CAMSA sponsors and participates in a variety of events throughout the year. Please make plans to join us.
Provided is a listing of helpful links to a variety of websites. The links are provided for informational purposes only and do not indicate an endorsement by CAMSA.
Annual Cancer Symposium Highlights Disparities in Cancer Services
The Annual BACA, CAMSA and BNAA Cancer Symposium this year on September 13 focused on breast cancer and featured keynote speaker Dr. Kathie-Ann Joseph, below, director of breast services at Bellevue Hospital. Dr. Joseph discussed the disparities in cancer services in the African-American population, but outlined the many services and support provided at Bellevue – services, she said, that rivaled those offered at more expensive private institutions.
The symposium also has been renamed in honor of former CAMSA President Dr. Deborah Brathwaite, with the family’s permission. The announcement was made at the symposium. Dr. Brathwaite was a key organizer of the annual symposia and succumbed to breast cancer in 2013 after a valiant battle.
Three CAMSA Physicians Honored by Caribbean Life Newspaper
Current CAMSA President Vincent Hutchinson, MD (above left), Board Member and Former CAMSA Presidents O'Neall Parris, MD, MPH, and Patricia Nicholas, DPM, were honored by Caribbean Life newspaper in its first Caribbean Healthcare Awards ceremony. The three were among 48 Caribbean American healthcare professionals lauded at a gala last month for their significant contributions in the healthcare industry.
At the award presentation Caribbean Life Publisher Clifford Luster said, "We are thrilled to honor these talented healthcare providers. Our healthcare industry would not be nearly as successful without the Caribbean Americans who comprise a significant portion of our workforce and dominate critical areas of our caregiving disciplines."
CAMSA Announces First Health Assistance Award; 6 Scholarships for College Students
Luncheon marked by tributes to Former President Dr. Deborah Brathwaite
CAMSA's first fundraising golf tournament and Annual Fundraising Luncheon enabled the association to present its First Health Assistance Award to St. Lucia and scholarships and book grants to six college students.
A highlight of the luncheon was a moving tribute to CAMSA's late president, Dr. Deborah Brathwaite, by her sister Ms. Gail Brathwaite. The event also featured the announcement of the Dr. Deborah M. Brathwaite Memorial Scholarship in recognition of her outstanding commitment to CAMSA and the fulfillment of Dr. Brathwaite's goal to establish a CAMSA Health Assistance Award to a Caribbean country. The winner of the award, St. Lucia, will receive medical equipment to help in the treatment of patients at the local hospital.
The winner of the Dr. Deborah M. Brathwaite Memorial Sholarship was Katherine Cabrera-Hunt of Dominican ancestry and an incoming student at Colby College. Other scholarship winners were: Imani Campbell of Jamaican ancestry, heading to the University of Florida; Daunece Cox of Guyanese ancestry and going to the University of Maryland - College Park; Victoria Hale, from Jamaica, and a Seton Hall University student; Simon Reid from Barbados and a student at Delaware State University, and Danielle Rouse, Barbados, and a John Jay College student.
Keynoting the festive event was Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, assistant commissioner in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and director of the Brooklyn District Public Health Office in Central Brooklyn. Dr. Maybank discussed the Affordable Care Act and her mission to reduce health inequities and promote health equity in communities of color and low income in New York City.
The first CAMSA fundraising golf tournament held at the Pelham/Split Rock Golf Course attracted a score of golfers and sponsors, including TD Bank, which contributed funds toward the purchase of the medical equipment to be donated to St. Lucia's hospital. For more details on the luncheon, its supporters and honorees, click the link to see the CAMSA Souvenir Journal 2014 and visit CAMSA on Facebook to see the photos:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Caribbean-American-Medical-Scientific-Association-camsa-Inc/427527423932595?ref_type=bookmark.
Dear CAMSA Member/Friend,
I am happy and honored to begin service to you as the new President of the Caribbean American Medical and Scientific Association for 2014. Since its inception in 2002, CAMSA has had a significant impact on the Caribbean community in the USA and in the Caribbean. The success of the association is due to the hardworking and committed members who volunteer their time and resources in the spirit of "giving back" to the people and governments of our respective home countries.
Over the past year, CAMSA had many successes, but also its share of misfortune with the passing of our dear friend, colleague and past president, Dr. Deborah Brathwaite, whose kindness, dedication and passion set a high standard to emulate for the officers and members of CAMSA with whom she worked.
Each year CAMSA plans or participates in several kinds of activities including, health fairs, medical missions, community educational symposia, fundraising events and academic scholarships awards for undergraduates. Notably, in 2013, CAMSA again co-sponsored the BACA Cancer Symposium, co-sponsored the CARICOM Health Fair and two other church-sponsored fairs in Brooklyn. In addition, we participated in two medical missions to Jamaica and St. Lucia. A list of our other achievements is posted on the website under Events and Activities.
CAMSA is making a difference and will continue to do so with your participation in our activities and committees. Our goals for 2014 include further broadening our membership base and planning activities to truly reflect the entire Caribbean, as it has in the past. CAMSA was on the forefront of relief efforts to Haiti, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and will continue its ongoing support to rebuilding in these countries. We also aim to increase our outreach efforts in providing health education to the Caribbean community in the New York metro area not only through our symposia, conferences and health fairs, but also through radio and TV media.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank you for your support and look forward to an exciting and productive 2014.
Vincent E. Hutchinson, MD
President, CAMSA, Inc.
CAMSA President Dr. Deborah Brathwaite
With profound sadness we announce the death of CAMSA's 2013 President, Deborah Brathwaite, MD.
We mourn her passing so soon and extend to her daughter and family our heartfelt regrets. Deborah was a founding member of CAMSA and died while in office. She made many valuable contributions to CAMSA and the Caribbean diaspora community and we will honor her memory.
We applaud her work in rehabilitating the disabled, in the fight against cancer, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles to minimize the impact of lifestyle-related diseases on the Caribbean immigrant population.
Let us pledge to uphold her legacy by enhancing our support of the causes she so faithfully espoused.
Following is a tribute:
REMEMBERING DR. DEBORAH BRATHWAITE
Unlike primary care specialties such as internal medicine, family practice or pediatrics in which the physician often has the satisfaction of seeing patients respond quickly to treatments such as antibiotics, or the surgeon who can often use the scalpel to provide a fairly speedy permanent cure, those who practice physical and rehabilitation medicine work on a different time scale as they try to restore disabled patients to maximum function. It may take weeks, months and even years to achieve gains ranging from minimal to full restoration of function. Therefore it takes a special kind of person, a special kind of physician to address such needs - a physician with patience, kindness, commitment, compassion and dedication. Such a physician was Dr. Deborah Brathwaite whose professional life at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center gave hope to the physically disabled, a mission she fulfilled with passion and professionalism providing a fitting model for those trainees she supervised. What a wonderful legacy.
Another passion was her dedication to and advocacy for, the improvement of health care in the Caribbean immigrant population in New York City and underserved segments of the Caribbean basin, through education and clinical outreach. In 2002, she was a founding member of the Caribbean American Medical & Scientific Association (CAMSA) and played a major role in conceptualizing its vision as an advocacy and service organization devoted to improving health care for the Caribbean people.
A former secretary of CAMSA, she served as its 2013 president until several weeks ago when she reluctantly took leave to focus on her health. Admirably, despite her personal medical issues, she was focused, professional and effective during her tenure. She forged a strong working relationship with the New York Caribbean consular corps, streamlined CAMSA’s operations, enhanced its image, and made significant strides in membership recruitment.
She was also an ardent supporter of the Barbados Cancer Association USA (BACA), Inc., and was critical to the success of the annual BACA/CAMSA cancer symposium which was usually held at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center where she worked.
At membership meetings of CAMSA and BACA held soon after her passing, she was lauded for her quiet dignity, professionalism, hard work, commitment, modesty, dependability, grace and dedication. Other quotes: “a special lady”, “she had the right words for me when I lost my brother”, “she showed us how to live (for others) and taught us how to die.”
Her intimates knew her to be a woman of faith and in sum, faith, family, medicine and the community were her missions. The family has lost a treasured daughter, granddaughter, mother, and sister; the local medical community has lost a highly valued clinician, teacher and mentor, and CAMSA, BACA and the medically underserved have lost a friend, colleague and advocate in the fight for health care justice and equity. And some would say, much too soon. But we cannot second guess the Almighty, and from what we have come to understand, neither did she.
It is now left to us to honor her memory by rededicating ourselves to support the worthy causes she espoused.
With profound regret,
O’Neall Parris, MD, MPH, FAAP
Founding President of CAMSA
Board Member of CAMSA
Click here to read an article about Dr. Brathwaite in the Barbados Nation: http://bit.ly/1akeI7u.
CAMSA, BACA & BNAA Hosted Annual Cancer Symposium
At the Cancer Care and Access Symposium CAMSA, the Barbados Cancer Association USA (BACA), Inc. and the Barbados Nurses Association of America (BNAA) hosted on September 14, 2013, more than 40 participants heard Dr. Vikash Chatrani about the Herculean efforts being made to treat gynecological cancer patients in Barbados. Dr. Chatrani, a gynecologic oncologist and faculty member, University of the West Indies (Barbados) and Clinical Director at the Barbados Cancer Society, detailed the prevalence, treatment options and challenges faced not only in Barbados, but also throughout the West Indies. He mentioned the case of a 95-year-old woman who ordinarily might not have been treated aggressively, but as a result of his proactive efforts, the patient underwent surgery, follow-up treatment and now has recovered so well she is planning to walk to raise awareness and funds to help others. Dr. Chatrani pointed out that some improvements have been made in turnaround on test results and raising awareness of the need for pap smears, which can aid early detection. However, availability of medications still is an issue. Dr. Camille Ragin, Associate Professor, Cancer Prevention and Control, from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia reviewed epidemiological statistics on cancers and strongly encouraged attendees to advocate for themselves and thoroughly question their healthcare providers in order to receive the most appropriate treatment. A highlight of the symposium was the testimonies of several cancer patients and relatives who recounted how they had overcome challenges in seeking and obtaining treatment and also reiterated the need to be proactive and persistent in order to obtain the best healthcare.
CAMSA Fundraising Luncheon Held May 18
CAMSA's Fundraising Luncheon held on Saturday, May 18, was a very successful event with more than 75 people in attendance who heard an update on the Affordable Care Act from U.S. Congressman Gregory Meeks and her vision for CAMSA from President Deborah Brathwaite, MD. A touch of culture was provided by Author Angela Lynch-Clare, daughter of noted Barbadian politician and founder of the Modern High School, Louis Lynch, who read from her first book, White Chocolate. In addition, three outstanding individuals were honored for their work advancing healthcare for people in the Caribbean Diaspora and the 2013 CAMSA scholarship winners were announced.
CAMSA Officers Installed on March 17
The 2013 CAMSA Executive Committee was installed in a ceremony held on March 17 at the Resurrection Anglican Congregation, 88 Hanson Place, Brooklyn. The service was led by the Reverend Canon Dr. G. Llewellyn Armstrong.
Scholarship Appplications Being Accepted Now
Applications are being accepted for this year's CAMSA scholarships. The deadline for submission is April 15.
CAMSA Announced New 2013 Executive Committee
The 2013 CAMSA Executive Committee is led by Deborah Brathwaite, MD, Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Brathwaite has been a member of CAMSA for several years and most recently served on the Board of Directors. Vincent Huthcinson, MD, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, who recently retired from Harlem Hospital Center in New York City, has been elected vice president. He also has been a long-standing CAMSA Board member. Other elected members were: Colleen Brathwaite, MSc, public relations and marketing professional; Margaret Deane, assistant secretary; Doreen Proverbs, MBA, accounting professional, treasurer, and Ralph Harris, MSc, ultrasound technician, assistant treasurer. Continuing to serve on the Executive Committee is Dr. Margaret Sukhram, Immediate Past President.
CAMSA to hold Annual Fundraising Luncheon, May 18, 2013
CAMSA's main event in 2013 will be a fundraising luncheon on Saturday, May 18 at Antun's in Queen's Village. The festive event will feature lively presentations, raffles and music by Batch Productions. Be sure to join us from 12:00 noon - 4:00 PM. Tickets are $70.00.
CAMSA - BACA Annual Cancer Symposium to be held Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012
CAMSA will join the Barbados Cancer Association USA (BACA), Inc. in presenting their annual Symposium on a cancer topic on Saturday, September 22, 2012. The topic and venue will be announced shortly. Please hold the date.
CAMSA Celebrated 10th Anniversary at Successful Gala and Fundraiser
CAMSA celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with a Gala and Fundraiser on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at The Hilton Hotel at JFK. Keynote Speaker Ms. Yvonne Graham, director, office of health disparities prevention, New York State Department of Health wowed the audience with a vow of support for CAMSA and similar organizations that she enlisted in the fight to eliminate health disparities in the region.
Three healthcare individuals and organizations were honored for their contributions toward improving the health of Caribbean people. Mr. George Griffith, Executive Director of the Barbados Family Planning Association, received the Presidential Award for his unstinting support of CAMSA's formation during his years as Barbados Consul General at New York. A Community Serivce Award was presented to Dr. Berman Saunders, Family Practitioner and Medical Director of the Family Health Center in the Out-Patient Department of East Orange General Hospital, NJ and founder-member and current President of the Caribbean Medical Mission (CMM), a group of medical personnel that travels to various regions to provide health care and education to the needy, particularly in the Caribbean. Another Community Service Award was bestowed on Kindest Hearts Foundation, the brainchild of Podiatrist and 2009 CAMSA President Dr. Patricia Nicholas. Kindest Hearts is a 501 (c)3 not for profit entity formed for the express purpose of serving the holistic needs of the Haitian people.
CAMSA Awards Three Scholarships to Students of Caribbean Descent
Three 2012 CAMSA Scholarship winners were announced at the Gala: Isabel Morgan, a rising junior at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts; Rachel Thomas, a rising sophomore at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Jelissa Fernandez, an incoming freshman at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus.
CAMSA’s 2012 scholarship program received more than 40 applications – far surpassing the number received in any previous year. The applicants hailed from 14 states and their heritages spanned the entire Caribbean including several West Indian islands, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Selecting only three winners from the outstanding field was difficult, but the selected award winners are outstanding, well-rounded students with bright futures ahead of them.
Dr. Margaret Sukhram is new CAMSA President
Dr. Margaret Sukhram assumed the Presidency of CAMSA at its Annual General Meeting held January 20, 2012 in New Hyde Park. She succeeded Dr. Ed Alleyne who held for post for 2 years. At that same meeting the CAMSA by laws were amended to change the term of the presidency from 2 years to 1, eliminate the post of President-elect, and create the post of Vice President.
Dr. Sukhram was born in Guyana, trained as a nurse midwife in England and is the holder of a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Columbia University School of Public Health and a doctorate in Education from Teachers College of Columbia University.
She has extensive experience as a health educator, women’s health clinician and international health consultant on USAID (United States Agency for International Development) projects in the Caribbean. Recent major stints have been with the health departments of Nassau and Suffolk counties. She is currently a student health clinician at Westbury Community College.
A founding member of CAMSA 10 years ago, Dr. Sukhram pledged to build on the accomplishments of her predecessors, and promised an aggressive recruitment effort to bring in new blood, raise CAMSA's profile and expand its local and Caribbean basin activities.
Others elected at that meeting were: Dr. Patricia Nicholas, Vice President and Colleen Brathwaite, Secretary. Nigel Nicholas was reelected as Treasurer.
CAMSA has developed an Outreach Program that conducts medical missions to underserved communities throughout the Caribbean. In addition to its missions, CAMSA organizes conferences and town hall meetings geared towards health promotion and the prevention of chronic diseases. Our program also includes health screening and distribution of literature.
CAMSA has developed a scholarship program to assist with tuition and other educational expenses.