CIBC FirstCaribbean pledges US$1 million to SickKids-Caribbean Initiative

Debra King, Director of Corporate Communications, CIBC FirstCaribbean, presenting CEO of SickKids Foundation, Ted Garrard with the pens used in the signing ceremony. Looking on is SickKids Fellow Dr Chantelle Browne-Farmer (back left) Bonnie Fleming-Caro (partly hidden), Associate Chief of Nursing & Inter-professional Education at SickKids (centre) and Dr Upton Allen, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at SickKids. (Photo: Contributed)

CIBC FirstCaribbean has pledged a further US$1 million for phase II of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative (SCI) which focuses on the improvement of outcomes and quality of life for children with cancer and other blood disorders across the region.

 The regional bank signed another Memorandum of Understanding with SickKids Foundation of Canada, which underwrites the regional effort to provide support for additional specialised nurse training, as well as for research and advocacy over a five-year period.

In 2013, with the support of SickKids Foundation, the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative (SCI), a not-for-profit partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI), Ministries of Health, hospitals and institutions in six Caribbean countries, and the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health, was established. This partnership focuses on building sustainable local capacity to diagnose, treat, and manage paediatric cancers and blood disorders.

CEO of SickKids Foundation, Ted Garrard, and Debra King, Director of Corporate Communications, CIBC FirstCaribbean, sign the new MOU witnessed by SickKids Fellow Dr Chantelle Browne-Farmer (back left), Bonnie Fleming-Carol, Associate Chief of Nursing & Inter-professional Education at SickKids (centre) and Dr Upton Allen, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at SickKids.

CIBC FirstCaribbean joined the effort, pledging US$1 million over a seven-year period (2014 to 2020) through its charitable arm, FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation. As nurse training partner, the bank supported the development of a Paediatric Haematology/Oncology Nursing Education programme at the University of the West Indies School of Nursing (UWISoN), Trinidad and Tobago. The programme aims to build nursing capacity in the Caribbean by developing highly-skilled clinical nurses and leaders who advocate for patients and their families, conduct quality improvement initiatives, and mentor other health care providers to deliver safe and effective paediatric care. 

Chief Executive Officer of CIBC FirstCaribbean, Colette Delaney, said that the bank’s support for the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative is significant.  

“We are confident that phase II will build on those gains as we train more nurses, doctors and other medical professionals and facilitate research to support policy recommendations and advocacy,” said Delaney, who is also the chair of the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation.