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Articles from 2014

the state of cancer

December 29, 2014

Click here to read more on Dr. Otis W. Brawley's opinion on the state of cancer.

cancer symposium named in honor of dr. deborah brathwaite 

The annual BACA, CAMSA and BNAA cancer symposium has been renamed in honor of former CAMSA President Dr. Deborah Brathwaite who succumbed to breast cancer in 2013.  Present for the announcement were her daughter Sharifa Dickenson and sister Gail Brathwaite, a long-standing supporter of BACA.  The announcement was made at the September 13, 2014 symposium on breast cancer disparities keynoted by Dr. Kathie-Ann Joseph, Director of Breast Services at Bellevue Hospital. Dr. Brathwaite was a key organizer of these annual symposia.

BACA Held Hospice & Palliative Care Fundraiser Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

BACA held a fundraiser on Friday, September 19, 2014 in support of the Barbados Hospice & Palliative Care Initiative. A highlight of the evening was a video presentation on hospice and palliative care highlighting the experiences of three Barbadian families. The video, produced by BACA member and former chairman Jessica Odle-Baril, will be used to promote the initiative. A crowd of almost 100 people danced to the rhythms of Technic Music Mix, dined on a sumptious buffet and contributed funds via raffles and auction entries to help build the hospice.

BACA, the Caribbean American Medical & Scientific Association (CAMSA) and the Barbados Nurses Association of America (BNAA) are once more collaborating to present their annual cancer symposium on Saturday, September 13, 2014 from 3:00 to 6:00 pm in the Lillian Minkin Ballroom at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, 585 Schenectady Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.

This year's topic is Breast Cancer Inequities and will address the stark differences in all aspects of breast cancer services that leave a higher toll on minority populations.

Dr. Kathie-Ann Joseph, Director of Breast Services, South Manhattan Network, NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, will be the main speaker. She is well known for her passion in seeking to address disparities in breast cancer services and is an inspiring speaker.

The symposium is open to the public at no charge. Preregistration is recommended though not mandatory. To preregister, just send an email to secretary

BACA to Participate in Barbados Network Consultation 2014, 3rd Network Conference

BACA in conjunction with the Barbados Diaspora Collaborative USA (BDC USA), Inc. and the Barbados Association for Cancer Advocacy will be hosting a Forum on Hospice & Palliative Care in Barbados during the Barbados Network Consultation 2014, 3rd Network Conference.

The forum is scheduled for August 7 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Convention Center from 11:15 am to 1:15 pm and is free of charge to conference attendees and invited stakeholders.

Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, Senator the Honourable Maxine McClean is scheduled to give keynote remarks.

Others on the program include Dr. Natalie Greaves, Research Consultant, ES Caribbean Health Services-BARBADOS, who will provide an update on hospice and palliative care in Barbados; Ms. Rose Jackman of the Living Water Community who will speak to volunteerism in the hospice and palliative care setting - the Trinidad experience; and BACA's Chairman Dr. O'Neall Parris who will provide an update on the diaspora hospice initiative to build a hospice and palliative care facility in Barbados.

A highlight of the forum will be the airing of a moving documentary on hospice and palliative care featuring Barbadians including Member of Parliament Mara Thompson who speaks to her family's struggles as they faced the loss of former Prime Minister David Thompson. It was the brainchild of BACA member and former BACA Chairman Jessica Odle-Baril and will be used extensively as a public education tool.

The timeline for the hospice initiative projects services to start in 2016. With the support of the US, Canadian and UK diasporas, we can do this.
For further information, email us at Donations may be made via PayPal or by mail.

BACA Continues to Support Barbados Hospice Initiative

BDC USA continues to work with the Barbados Cancer Association (BACA), Inc. and the Barbados Ministry of Health to establish a free-standing Hospice & Palliative Care facility in Barbados. The timeline calls for construction in 2015 with services to start in 2016 and we are working assiduously towards these goals.

Barbadian US Diaspora individuals and organizations continue their individual donations and fundraising efforts with recent significant donations from alumni organizations, churches and individuals. A choral fundraiser sponsored by the People’s Institutional AME Church of Brooklyn on March 2 was quite successful and upcoming events planned by BACA are its traditional summer white event on June 7, annual cancer symposium on September 13 and  annual fundraiser on September 19.

Your continued support is much appreciated.

Annual BACA Gala Raised Funds for Barbados Hospice Initiative

At BACA's annual fundraiser held on Friday, September 20, 2013 at Riccardo's By The Bridge, four awards were presented for outstanding contributions to the Barbadian diaspora community. The honorees were: The Barbadian Ex-Policemen's Association; Dr. Deborah Brathwaite, President of the Caribbean American Medical & Scientific Association (CAMSA), Inc; Julia Hollingsworth-Brown, Public Relations Officer, National Association of Barbados Organizations (NABO), Inc, and Rev. Carrie Nobles, People's Institutional AME Church, Brooklyn, NY. In addition to enjoying a sumptuous buffet and the rhythms of Batch Productions, the attendees participated in auctions that raised additional funds for the hospice project in Barbados and overall proceeds topped several thousand dollars toward this worthy cause.  

BACA and CAMSA Held Annual Cancer Symposium on Saturday, September 14

At the Annual Cancer Symposium sponsored by the Barbados Cancer Association USA (BACA), Inc., the Caribbean American Medical & Scientific Association (CAMSA), Inc. and the Barbados Nurses' Association of America, attendees learned about the significant challenges facing gynecological cancer patients in Barbados and other West Indian islands. Dr. Vikash Chatrani, a gynecologic oncologist and faculty member at the University of the West Indies, outlined the number of cases and treatment options for patients. One issue he stressed was the lack and cost of chemotherapy drugs available for treatment. He also pointed out that while test result times were shortened in Barbados, other countries still experienced long lags in getting results to patients, which could inhibit speedy inception of treatment. Dr. Chatrani, who also is Clinical Director at the Barbados Cancer Society, thanked BACA for providing test equipment that he had been using for several years and had just discovered that had been provided by BACA.

Also addressing the topic of the symposium, Access and Cancer Care, was Dr. Camille Ragin, Associate Professor, Cancer Prevention and Control, Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Dr. Ragan reviewed results of several epidemiological studies and emphatically advised the audience about the need to ask probing questions about their cancer treatment in order to ensure the most appropriate treatment and care.

A special feature of the symposium was hearing from several cancer survivors about the difficulties they experienced in accessing care. Dr. Chatrani also recounted the case of a 95-year-old Barbadian patient who otherwise might not have been treated, but had recently undergone surgery and treatment for advanced cancer and had recovered exceptionally well. She served as a testimony to the efforts he's making to care for his patients.