Caribbean Strong, under the slogan of “Building Resilience with Equity,” is the first post-Hurricane María resilience summit to be held this year, at the Sheraton of the Convention Center Hotel from Feb. 27 to Mar. 1, organizers confirmed.
The summit will focus on the lessons learned after the two
devastating hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico and the caribbean region in 2017.
It is expected that during the event various entities and leaders of key
sectors from within and outside of Puerto Rico will share their experiences,
lessons learned and evidence-based recommendations to improve resilience in
health and public health systems.
Likewise, emphasis will be placed on the critical need for
collaboration and integration in all sectors to improve and strengthen the
health and resilience of Caribbean citizens and communities during this
important phase of recovery and reconstruction.
“The Caribbean Region is at a unique moment in history to ‘Build
back better,’ and this will require a new level of leadership focused on
pursuing innovative strategies that are centered on data-based approaches and
lessons learned to maximize the opportunities available,” said Lucy
Crespo, CEO of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust.
“We decided to organize this summit as part of our role to
promote the wellbeing of our citizens through an event in which experts in
disaster response and management, emergency medicine, and public health
preparedness, bring us their lessons to improve the outcomes when facing a
possible future hurricane or disaster,” she said.
In Puerto Rico and the Caribbean region, most systems, both private
and public, were affected by the hurricanes. An integrated review of the
resilience of all sectors and their interdependencies is essential to develop
evidence-based best practices for the future.
That is why the presentations and keynotes of Caribbean Strong, will
focus on the topics of medically fragile populations, mental health,
infrastructure, hospitals, access to healthcare, food and water, community
resilience, institutional resilience, healthcare education and communications,
public health, community health response and non-governmental organizations.
Caribbean Strong is brought to Puerto Rico by the Society for
Disaster, Medicine and Public Health whose mission is to advance and promote excellence
in education, training and research in disaster medicine and public health
based on sound educational principles, scientific evidence and best practices, clinical
and public health, for all possible entities of the health system response.
The event will feature Dr. Richard E. Besser as keynote speaker.
Besser is the president and chief executive officer of the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation, the largest private foundation in the United States dedicated
exclusively to the improvement of the health of the nation, which focuses on
building a Culture of Health that provides everyone with the opportunity to
live the healthiest life possible regardless of their finances, geographic
location, race, ethnicity or physical challenges. He will focus on how the
culture of health approach can enhance resiliency following disasters.
Likewise, the recommendations and discussions from a local panel comprised
of local leaders of the most critical public and private sectors of Puerto Rico
including telecommunications, banking, fuel and logistics, food distribution, electric
power and water is anticipated.
All will present the biggest challenges experienced during and post
hurricanes Irma and María; and will have the opportunity to present their plans
to for averting future catastrophe when faced with another hurricane or similar
event to hundreds of participants and entrepreneurs.