They focused on building foundational knowledge and skills in general paediatric nursing and specialty knowledge and skills in paediatric oncology nursing care. The students started Semester 2 on December 5, 2016 with five weeks of online learning. In-class learning began on February 6, 2017, and will be complemented by six weeks of clinical practicum both at EWMSC and at their home institution, culminating with a final twelve-week internship component at their home institutions.
The second cohort of students will begin the program in May 2017 and will also include nurses from St. Lucia.
CIBC FirstCaribbean’s partnership with SickKids Foundation extends from the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in Barbados in 2013 when the bank pledged to provide US$1,000,000 over a seven-year period to train medical professionals specialising in the care of paediatric patients affected by cancer or blood disorders such as sickle cell disease. The partnership is being undertaken in collaboration with the University of the West Indies.
SickKids Foundation is a charity registered in the Caribbean, to, among other things, fund training for Caribbean medical professionals as part of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative (SCI) through the Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada.
Director of Corporate Communications at the bank and Trustee of the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation Ltd, Debra King, said "CIBC FirstCaribbean is delighted at the progress of the participants in the training programme. We have every confidence that they will all successfully complete this vital training which will greatly increase their capacity to care for some of the region’s most vulnerable children”.
The overall objective of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative is to enhance the care of children in the region who are affected by cancer and blood disorders, and ultimately increase the survival rates. The five-year plan that was developed by SickKids in association with their Caribbean partners addresses the region's gaps in capacity to advance diagnosis and the treatment of paediatric cancer and blood disorders.
It also aims to create awareness throughout the region of childhood cancers and blood disorders.