Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency & Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine establish partnership to improve region’s healthcare preparedness

December 12, 2019
Leaders signing a collaboration agreement

Groups sign agreement to collaborate on strengthening disaster medicine in the Caribbean

CUPECOY, Sint Maarten – December 12, 2019 – With a focus on improving the delivery of healthcare services in the Caribbean in times of disaster, leaders from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine’s Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine (CCDM) signed an agreement to increase collaboration between the groups. Silveria Jacobs, prime minister of Sint Maarten, addressed attendees at the signing ceremony, speaking on the impact of Hurricane Irma and the importance of building resiliency.

Through the partnership, CDEMA, the regional agency for disaster management, and the CCDM, which focuses on disaster medicine education and training, will bring together stakeholders and resources to train professionals and enable the public to better prepare for disaster-related medical and healthcare issues.

"We have been engaging centres of higher learning in the Caribbean for some time as a means of ensuring that the agency is cultivating a brain trust that can aid in development of innovative programmes to drive the Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management and Resilience Mandate among participating states,” said Ronald Jackson, executive director of CDEMA. “Previously, we have leveraged these efforts around the University of the West Indies (UWI), University of Technology (UTECH) and University of Guyana. We are now happy, therefore, to be engaging with knowledgeable partners, beyond our traditional community of actors, such as the Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine (CCDM) at American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine, so that we are able to benefit from a wider pool of knowledge resources that can aid our resilience building efforts.”

“CDEMA is a leader in helping our communities manage the impact of natural disasters and a critical partner in our mission to improve disaster preparedness and response from a health care perspective,” said Mark Quirk, executive director of the CCDM. “Through this agreement, the CCDM pledges to move our work with CDEMA forward as we focus on collaborative efforts in education and training for healthcare and non-healthcare professionals. Together, we will work across islands and across countries with experts from multiple fields and disciplines to improve disaster resilience in the Caribbean.”

“The agreement between CDEMA and the CCDM is a great link for Sint Maarten, thereby enhancing our disaster preparedness and response in relation to medical and healthcare. American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine plays such a great role here on Sint Maarten, and we hope to continue forging ways of collaboration in the interest of education and healthcare,” said Silveria Jacobs, prime minister of Sint Maarten. “With some of the challenges Sint Maarten is currently facing getting our projects up and running, we hope that any actions, decisions and future plans from this partnership may give us better direction in the way we respond to the needs of our communities and in safeguarding and promoting the overall health of the people of Sint Maarten before, during and after a disaster. This way, we may look forward to the real actions and benefits on the ground for Sint Maarten and the rest of the region.”

The partnership will be highlighted at the 2020 International Conference on Disaster Medicine and Hurricane Resiliency, March 26-29. Organized by the CCDM, the conference provides an opportunity for attendees to receive continuing medical education (CME) credit. Healthcare providers, administrators, educators, researchers and emergency personnel are encouraged to attend. Full conference details and online registration are available at

About Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is the regional inter-governmental agency for disaster management in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  The Agency comprises 18 Participating States that are actively engaged in comprehensive disaster management (CDM). The CDM approach addresses all phases of the disaster management cycle (mitigation, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery) and focuses on all hazards, all peoples and sectors of society.  CDEMA is showcasing the highlights of achievements in implementing the 2014-2024 CDM Strategy and Framework in the Caribbean. The Strategy is the platform for delivery of the Sendai Framework in the Caribbean region and the driving force for building and strengthening disaster resilience in the CDEMA Participating States. 

About American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC School of Medicine) is an institution of Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE), a global education provider headquartered in the United States. AUC School of Medicine’s mission is to train tomorrow’s physicians, whose service to their communities and their patients is enhanced by international learning experiences, a diverse learning community, and an emphasis on social accountability and engagement. Founded in 1978, AUC School of Medicine has more than 7,000 graduates, many of whom work in primary care or underserved areas. Dedicated to developing physicians with a lifelong commitment to patient-centered care, AUC School of Medicine embraces collaboration, inclusion and community service. With a campus in Sint Maarten, affiliated teaching hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom, and internationally recognized faculty, AUC School of Medicine has a diverse medical education program for today’s globally minded physician. For more information visit, follow AUC School of Medicine on Twitter (@aucmed), Instagram (@aucmed_edu) and Facebook (@aucmed).

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