Bermuda Set To Implement HEARTS in the Americas Programme

HEARTS Bermuda

Hamilton, Bermuda - March 16, 2023: Bermuda’s Ministry of Health convened its first sensitization and capacity-building meeting to implement HEARTS in the Americas on Thursday, March 16, 2023.  In attendance were the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ayoola Oyinloye, Director of the Department of Health, Mr. David Kendell; Bermuda Health Council, CEO, Dr. Ricky Brathwaite; Chief Nursing Officer, Lynn Jackson; members of the HEARTS Technical Working Group and representatives from the three demonstration sites.  The very interactive meeting was supported by members of the HEARTS team at the Pan American Health Organization led by Dr Pedro Ordunez, Regional Advisor for Chronic Diseases and HEARTS team lead and facilitated by Dr. Patrice Lawrence-Williams, Country Advisor, Non-Communicable Disease and Mental Health. Topics discussed included the facilities assessment, Blood Pressure measuring devices, and Team-based Care development. 

HEARTS in the Americas is an initiative of the countries, led by the Ministries of Health with the participation of local stakeholders with the technical cooperation of PAHO. The Initiative seeks to integrate seamlessly and progressively into already existing health delivery services to promote the adoption of global best practices in the prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and improve the performance of the services through better control of high blood pressure and the promotion of secondary prevention with emphasis on the primary health care. 

Bermuda is one of 30 countries signed on to HEARTS in the Americas.  Having signed on to the initiative in 2022, the country has created a Technical Working Group (TWG), developed the Hypertension Clinical Pathway and conducted capacity building for the TWG on the use of the District Health Information System (DHIS2). 

The last STEPS survey conducted in Bermuda in 2014 provides valuable information that will be used as a baseline in the monitoring and evaluation module of the programme. The survey noted that approximately 33% of the population had raised blood pressures or was on medication for raised blood pressure. Uncontrolled blood pressure is the greatest modifiable risk factor for morbidity and mortality leading to premature death. 

The health system in Bermuda is complex, with a fragmented health financing system. The Ministry of Health is the primary steward and regulator of the health system. Bermuda also has a large number of private medical facilities that provide several high-technology services.  Implementing the HEARTS in the Americas will convene with two private facilities and one public facility, placing the country in a unique position as being amongst the first English-speaking countries to work with providers in implementing HEARTS at a private facility.  Two private facilities and one public facility have agreed to be demonstration sites. 

The next session will be held on Thursday, March 23, 2023, focusing on implementing the DHIS2 and the in-country Hypertension Clinical Pathway.