Press release from the Mental Health Foundation

The mini Symposium "Empirical Care and Nursing" held on May 8 and 9, 2009 at the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) was an historical event because;

It was the first time ever that a Symposium was sponsored by the Naskho, the Netherlands Antilles Foundation for Clinical Higher Education in the Netherlands Antilles for care workers and the general public. Prior to this event Symposia and Post Graduate Courses were only organized for doctors and specialists. Nurses and care workers were welcome to participate.


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The aim of this Symposium was to take Nursing and Care to a next level bringing nursing science closer to the general public. Creating a better understanding of what nursing and caring is all about. How did it happen and what was the result?

Thanks to the generosity of the AUC and their continuous efforts in support of Health Care on St. Maarten, the symposium was professional and of high quality. Dr. Sue Atchley professor in immunology and community services director is always ready to lend a helping hand.

Thanks to the support of the Naskho, the AUC, the staff of the Mental Health Foundation and the many other local sponsor’s five guest speakers were invited; one from Suriname and four from Curaçao, while two guest speakers were from the AUC, and the other speakers were from the White Yellow Cross and Mental Health Foundation.

On Friday afternoon the symposium started with 2 workshops that were fully booked in advance. The first workshop was dementia, diagnostics and treatment by Dr. Matroos psychiatrist and Nurse MacFolda Gumbs of St. Martin’s Home. And the second workshop was Nursing intake, observations and communicating with patients that are depresses, agitated and anxious using the "NURS" model.


A total of 147 persons registered for the symposium, from the evaluation forms that were filled in the following score was given by the participants.

In his opening speech Dr Holiday surgeon and president of the medical specialists association mentioned that Mental Health has came a long way on St. Maarten.

There is much more to be done, for the staff for the MHF the support from so many persons was very rewording and certainly encouraging to continue with the work that still needs be done. We will continue to serve the community of St. Maarten to the best of our ability.

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Eileen Healy Director Mental Health Foundation