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Cleveland Clinic Florida teams up with Kingdor Parkinson Foundation and local neurologist to talk about Parkinson’s disease



Nestor Galvez-Jimenez, MD, Neurologist, Cleveland Clinic, Florida

July 12, 2022 – To help raise awareness in The Bahamas about Parkinson’s disease, a leading neurologist from Cleveland Clinic, Florida, Dr Nestor Galvez-Jimenez, recently teamed up with the Kingdor Parkinson Foundation and local neurologist, Dr Edwin Demeritte, in a Zoom interview to talk about life with the disease.

With hundreds of Bahamians suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Nestor Galvez-Jimenez,  said one of the best therapies for the disease that has no cure is exercise.

Describing it as a “condition of the aging brain”, Galvez-Jimenez said Parkinson’s is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder that typically impacts people over the age of 50.

While there are treatments on the market to help manage the symptoms — tremors, stiffness, slower movement, among others — Galvez-Jimenez said his best patients are those who exercise regularly.

“I can tell you that I have patients with Parkinson’s disease who are in their 90s and they still go on the treadmill, they walk,” he said.

“And I have to tell you, of the exercises, the ones that have shown to be helpful is Tai Chi for balance, biking, either stationary or non-stationary, has been shown to be helpful, and boxing has also shown to be helpful.”

Galvez-Jimenez said all those exercises keep participants moving, but noted that Tai Chi, tennis and boxing are particularly good for balance and reflexes.

Mavis Darling-Hill, President, Kingdor Parkinson Foundation

“So, you know, I just tell patients you need to keep active,” he said. “And whatever you do is better than nothing, because the normal tendency for someone with Parkinson’s is to just slow down and become a couch potato. Read books as well, cognitively speaking, and keep social.”

Parkinson’s is believed to impact far more Bahamians than those who seek professional help, according to Parkinson’s Foundation President Mavis Darling-Hill, who described it as a “closeted disease.”

“We imagine, looking at our population of older persons over 60 years old, there could be a couple of thousand [cases] here, because…the signs and symptoms are very difficult in the early stage, a lot of persons will try to hide the disease,” she said.

“And only when it gets to the point where they cannot hide it enough, they’d come forward or admit to it.”

Dr. Edwin Demeritte, one of just three neurologists in The Bahamas and the only Paediatric Neurologist, said the lack of uniform medical record keeping also complicates the issue.

“When we look at our record keeping systems, we’re not uniform with electronic medical records,” he said.

Dr. Edwin Demeritte, Neurologist, Bahamas Neurological Center

“So, again, one of the issues is using paper records instead of electronic medical records in coming up with the exact numbers. So, at this point in time, we probably may have maybe somewhere between 500 and 1000 people who have come forth, but a lot of those persons are not captured in our system because there’s no uniform medical record keeping.”

However, Demeritte noted that work is underway to correct the matter.

As it relates to the issue of social stigmatization, Galvez-Jimenez said better education on Parkinson’s is important.

“I can clearly understand what was said about having some sort of social stigma about some of these things because, you know, we need to educate our patients and the population,” he said.

“You know, there’s nothing wrong with Parkinson’s. It’s another condition that affects the brain. And one thing that I try to tell them is if somebody has diabetes or has high blood pressure, usually you don’t think about it. You just say I’m going to take my medication for high blood pressure or take my medication for my diabetes.

“Well, we have to start thinking about Parkinson’s disease and all the Parkinsonian syndromes the same way. You know, we have treatment options… but the idea is to make people comfortable enough to open up and speak about it.

“So, education is important.”

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1 World Foundation Impactful Visit to support children across the Turks & Caicos Islands.



May 21, 2024


The Department of Special Education Needs Services (SENS) of the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, and Culture is proud to announce the successful completion of a comprehensive screening initiative led by the dedicated 1 World team. Over the course of their visit, the team provided invaluable assessments and support to 55 children under the age of 8, across the islands of Grand Turk, South Caicos, North and Middle Caicos, and Providenciales.

The 1 World Foundation’s mission was to address various referral concerns, ensuring early detection and intervention for developmental and educational needs. Their work has significantly contributed to the well-being and future success of our young learners.

Director of SENS department, Dr. Anya Malcolm-Gibbs, expressed heartfelt gratitude for the team’s dedication: “We are immensely grateful for the 1 World team’s commitment to our children. They have provided services to this country over several years, and their expertise and compassion have provided critical support to our families. I wish to commend our Coordinator of Assessments, Mrs. Lashaunda Skippings, who spearheaded the initiative and ensured a smooth and effective visit.” Commenting on the program, Mrs. Skippings noted, “The assessments conducted by the 1 World team have been transformative for our children. By identifying specific needs early, we can tailor our interventions to better support each child’s unique development journey. This initiative has brought hope and clarity to many families across our islands.”

Minister of Education, Hon. Rachel Taylor, praised the initiative and its outcomes: “The visit of the 1 World team marks a significant step forward in our commitment to inclusive education. Their work aligns perfectly with our vision of providing comprehensive supports to all students, ensuring no child is left behind. We are dedicated to continuing this partnership and building on the progress made.”

During their visit, the 1 World team also engaged in a productive courtesy call with the Minister of Education, the Permanent Secretary Mrs. Cherylann Jones, and the Director of SENS. The meeting with the CEO of the 1 World Foundation provided an opportunity to discuss future collaborations and reinforce our shared commitment to the children of Turks and Caicos Islands.

This initiative exemplifies the power of partnership and the profound impact that dedicated professionals can have on the lives of children. The Department of Special Education Needs Services looks forward to continuing this important work and building a brighter future for all our students. For more information, please contact the department on

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 20th May 2024 – On Friday, 17th May 2024, the Special Education Needs Officer of the Education Department, Mrs. Faiada James, organized a pivotal training opportunity for K1 and Special Education teachers from across the Turks & Caicos Islands. This training, facilitated by the Coordinator Assessments, Mrs. Lashaunda Skippings, underscores the Ministry of Education’s commitment to enhancing early intervention strategies within the education system.

The training initiative provided educators with comprehensive sessions on General Soft Skills for Screening Exercises, followed by hands-on training for the administration of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). The ASQ is a developmental screening tool designed to identify children’s strengths and areas where they may need additional support. It evaluates five key areas: communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, problem-solving, and personal-social skills. Early intervention facilitated by the ASQ is crucial as it allows for timely identification of developmental delays, enabling educators and parents to provide targeted support and resources. This proactive approach significantly enhances children’s developmental outcomes, paving the way for their future academic and social success.

“The training was an enriching experience for our teachers,” stated Mrs. Faiada James. “We are equipping our educators with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively identify and support the developmental needs of our youngest learners. This initiative is a crucial step in our commitment to providing inclusive education for all.” The training was also attended by the Teacher Development and Training Education Officer, Dr. Keran Williams, and Early Childhood Education Officer, Ms. Heidi Williams.

Mrs. Lashaunda Skippings emphasized the importance of this tool, stating, “The Ages and Stages Questionnaire is instrumental in our early intervention efforts. By identifying developmental delays early, we can implement strategies and support systems that significantly improve a child’s developmental trajectory. This training ensures that our teachers are well-prepared to utilize the ASQ effectively.”

As part of the Ministry’s ongoing efforts to refresh and reinforce the use of screening tools in schools, all students entering K1 this September will undergo developmental screening using the ASQ. This initiative reflects the overall commitment to ensuring that every child has the best possible start to their educational journey. Director of Special Education Needs Services, Dr. Anya Malcolm-Gibbs, remarked, “seeing such a strong turnout of 30 teachers from across TCI is truly inspiring. Early screening and intervention are key components of our strategy to provide comprehensive support.”

Minister of Education, Hon. Rachel Taylor concluded, “I am immensely proud of the dedication shown by our educators. The ASQ training exemplifies our commitment to ensuring that every child in the Turks and Caicos Islands can succeed. By identifying and addressing developmental delays early, we are laying a strong foundation for the future of our children and our nation.”

The Ministry of Education is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and supportive learning environment. By equipping our teachers with the necessary skills and tools, we are taking significant steps towards improving educational outcomes for all students, particularly those with special needs. This training underscores the collective effort to improve early childhood education and ensure that all children in the Turks and Caicos Islands have access to the support they need to thrive.

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SCU AND TCICC STRENGTHEN HOSPITALITY IN THE CARIBBEAN  ~Using industry knowledge to train and develop ~ 



The Sandals Corporate University (SCU) continues to strengthen its reach and impact in the Caribbean and, in doing so, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (TCICC). This twoyear agreement will assist the TCICC in strengthening its Hospitality and Tourism programme to build local capacity and develop leadership in the industry from within the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The MoU signing is the second of its kind for the SCU in the region, following a recent agreement with the UWI Global Campus. Held at the Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa, the ceremony was attended by the Premier of Turks and Caicos, the Hon. Charles Washington Misick, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Rachel Taylor, Minister of Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Maritime, Gaming and Disaster Management, the Hon. Josephine Connolly, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart, President/CEO of TCICC, Dr. Candice Williams along with other dignitaries and leaders from both SCU and TCICC.

In his keynote address, Honourable Misick articulated the vision behind the partnership between the two entities. “The partnership between Sandals Corporate University and the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College was conceived with the vision of strengthening the local workforce. In under four months, we’ve made remarkable progress. By elevating educational standards and creating job opportunities, we’re not just enhancing the Human Development Index (HDI) for the Turks and Caicos; we’re building a more efficient economy.

“As we embark on this partnership with Sandals Corporate University, we recognise its transformative potential for our students and our country. Through collaboration, innovation, and shared expertise, we will enhance the quality of education and training and create pathways for our students to excel in their careers and become leaders in the industry,” noted Dr. Candice Williams.

In his remarks, Mr. Stewart affirmed the significant role of Sandals Corporate University (SCU) in the region, encouraging team members to embrace it as a catalyst for personal growth and self-improvement. He also commended the partnership with SCU and TCICC, noting “SCU’s commitment to providing internships annually is just a fraction of the exciting opportunities available through this collaboration.”

Honourable Taylor praised the partnership, adding that it represents “a visionary initiative aimed at harnessing our collective strengths to bolster a sector that is vital to our economy. As we formalise this agreement today, we are planting seeds for a future that holds unparalleled opportunities for our students, educators, and the hospitality industry at large.”

The SCU will also work with the TCICC to identify subject matter experts from Sandals and Beaches Resorts who will be willing to give guest lectures, provide input into the curriculum being developed for the TCICC’s Hospitality and Tourism Management programmes and provide opportunities to promote enrolment of Sandals and Beaches team members in relevant programmes offered at the TCICC.

Additionally, the SCU will endeavour to facilitate the placement of up to 100 interns from TCICC within Sandals and Beaches Resorts per year for work experience and a formal Internship programme for students at various levels. Lastly, the SCU will, where possible, provide the opportunity for TCICC students’ international certifications through their partnerships with accrediting bodies in all aspects of hospitality management and technical related areas


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