Theme: “Innovation in Healthcare”

The North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA), through its Health Policy, Research and Planning (HPRP) Department, hosted its 3rd Annual Research Day on the 29th November, 2019 at the Auditorium, Government Plaza Campus, Port-of-Spain.

This signature event of the NWRHA, featured key note speaker Trinidad-born Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, the President of Howard University in Washington, D.C., USA. There were seventy-five research presentations which captivated audience members and judges alike.  The expert judging panel consisted of Dr. Antony Parkinson- Director of Health, NWRHA; Dr. Maria Bartholomew- Director of the North Central Regional Health Authority; Dr. Susan Chand- Director of Research & Innovation, University of Southern Caribbean; Dr. Bidyadhar Sa- Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies (UWI); Dr. Oscar Ocho- Head of School of Nursing, UWI; Professor Donald Simeon- Director, Caribbean Centre for Health Systems Research and Development, UWI and Dr. Lesley Roberts- Deputy Chairman, NWRHA.

The NWRHA Annual Research Day continues to spark the imagination of attendees as researchers share presentations and posters from a range of areas related to health. This research symposium showcased key issues and promoted multi-pronged and multi-leveled discussions on the current burdens on the health status of the population. Preliminary abstract submissions were appraised for technical distinction through a competitive selection process; 69 presentations were accepted for poster presentation and 6 were categorized and selected for oral presentation; thus 75 research studies were recognized for Research Day 2019 due to outstanding excellence. These encompassed epidemiologic studies, behavioral studies, case studies, translational science, biomedical research and patient-focused research. Representing the professional collaborations of NWRHA researchers, study investigators included scholars from UWI, The University of Trinidad and Tobago, The University of the Southern Caribbean, Eastern Regional Health Authority and North Central Regional Health Authority.

Non-Communicable Diseases themed research included topics addressing mental health: Relational Recovery Family Recovery When Caring For a Member Diagnosed With Severe Mental Illness in Trinidad-A Case Study; Dealing with Dysfunctional Eating, The Role Of Dichotomous Thinking, Social influence and Family Influence In Judging Healthiness Of Food; Attitudes and Practices, Related To The Abuse Of Alcohol, Tobacco, And Other Substances, Among Students In The Faculty Of Medical Sciences, UWI Campus, Trinidad And Tobago; The Psychological Burden of Bullying; Prevalence Of Stress Among Nurses In Primary Health Care Facilities In Eastern Trinidad; Sociodemographic And Injury Characteristics Of Intentional Injuries With Reference To Intimate Partner Violence; HPV DNA Testing Pilot Project- 6 Month Report; The Impact of USC’s Health And Wellness Programme Among Participants Within The Period 2010-2013; Perceptions Of Caribbean Type 2 Diabetes Patients Towards Insulin Therapy And Prescription; Pilot Report For The Implementation Of A Non-Communicable Disease Surveillance System In A Primary Care Setting; The Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of the Use of Medical Marijuana in the Management of Cancer;  Hospital Based Cancer Registry at St James Medical Complex- Annual 2018 Report; and A Descriptive Study Outlining Palliative Care Provision At An Oncological Facility In The Caribbean.

Communicable diseases related research included: Characterisation Of B-Cell Responses To Zika Virus (ZIKV); Working Towards Elimination Of HIV Via Mother To Child Transmission; Improving Adherence Using Individualized Packaged Medication In An HIV Clinic In Trinidad And Tobago; Newly Diagnosed, Pregnant, HIV Infected Women Attending Medical Research Foundation Are More Likely To Default Clinic Than HIV Infected Women In General; Demographic Characteristics And Frequency Of 663 Patients At The Medical Research Foundation Of Trinidad And Tobago Who Are Susceptible To Kidney Disease; and Implementing A Vaccine Programme Within An Established HIV Treatment Clinic In Trinidad And Tobago.

Women’s Health Studies included Factors Affecting The Initiation Of Breastfeeding Within 24hrs Following Caesarean Section; Breast Milk Bank Feasibility Study In A Hospital-Based Setting, Trinidad And Tobago; Diagnosis And Management Of Ectopic Pregnancy At A Tertiary Care Center In Trinidad And Tobago; Maternal Dietary Quality And Socio-Demographic Status And Their Association With Food Insecurity In The St. George Region Of Trinidad And Tobago; The Prevalence and Concerns of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome In Young Female Adults Ages 18-25 In Trinidad; and A Review Of Hysterectomies Performed For Recurrent Postmenopausal Bleeding Of Undetermined Cause Over A Four Year Period In A Major Hospital In Trinidad.

Case studies included Spontaneous Bladder Rupture A Case Report; An Unusual Genetic Variant In A Patient With Both Endometrial And Colon Cancer; A Novel Approach To Flank Hernias; Case Report: An Incidental Finding Of Cirrhosis Secondary To Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis In A Patient With Endometrial Cancer; Incidental Finding Of A Non-Hodgkin B-Cell Lymphoma In A Patient With Endometrial Cancer; A Case Report: A Rare Case of Leiomyosarcoma; Spontaneous Heterotopic Pregnancy: A Case Report; Case Report Of An Abdominal Pregnancy; Acute Fatty Liver Of Pregnancy Developing An Upper Extremity DVT; A Case Of Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome Secondary To Cyclophosphamide During The Treatment Of Anti-Glomerular Basement Disease; The Combined Hip Procedure (CHP): A Case Report And Literature Review; and The Case Of The Disappearing Ulna.

Clinical topics also included One -Stage Exchange Arthroplasty For Peri-Prosthetic Hip Joint Infection; Outpatient Arthroplasty In The Caribbean: Is The Time Now?; Same Day Cancellation Of Elective Orthopaedic Surgery At The Port Of Spain General Hospital: An Observational Study; Out Of Hours Operating In Orthopaedics At The Port Of Spain General Hospital: Is It Safe?; Total Contact Casting – A Forgotten Art; Prevalence Of Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Public Healthcare Nursing Professionals In Trinidad And Tobago; and Vascular Diameter and resistive index relating to successful arteriovenous fistula outcome in Port of Spain General Hospital.

Health Services posters included topics addressing Investigating Opportunities For Reducing The Lead Time For Medical Aid At The Sangre Grande Hospital Using A Baseline Time Function Map For The Period February To July 2012; Exploring Value And Waste In An Emergency Department Patient Flow Process: A Qualitative Case Study;  An Economic Evaluation Of The Preoperative Investigations For Elective Surgical Patients At A Tertiary Care Hospital In Trinidad, West Indies; Healthcare Engineering In Trinidad And Tobago; Discrepancy Rates Of Radiology Resident Interpretations Of Emergency On Call CT imaging at the Port of Spain General Hospital; Assessing Extended Hours Services In Primary Care; The Efficacy Of Structured Patient Education (SPE) on Hand Hygiene; A University And Regional Health Authority Collaboration To Promote Voluntary Non-Remunerated Blood Donation; and Utilization Of Emergency Services In The Accident And Emergency Department St. James Medical Complex.

Many studies addressed innovation in healthcare including: Innovative 3D printable upper limb prosthesis for the developing world; “Innovation in Healthcare” Why it is needed? Where we are going?  ; Launch of the NWRHA Be Well TT Mobile Application – A Report; Launch of an Electronic Health Records/ Hospital Information System at St James Medical Complex- A Report; Bed Side Prescription – An  Innovative Approach In Pharmacy Care In POSGH; Epi Info: A Multifunctional Software For The Illustration And Reporting Of Health Care Results; Patient Prognosis And Outlook Are Improved By The Integration Of Digital Filing Systems In The Interhospital Setting; A Critical Analysis Of The Use Of An Electronic Health Record System And Its Impact On The Improvement Of Quality Health Care Delivery In Public Sector Organisations – The Future For The Port-Of-Spain General Hospital; Innovations In Eye Care: Introduction Of An Electronic Surgical List; Innovations To Prevent Glaucoma Blindness: Outcomes Of Trabeculectomy Using Moorfields Safer Surgery System At Port Of Spain General Hospital; Healthcare Innovation Within A Criminological Context – The Impact Of Crime And Conflict Upon A Hospital’s Human Resource; and An Automated Hospital Ward Quality Performance Management System Using Sensor Based Technology.

The theme of Research Day 2019, “Innovation in Healthcare”, was evident throughout the research studies that were presented. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health innovation improves the efficiency, effectiveness, quality, sustainability, safety, and affordability of healthcare. This definition includes new or improved health policies, practices, systems, products, technologies, services, and delivery methods that result in improved healthcare. In healthcare, developments in technologies and practices are evidence-based. There has been an exponential growth of scientific and medical technology development and an increasing effort in health care for creativity to tackle key health challenges. Across health systems, innovative models of care that will improve quality of care; prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, administrative efficiency and better value for money, are being developed.

Although new knowledge and novel practices are sometimes slow to be disseminated or adopted, it must be recognized that innovation is crucial to the long-term sustainability of health systems and an essential key to success. Digitalization in medicine, has begun a global revolution with opportunities for telemedicine, data analytics, digital follow-up, digital knowledge transfer and even wearables; with more informed use of technology improving the treatment of disease.

The master of ceremonies, television broadcaster Mr. Khary Roberts introduced key speakers. The welcome and opening remarks began with Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NWRHA Ms. Lisa Agard, PAHO/WHO Representative Dr. Erica Wheeler and the Honourable Minister of Health Mr. Terrence Deyalsingh. 

This year’s featured speaker, Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, gave meaningful insight into health care systems and the necessity for innovation. Dr. Frederick spoke about his personal experiences as a patient, having been diagnosed with both Sickle Cell Anemia and Diabetes, and management of same through the use of biomedical technologies. His narrative, framed from a Trinidadian-perspective, highlighted the direct impact that health care innovations have on patients, and the requirement for local institutions to facilitate these types of technologies. He also promoted the idea for educational reform that will allow children to discover the different pathways and opportunities in research and non-clinical roles in health.

Dr. Frederick was also a member of the expert panel discussion, which focused on the “Electronic Health Record (EHR) Optimization”. The panel included Dr. Kellie Alleyne-Mike, Medical Director of St James Medical Complex, Ms. Camille Chee-Awai, Co-Sponsor of Transform Global Health and was moderated by Ms. Magda Baksh, General Manager, Health Policy, Research & Planning. This panel discussed the newly implemented Hospital Information System at the National Radiotherapy Centre (NRC), St James Medical Complex, and the tremendous positive impact that this has had patient care. On July 12th, 2019, the NWRHA launched this comprehensive EHR in the NRC for all oncology patients. Included in this longitudinal record are patient demographics, progress notes, medications, vital signs and past medical history. The EHR has automated and helped to streamline the clinical workflow, generating a 360-degree view of the patient.

anelists and audience members spoke passionately on the critical importance of a national integrated health information system, to improve diagnosis, treatment modalities, efficiency, and evidence-based decision-making.

The NWRHA’s new mobile phone application, NWRHA Be Well TT, was also discussed as part of the Authority’s drive towards modernization. This mobile application allows the Authority to connect with the population to encourage a healthy lifestyle and help to prevent and control chronic non-communicable diseases. The application also connects with the EHR and pharmacy systems in SJMC to provide interactive features to oncology patients, including prescription notifications and clinic appointment management, among others.

Following the oral presentations by 6 select researchers representing fields from medicine to microbiology to robotics, the poster presentation judging session was held. The day-long celebration of research concluded with a vote of thanks by the Chief Executive Officer (Ag.), Mr. Terron Gilchrist and an awards ceremony announcing top award winners.

The NWRHA wishes to acknowledge all participants who untiringly worked extensive hours to conduct and analyse their research and eagerly devoted time to producing posters and presentations for Research Day.  A special thank you to key supporters of the NWRHA Research Day especially the NWRHA Chief Executive Officer and the NWRHA Executive Board of Directors. The day would not have been possible without the hard work of the staff of the Health Policy, Research and Planning Department (HPRP) for bringing the initiative to fruition for a third year and must be commended for their rewarding efforts.

The Authority also wishes to express its sincerest appreciation to Ashley Furniture Homestore, Blue Waters Products Limited, New Fields Technologies and Smith Robertson & Company for their sponsorship. The Authority is pleased to announce the following winners of the 3rd Annual Research Day 2019.


  1. Most Outstanding Research- First Place

Anti Budding Assay- Development Of A High Throughput Screen To Identify Neutralizing Antibodies That Block Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) Release

Anushka Ramjag

  1. Most Outstanding Research- Second Place

Parental Knowledge, Attitudes, Perceptions And Barriers Towards HPV Vaccination In Trinidad

Shastri Motilal  (Shanaz Mohammed, Vasthala Mohan, Nicholas Mohepath, Ricky Mohess, Jana Moncur, Diana Moore, Katherina Mosca, Tisha Mulchan)

  1. Most Outstanding Research- Third Place

Novel Discovery That Breaks Antibiotic Resistance: A New Way To Fight Superbugs

Antonio Ramkissoon  (Jayaraj Jayaraman, Anderson Maxwell , Adesh Ramkissoon)



  1. Most Outstanding Poster- First Place

A Two Year Hospital Based Study Of Predisposing Factors To Lung Cancer

Valini Maharaj, Soumya Manduru, Hezekiah Matabadal, De Yonte Mayers, Khia McMillan, Rei Medford, Saksham Mehra, Hermidar Mentore

  1. Most Outstanding Poster- Second Place

Suicide Ideation, Attempts And Attitude In Trinidad And Tobago

Katija Khan

  1. Most Outstanding Poster- Third Place

An Economic Evaluation Of The Preoperative Investigations For Elective Surgical Patients At A Tertiary Care Hospital In Trinidad, West Indies

Sasha Hinds, Seetharaman Hariharan, Deryk Chen

NWRHA 3RD Annual Research Day 2019


Click here to view Our 2018 Annual Research Day