The widow of former Progressive Labour Party Leader Frederick Wade was formally sworn in as the new PLP Senator to replace Jason Hayward in the Upper House on Thursday.

Ianthia Simmons-Wade was also appointed as the Junior Minister for Seniors and the Cabinet Office.

In her acceptance speech at Government House, she expressed a commitment to prioritise Bermuda’s “very serious problem that we have with our rapidly increasing senior population”.

“My commitment is to work with our entire community to continue to empower, educate and protect our seniors,” she said.

Premier David Burt added: “I am pleased that Ianthia Simmons-Wade has answered this call to a new phase of her public service.

“As she would put it, service to Bermuda pulses through my veins as if it were blood itself.”

“In her the people of Bermuda gain an extremely well-qualified and fearless advocate for the rights of disabled persons, seniors and for justice in healthcare,” said Premier Burt.

Ms Simmons-Wade has been a member of the PLP for more than three decades.

A party spokesperson also noted that she has more than 25 years’ experience as a healthcare professional.

“She is a dedicated advocate for the rights of seniors and disabled persons and is committed to service to our community,” she added.

“As Bermuda grapples with the challenges of an ageing population, Senator Simmons-Wade’s experience will be of great benefit to the country as we work to ensure our seniors, who are living longer, can live in dignity.

“We look forward to having her make her contribution to this and other critical issues to Bermuda.

“Her academic credentials combined with her years of experience in healthcare and with seniors should prove beneficial to policy creation and debate in the Senate as we continue to work towards delivering a better and fairer Bermuda.”

A government spokeswoman added: “Ms Simmons-Wade spent two decades running Bermuda’s principal assisted living facility for disabled adults, and most recently has been an independent healthcare consultant.”

She holds “a master’s degrees in medical law and ethics as well as in healthcare administration. She has served as Deputy Chair and Chair of the Bermuda Hospitals Board and also as Chair of the former Sustainable Development Roundtable”.

  • Feature Photos Courtesy of DC