National Health Research Conference 2020

The NHRC 2020 was Virtual

The COVID-19 Experience: Adjusting to the New Normal

November 19-20, 2020

Featuring Abstracts on

Mental health
Occupational health and safety
Health innovations
Maternal health

Catch the NHRC 2020 highlights below

About the event

Conference Activities Over the Decade

The inaugural National Health Research Conference was held on November 25-26, 2010 at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel under the theme Bringing Health Research into Focus. The Conference sought to highlight research being conducted by the Ministry of Health, other institutions and individuals, and to facilitate discussions on national and regional research priorities, while providing an opportunity for health research networking. The original purpose has transitioned over the decade to the current objectives:

  1. To share the findings of health studies conducted by the Ministry of Health and Wellness and other institutions and individuals in Jamaica;
  2. To identify operational research with the potential to influence or be translated into policy;
  3. To facilitate special discussions and presentations that focus on the conference theme.

Zoom Presenters

View Conference Recordings

Poster Presentations

Poster NumberPoster TitlePresenting Author 
NHRC-20-P-01The Mental Health Status of SDA Leaders in JamaicaDr. Paul BourneView
NHRC-20-P-02Food Consumption Pattern of Children at Wakefield Primary School in Trelawny, JamaicaMs. Tabitha MucheeView
NHRC-20-P-03Non-communicable conditions among SDA Leaders in JamaicaDr. Paul BourneView
NHRC-20-P-04Is sub-dermal implant removal indicative of contraceptive discontinuationDr. Pauline Russell BrownView
NHRC-20-P-05Improving Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Management in Kingston, Jamaica (ImPOK)Dr. Kimberley SommervilleView
NHRC-20-P-06COVID-19 Outbreak Impact on Stroke Incidence: the Jamaican ExperienceDr. Kimikawa ChannerView
NHRC-20-P-07Hunger/Underweight and violent behaviour during COVID-19Ms. Patricia ThompsonView
NHRC-20-P-08It Takes Two to Conceive: Attitudes of Adolescent Males Towards Sex and Adolescent PregnancyMr. Megueal JulienView
NHRC-20-P-09Realigning Institutional Occupational Health & Safety Practices During COVID-19Mr. Shaun WellingtonView
NHRC-20-P-10Social Media Health Interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic: A rapid systematic reviewMs. Susan MuirView
NHRC-20-P-11Achieving safe fish consumption among pregnant women in JamaicaDr. Phylicia RickettsView
NHRC-20-P-12Investigating muscular adaptation to a swim-type and a track-type training regime in elite junior athletesMs. Janel BaileyView
NHRC-20-P-14A new maternal mortality classification system highlights the importance of infection as a cause of death, Jamaica (1998-2018)Dr. Leroy CampbellView
NHRC-20-P-15The Pediatric Pulmonology Clinic at the University Hospital of the West Indies; the Response to COVID-19Prof. Jennifer Knight MaddenView
NHRC-20-P-17Comparing the health seeking behaviours of pregnant women in two JFPA clinics in the time of COVID-19Dr. Pauline Russell-BrownView
NHRC-20-P-18Nicotine differentially cross-talk with Alcohol and MarijuanaMs. Hasina NicholsonView
NHRC-20-P-19Prevalence and Determinants of Perceived Quality of Healthcare among Health Centre Attendees with Diabetes and HypertensionDr. Ashley LewisView
NHRC-20-P-20Policy Implications Governing the Novel Sexual and Reproductive Health-COVID-19 FrameworkMr. Marvin JosephView

List of Research Prize Awardees: 2011-2020

Best Oral Presentation

Ms. Shelly McFarlane

Most Relevant Research

Ms. Shelly McFarlane

Best Poster Presentation

Ms. A. Elijio

Best Oral Presentation

Dr. Michelle Hamilton

Best Poster Presentation

Ms. Sharon Dawson

Best Student Presentation

Ms. Joan Thomas

Best Oral Presentation

Dr. Glendee Reynolds-Campbell

Best Poster Presentation 

Dr. Ted Rhoden

Best Oral Presentation

Dr. Yohance Rodriguez

Best Student Oral Presentation

Dr. Paul Brown

Best Poster Presentation

Mrs. Julia Russell-Brown

Best Poster Presentation

Mr. Rupert Stephens

Best Oral Presentation

Mr. Elroy Glabraith

Best Student Oral Presentation

Mrs. Karen Thompson-Nelson

Best Poster Presentation

Mrs. Nadean Simmonds-Lewis

Best Oral Presentation

Mr. Damian Francis

Best Student Oral Presentation

Ms. Stacy-Ann Aiken

Most Impactful Presentation

Dr. Lizette Mowatt

Best Poster Presentation

Dr. Tana Ricketts-Roomes

Best Oral Presentation

Dr. Sheray Chin

Best Oral Student Presentation

Mr. Damian Francis

Best Poster Presentation

Dr. Pauline Russell-Brown

Most Impactful Presentation

Ms. Karen Brown

Best Oral Presentation

Dr. Gad Onywere

Most Impactful Oral Presentation

Dr. Cary Fletcher

Best Poster Presentation

Dr. Rajeev Venugopal

Most Impactful Poster Presentation

Ms. Mauvette Waite

Best Student Poster Presentation

Dr. Charisse Best

Best Overall Oral Presentation

Ms Shamonia Francis

Best Student Presentation

Ms Shamonia Francis

Most Impactful Oral Presentation

Dr Ijah Thompson

Best Overall Poster Presentation

Mrs Sherika Whitlocke-Ballingsingh

Best Student Poster Presentation

Jacqueline Ellis & Dr Paul Bourne

Most Impactful Poster Presentation

Rochelle Amour & Trudy King

Oral Presentations

Mr. Kevhvan Graham

Best Oral Presentation

Analysis of Actinobacteria Isolates for Evidence of the Production of Antimicrobial Compounds”


Patients Encouraged To Take Full Course Of Antibiotics

Researcher Seeks To Identify Antibiotics To Lessen Stress Of Resistant Bacteria

Ms. Tiffany Butterfield

Best Policy Impact-Oral Presentation 

Assessment of Commercial SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Assays, Jamaica” 


Antibody Testing Kits Can Detect Past SARS COV 2 Infections – UWI Study


Poster Presentations

Dr Kimberley Sommerville

Best Student Poster Presentation 

Improving Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Management in Kingston, Jamaica (ImPOK)” 


Researcher Wants Nutrition Labels That Can Lead To Healthier Food Choices

Dr Leroy Campbell

1.      Best Poster Presentation 

 A new maternal mortality classification system highlights the importance of infection as a cause of death, Jamaica (1998-2018)” 


Researchers Recommend Reclassification Of Causes Of Pregnancy-Related Deaths

2.      Most Impactful Poster Presentation 


Mrs Stephanie Bernard-Stephens

Mrs Karen Nelson

Mr Hector Burrowes

Dr Cary Fletcher

Mrs. Patricia Ingram Martin

Chief Nursing Officer

Her nursing career spans over twenty-five years, starting at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, the only Maternity Hospital in Jamaica in 1994 where she moved through the ranks of Registered Nurse, Registered Nurse Midwife, Inservice Education Officer, and Deputy Director of Nursing Services.  She was seconded to the Bustamante Hospital for Children, the only Paediatric Hospital in Jamaica in 2010 as Director of Nursing Services where she spent seven (7) Years, before being seconded to the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) as Chief Nursing Office in December 2017. 

Mrs. Ingram-Martin has served in many capacities locally and regionally.  She served as member of the Nursing Council of Jamaica, the Bustamante Hospital for Children Management Committee, the South East Regional Health Authority’s Human Resource and Finance Sub Committees, secretary of the Nurses Association of Jamaica’s Senior Administrative Nursing Group (SANG) and chair of the Nursing Education Subcommittee of the Regional Nursing Body (RNB).   She has also served as the Permanent Secretary’s representative on the Management Board of the North East Regional Health Authority.  She is currently the Deputy Chair of the Regional Nursing Body (RNB). 

Mrs. Ingram-Martin is a guest Lecturer at the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ Insevice Education Unit, and has served as Associate Lecturer for UWISON, Mona.

She is married with two children.

Ms. Wahkeen Murray

Ms Wahkeen Murray is the Chief Technical Director with responsibility for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology and has held this position since 2012. 

She has been working in the field of ICT since 2003 and has, over the last 17 years, been exposed to and developed knowledge and expertise in the areas of telecommunications, electronic commerce, intellectual property rights, cyber security and data protection. 

Miss Murray is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from that institution. She was called to the Jamaican Bar in 2003. She also holds a Masters of Laws in Technology, Media and Telecommunications Law from Queen Mary University of London. 

Wilmore Webley, Ph.D.

Dr. Webley is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and the Director of PreMed/Pre-Health Advising at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Webley was born in Dry Hill District, Bellas Gate P.O, St. Catherine, Jamaica and was the first in his family to attend high school and college. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology at Northern Caribbean University. Webley earned the M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with expertise in Immunology, Infectious Disease and Host-pathogen interaction with a concentration in vaccine development.

Dr. Webley is a Fulbright Scholar, a recipient of the Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching (UMass Amherst, 2019), the Distinguished Teaching Award in recognition for outstanding teaching accomplishments, a recipient of the Black Student Union Award for Outstanding Devotion & Dedication to the Profession and a Commonwealth Honors College Faculty Lecture Series Awardee/Presenter (2013 -2014). He serves the UMass community in various capacities including as a faculty senator, a member of the Rules Committee and the University Health Council. He also serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Vaccines & Immunization, the Journal of Medical Microbiology & Diagnosis and Microbiology & Experimentation. He is a member of the International Society for Vaccines, American Society for Microbiology and the Chlamydia Basic Research Society.

Dr. Webley’s research focuses on infectious disease mechanisms and the role of specific infections in chronic diseases. Specifically, the Webley Lab is pioneering work in Chlamydia vaccine development and the role of pathogenic microbes in asthma initiation and exacerbation. His laboratory was the first to culture Chlamydia from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples taken from pediatric patients with chronic, severe asthma and has since shown that early-life chlamydial infection increases the risk for asthma onset and results in a unique asthma phenotype. His recent work has demonstrated the efficacy of antibiotics in treating a subset of severe asthmatics. His work has been published in reputable international journals and has made significant contributions to the field of microbiology, vaccinology, allergy and immunology. Dr. Webley was recognized in national media coverage for organizing and moderating a panel on the 2014 Ebola outbreak that originated in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and spread to several other countries including the United States. He is made multiple presentations to various groups on the Coronavirus Pandemic including radio shows, TV shows, YouTube and Facebook live events.

Having personally benefitted from the remarkable generosity of excellent mentors, Dr. Webley is a staunch advocate for effective student mentoring, excellence in educational pursuits and is a leader in student success initiative. In his current role as Director of Pre-Med/Pre-Health Advising, he guides and mentors students in order to enhance their competitiveness for admission to Medical, Dental, Physician.

Assistant programs and other health professions programs.

Dr. Stephanie Fletcher-Lartey

Dr Stephanie Fletcher-Lartey is a public health and bio-preparedness epidemiologist with over 23 years of public health experience. Her career spans the areas of research, and frontline infectious disease management, environment health and emergency response.

Dr Fletcher-Lartey started her career as a Public Health Inspector in Jamaica, with her last role being Regional Environmental Health Officer for the North East Regional Health Authority. She has completed a Doctor of Philosophy Degree specializing in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. She also holds a Master of Public Health with Distinction from UWI, in addition to her undergraduate and Post-basic training in public health inspection.

She has extensive experience in leading Communicable Disease Surveillance and Emergency Response activities, including her role as coordinator for the Caribbean Regional Burden of Illness Study and the Jamaican arm of the study in 2008-2009. She has worked for over 5 years as Bio-preparedness Epidemiologist at the New South Wales Ministry of Health in Australia.

Stephanie has a growing track record with more than 50 articles and book chapters in peer-review publications. She has also served as an Advisor to the Australian Government Aid program to the Fiji Health System in 2018.

In 2020, Stephanie was awarded the prestigious Sanofi Pasteur Communicable Diseases Epidemiology Award by the International Society for Infectious diseases for her exemplary work in communicable disease epidemiology in Australia.

Stephanie has also won numerous awards including the Jamaican Governor General Youth in Excellence Award, in 2007. Jamaican Association of Public Health Inspectors’ Presidential award for outstanding professional and academic achievements to name a few.

She currently works for the Caribbean Public Health Agency as a Consultant, coordinating the work of the Health Information, Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response Team.

Dr. Kimberly Brouwer

Dr. Kimberly Brouwer is a professor and infectious disease epidemiologist at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at the University of California San Diego.  She applies her expertise in mixed methods research to developing new approaches to public health challenges.  A recurrent theme of her research has been to explore the effect of mobility and marginalization on transmission and diffusion of infectious diseases. She further explores the effect of structural, spatial, and social factors on access to preventive and medical services.  

Dr. Brouwer also serves as the Vice Chair for Public Health Education and co-directs the Global Health track of the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health.  She originally earned her Ph.D. in molecular epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to investigate factors relating to disease severity of schistosomiasis in Zimbabwe. Prior to her appointment at UC San Diego, she worked as an Emerging Infectious Diseases fellow at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Dr. Kevin Goulbourne

Dr. Kevin Goulbourne hails from the cool hills of Malvern in St. Elizabeth where he obtained his formative education at the Bethlehem All-Age School. After completing his secondary education at Munro College he pursued his first medical degree, M.B.B.S. at UWI, Mona and later specialized in the field of Psychiatry. He has special interest in drug abuse treatment and completed the 2007 Hubert Humphrey Fellowship in Drug  Abuse and Health Services Management at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA.

Dr Goulbourne currently serves as board member of Patricia House, a drug abuse rehabilitation facility in Kingston. He has also served as the Chairman of the National Council on Drug Abuse. He has attended and participated in conferences and training locally and overseas in the field of Psychiatry.

Dr Goulbourne served as the Regional Psychiatrist in the Western Regional Health Authority from 2000 to 2010 and later worked for a few months as a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Bellevue Hospital. For several years he occupied the post of Medical Director of the Medical Services Branch in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) where he has been involved in an ongoing drive to encourage a healthy life style and early intervention in treating medical conditions through regular screening of members of the JCF.

Since April 2018 he has occupied the post of Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Dr Goulbourne is married. In his spare time he likes to engage in outdoor activities such as football, cricket, cycling and lawn tennis. He is a member of the Runaway Bay Tabernacle, Jamaica Psychiatric Association and Medical Association of Jamaica.

Dr. Kai Morgan, Psy.D

Dr. Kai A. D. Morgan is a licensed clinical psychologist in Jamaica, with a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology obtained from Carlos Albizu University in September 2001.

Dr Morgan worked as a Clinical Psychologist at the University of the West Indies as a lecturer and the University Hospital of the West Indies for 15 years as a consultant in the Department of Community Health & Psychiatry.  In 2016, she took a giant leap into the entrepreneurial world to include a private practice and consultancy work, family manufacturing business, an outdoor cinema and mobile outdoor advertising business endeavours.

Dr. Morgan’s private practice includes a team of 8 other associate clinical psychologists (Masters level persons) and services include both therapy (e.g. for trauma, depression, anxiety, personality disorders) and assessment (e.g. psychoeducational, personality, behavioural, neuropsychological) as well as research, organizational consultancies and training services for various purposes.

Dr Morgan is currently the President of the Jamaican Psychological Society (JamPsych) and her research interests include sexual behaviour, motivation, relationship dynamics, and anything regarding Caribbean culture and psychology.

Dr. Earl G. Wright, MB BS, MPH

Dr. Earl Wright is a Consultant Psychiatrist. He is also President of the Jamaica Psychiatric Association and Chairman of the Mental Health Technical Group MOHW.

He is the past Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in the Ministry of Health. Previously he held a similar position as Director of Community Mental Health Services for the State of New York for the borough of Manhattan.

A Kingston College Old Boy and a medical graduate of the University of the West Indies, he completed his postgraduate medical education at Harlem Hospital/Columbia University, New York, where he did his Psychiatry Residency and also obtained a Masters in Public Health specializing in Community Mental Health from Columbia University.

At the Harlem Hospital Center he became the Clinical Coordinator/Staff Psychiatrist of the Consultation Liaison Services. His next position was Chief of Service and Director of Residency training, for Manhattan Psychiatric Centre, New York University. He later took the position of Medical Director for Upper Manhattan Mental Health Center.

He returned to Jamaica in 1980 for two years and for good in 1992 during which time he worked as Medical Officer of Health in St. Thomas Health Department before taking up the position of Director of Mental Health at the Ministry of Health.

During his tenure as Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in the Ministry of Health, he guided the process of integration of mental health with general healthcare services in the Government health service and championed the promotion of mental health. He acted on many occasions as Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health.

Dushyant Savadia, Founder & CEO, Amber Group

A Social Entrepreneur, Tech Visionary and Global Humanitarian

Described as “Uber of Telematics” by Sunday Tribune, Dushyant is an internationally acclaimed global entrepreneur, eminent humanitarian, public speaker and a technology disruptor, driven by a vision to give back.

From ideation to execution, Savadia’s passion for innovation and his commitment to excellence has translated into several successful global technology Companies under the Amber Group.

Born in India, he has proudly made Jamaica his home for the last seven years and has also headquartered the Amber Group on the island with offices in India and South Africa.

The Amber Group comprises seven business lines and currently operates in 23 countries across the globe.

Dushyant is an International Program Director of the Art of Living Foundation, one of the largest global humanitarian NGOs that focuses on improving the quality of life by focusing on developing a stress-free, violence-free global society. He has extensively travelled to over 50 countries across the globe and has personally led stress management workshops to people from different walks of life – from farmers to corporate executives, inner city communities to heads of state as well as youths to prison inmates to reduce stress, crime and violence.

Early in 2015, to consistently and sustainably fund social intervention programs, he ventured into private sector in the global tech arena, and has since created several innovative companies while remaining a champion of social change.