News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda – Health Minister Kim Wilson, attended the graduation ceremony for the members of the Department of Health on their completion of the Bermuda Caribbean Regional Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (CR-FELTP), a multi-level training programme for public health professionals.

The Department of Health graduates, DeAnn Trott, Pauleter Stevens, Sylvia Robinson, Sakina Usher, and participant Shirmelle Gomes, join an international network of over 12,000 graduates from 71 programmes operating globally.  CR-FELTP graduates are routinely involved in disease surveillance within their countries and have participated in outbreak investigations including food-borne disease and cruise ship outbreaks, Chinkungunya and Zika, pertussis or whooping cough, Tuberculosis, Klebsiella pneumoniae hospital infections, as well as emergency response efforts in disaster situations.

Minister Kim Wilson congratulated the students and thanked the Bermuda-based trainers who tailored the course to reflect Bermuda’s public health situation and needs.

“The Ministry of Health clearly recognizes the importance of keeping up to date and on the cutting edge of public health practice in Bermuda, while also recognizing that we are an important part of the region,” said Ms Wilson.

“As such, CR-FELTP also served as an important opportunity for collaboration. This competency-based programme, which began in September 2018 and incorporated over five months of classroom learning and hands-on projects, has served its purpose in increasing the public health capacity of all involved and represents the first step in a long-term plan to strengthen surveillance systems and promote effective public health response in Bermuda.

“The Programme covered aspects of disease surveillance, including disease monitoring and data analysis, outbreak investigation, public health emergency response and preparedness, communications and compliance with International Health Regulations.

“The Ministry of Health, CARPHA, Public Health England, and the Pan American Health Organization, have organized this across a range of disciplines to supports the development of a well-rounded graduate with practical skills and competencies in applied public health.”