in psychiatry also provide BHB colleagues with medical second opinions on current treatments, possible transfers and discharge plans.
We are also partnering with BHB to enhance and expand rehabilitation services to treat the effects of chronic disease and other medical conditions. To lay a strategic, sustainable groundwork for these services, our experts have provided consultation to optimize equipment and space, and they have been providing ongoing support to help their BHB counterparts implement their recommendations and elevate rehabilitation services available on the island.
Another key aspect of our collaboration has been building up Bermuda’s pipeline of physicians, nurses and other caregivers. We have provided essential education and training to support BHB’s staff members — clinicians and administrators, seasoned physicians and those in the early stages of their careers.
We have offered nearly 40 continuing medical education opportunities to practicing physicians, as well as numerous tailored, hands-on trainings to nurses and other clinical staff members at BHB. Twenty-four of our faculty members have presented onsite CME-accredited lectures on topics such as “Mental health rehabilitation in Bermuda: Past, present and future” and “PM&R and comprehensive stroke rehabilitation.” So far, BHB staff members have earned 636 credit hours through live activities in Bermuda.
Additionally, we launched a visiting medical residents program that brings our physicians-in-training to Bermuda to provide short-term clinical support, as well as to share knowledge and foster relationships with BHB’s providers. In May 2019, we sent our first resident to BHB to complete a four-week rotation in emergency medicine. Since then, two other residents completed a three-week rotation in anesthesia and critical care and two weeks in internal medicine.
We are very proud of our part in these accomplishments and look forward to continuing to invest in the people and programs that will make a difference in Bermudians’ health for years to come.