News and Center Activities

April 1, 2017


Caribbean Exploratory Research Center 2016 Institute on Public Health and Climate Change

The World Health Organization has identified climate change as the largest public health challenge of the 21st Century. The US Virgin Islands, like the rest of the Caribbean, has begun to feel the predicted manifestations of climate change, including increased air and water temperatures, droughts, and outbreaks of vector-borne diseases like Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, and Zika. At the national level, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that because of climate change, “some existing health threats will intensify and new health threats will emerge”, and that the impact of climate change on health will vary depending on age, economic resources, and location ( And at the local level, CERC is among the groups concerned that a population with the high numbers of cases of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and other health challenges seen in the Virgin Islands will require significant adaptation initiatives to ensure any improvement in public health under climate change induced high temperatures and drought conditions. The US Virgin Islands Executive Order on Climate Change identifies the need to address the public health challenges that are emerging as a result of climate change and to develop initiatives to tackle the challenges on individual and institutional levels if the Territory is going to adapt to a changing environment. The CERC 2016 Institute, held on October 27, 2016, was designed to focus on the following three aims:
  • Provide an opportunity to identify and review the issues associated with the manifestations of climate change on public health in the US Virgin Islands and Caribbean;
  • Identify gaps and deficiencies in institutional and individual responses to the challenges to public health posed by climate change; and
  • Generate a list of constructive and viable adaptation responses appropriate for VI institutions and individuals.
The CERC 2016 Institute Final Report and videos of the activity present the participants, activities and outcomes of the Institute.

Videos of the 2016 CERC Institute

June 12, 2012

CERC Scholar, Greta Hart-Hyndman, receives Doctorate Degree

Dr. Greta Hart-Hyndman with her Mentor, Dr. Sandra Underwood

Greta Hart-Hyndman, CERC Scholar, receives her Doctorate Degree from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

April 18, 2012

Research Scholar - Greta Hart-Hyndman

Violence As A Public Health Issue: An Analysis of United States Virgin Islands Homicides - 2006-2010

October 20-21, 2011


Partnerships, Collaborations, and Models to Reduce Health Disparities in the USVI and the Caribbean

The Caribbean Exploratory NIMHD Research Center for Excellence convened its Fourth Health Disparities Institute October 19-21, 2011 at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef in St. Thomas, USVI.

The Fourth Annual CERC Health Disparities Institute attracted public health scientists, pharmacists, nurses, allied health professionals, physicians, social workers, health policy makers, health educators, researchers, and public and community health leaders with an interest in eliminating health disparities utilizing multidisciplinary approaches.

This Institute focused on replicable multidisciplinary collaborative models and approaches from the clinical, research, and community arenas that integrate all levels of providers to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities in the USVI and the Caribbean.

July 13-17, 2011


The National Black Nurses Association Conference, (NBNA) was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, July 13 -17, 2011. This annual event is an opportunity for nurses to network with other nurses, colleges and universities, affiliates on research and new innovations in research and medicine.

The Caribbean Exploratory Research Center presented "Protecting Haitian Women and Children Earthquake Survivors from Violence and Abuse" on July 13.

UNICEF correspondent MP Nunan reports on efforts to change attitudes about gender-based violence in post-earthquake Haiti

October 21 & 22, 2010


The Caribbean Exploratory [NCMHD] Research Center of Excellence (CERC) School of Nursing, University of the Virgin Islands held its 3rd Annual Institute on October 21 & 22, 2010 at Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort on St. Thomas.

This years topic was "The State of Mental Health & Substance Abuse: An Issue For All Ethnic/Minority and Caribbean Populations".

  • Honorable Izben Williams, PhD, delivers Keynote
  • Dr. Frank Mills, Advisory Board Member
  • Dr. Mills, Amb. Williams & Del. Christensen
  • Ophelia Powell-Torres & Provost Karl Wright
  • A cross section of the Virgin Islands community
  • Participants Day 1
  • Laura Aponte, Health & Human Services
  • Panel on Mental Health Services in the VI
  • Dr. David Shern, Luncheon Speaker, Day 1
  • Dr. Earlise Ward
  • Dr. Arthur L. Whaley
  • CERC Research Scholar Making Presention
  • Dr. E. Ramsay-Johnson
  • Poster Presentation Display
  • Poster Presentation
  • National Library of Medicine exhibit
  • Dr. Callwood & Day 1 Participants
  • Dr. Annelle Prim, American Psychiatric Assoc.
  • Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell
  • Dr. Hemsley Stewart, University of the West Indies
  • Caribbean Countries Panelists
  • Participants Day 2
  • Participants Day 2
  • Participants Day 2

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August 3 - 8, 2010


The National Black Nurses Association Conference, (NBNA) was held in San Diego, California, August 3rd thru August 8th, 2010. This annual event is an opportunity for nurses to network with other nurses, colleges and universities, affiliates on research and new innovations in research and medicine.

Attending the Conference was Drs. Gloria B. Callwood, E. Aracelis Francis & Doris W. Campbell, Tyra U De Castro, Desiree Bertrand from the UVI. CERC Consultants that also attended were Drs. Jacquelyn Campbell, Sandra Underwood, Hossein Yarandi, Faye Gary, Phyllis Sharps & Catherine Coverston; along with CERC Scholars Mrs. Greta Hart-Hyndman, Mrs. Lisa LaPlace-Knight, Mr. Francis Callwood & Ms. Rashida Francis. In addition, graduate students Princess Onesha Stuard and Natasha Caines also was in attendance.

March 5 - 6, 2010


The Caribbean Exploratory Research Center held it's semi-annual Advisory Board Meeting on Friday, March 5, 2010 and Saturday, March 6, 2010 at the Emerald Beach Resort on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

On each day of the meeting we had a drawing for free nights at the Emerald Beach Resort. On Friday, March 5, the winners were Mrs. Lorna Sutton and Dr. Michael Radelet. On Saturday, March 6, the winners were Dr. Phyllis Sharps and Dr. Gilbert Sprauve.
  • Drs. Radelet, Callwood, LaVeist, Campell
  • R. Dennery-Francis with Res. Edu Training Core
  • Research Core Advisory Board Meeting March 2010
  • Drs. Yarandi, Francis, Tull
  • Drs. Franklin, Galiber

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  • Advisory Board Meeting Day 2
  • Advisory Board Meeting, March 6, 2010
  • Advisory Board Members listening closely
  • Advisory Board Members
  • Dr. Radelet asking questions
  • Dr. Galiber in back ready to ask questions
  • Francis Callwood CERC Scholar
  • Francis Callwood
  • Francis Callwood responding to questions
  • Francis Callwood
  • Francis Callwood
  • G. Hart-Hyndman presenting
  • G. Hart-Hyndman
  • G. Hart-Hyndman wrapping up
  • Lisa LaPlace-Knight CERC Scholar
  • Lisa LaPlace-Knight
  • Members listening
  • Rashida Francis CERC Scholar
  • Rashida Francis presenting
  • Sally Browne CERC Scholar
  • Sally Browne
  • Terry Lynch CERC Scholar
  • T. Lynch giving presentation
  • Tyra U De Castro CERC Administrative Assistant

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February 13 - 15, 2010


CERC at the St. Croix Agriculture and Food Fair

Desiree Bertrand and Dr. Callwood

UVI President David Hall, PhD & Dr. Henry Smith, Vice Provost

CERC Poster

October 14 - 17, 2009


From the Progress Post, Senator Patrick Simeon Sprauve

The Nursing Division of the University of the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean Exploratory Research Center hosted their 2nd Annual Health Disparities Institute, a two day conference at the Westin Resort on St. John, October 15th and 16th.

The attendees had the privilege of meeting keynote speaker, Ambassador Margaret Heckler. Mrs. Heckler served in President Ronald Reagan's cabinet as the Ambassador to Ireland and also served as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. During her tenure she spoke about an array of public health issues, including the emergence of AIDS as a serious crisis.

The conference also provided an opportunity for the Virgin Islands and Caribbean as a whole to openly converse about the issues facing our local communities and the larger Caribbean community.

The Virgin Islands community is made up of predominately people of Afro Caribbean descent. The leading cause of death in our community is heart disease, while the 3rd leading cause of death is assault/homicide followed by diabetes. This conference is necessary if we are going to find solutions to both the health and social problems that disproportionately affect our community.

Senator Sprauve offered opening remarks as a member of the 28th Legislature and Chairman of the Committee on Health. His remarks focused on the Territory developing a preventive health care campaign. Sprauve stated, "Sadly, as a society many of us do not regularly visit our doctor, especially men of color! Disease prevention is essential if we are to develop a healthy community. Disease prevention coupled with improvements within our social services infrastructure and access to education will improve both the preventable and social ills facing this Territory."
Gloria Callwood, Ambassador Heckler

Dr. Gloria Callwood with Ambassador Heckler
VIDEO Welcome
by Donna M. Christensen, Delegate to Congress

  • Adeline Williams-Connor
  • At the Invitational
  • Complete attention at the Invitational
  • Dept. of Health invitees to the Invitational
  • Discussing items at the Invitational
  • Dr. Callwood at the Invitational
  • Dr. Callwood listening at the Invitational
  • Dr. Campbell asking a question at the Invitational
  • Dr. Ramsay-Johnson listing some items at the Invitational
  • Dr. Sandra Underwood listening at the Invitational
  • Elleanor Paul O'Neil giving proposal
  • Francis Callwood looking over his proposal notes
  • Joanne Cobb-Joseph explaing proposal
  • JudyAnne Ross answering questions on her proposal
  • Lisa LaPlace Knight giving her proposal
  • Lorna Sutton & Tyra De Castro at the Invitational
  • Mrs. Torres answering questions on her proposal
  • Other invitees to the Invitational
  • Rashida Francis explaning her proposal
  • JudyAnne Ross, Elleanor Paul O'Neil, Atisha Lanclos
  • Sally Browne reciting her proposal

October 14, 2009
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  • Attendee's registering
  • Dr. Callwood and Ambassador Heckler
  • Ambassador Heckler responds to questions
  • Ambassador Margaret Heckler
  • A. Lanclos, RN in foreground
  • Applauding Ambassador Heckler
  • Attendees preparing for Institute
  • Attendees at Breakfast
  • Breakout Presentation
  • Dr. Callwood shows Heckler Report
  • Capt. Dandridge and Dr. Ragster
  • CERC Staff at Registration
  • Dr. V. Clarke-Tasker and Dr. Frances Gordon
  • Commissioner Sheen and Ambassador Heckler
  • Commissioner Sheen
  • Institute Attendees Day 1
  • Nursing Dean Franklin and Ambassador Heckler
  • Dr. Galiber and L A Weber
  • Dr. George-Dalmida
  • Dr. J. Campbell Abuse Women Breakout Session
  • Dr. Musah, UVI Provost
  • Edith M. Ramsay-Johnson
  • Dr. Underwood asks a question
  • Dr. V. Clarke-Tasker, Howard University
  • Dr. Brandon Respress Mental Health Session
  • Dr. Gloria Callwood and Tyra DeCastro
  • Dr. D Campbell Women Study Breakout Session
  • Luncheon Speaker Dr. Dalmida-George
  • Dr. Angela Ford
  • Dr. Radelet assists with questions
  • Dr. Radelet Mens Health Survey Session
  • Dr. Ragster and Ambassador Heckler
  • Dr. Underwood with National Library of Medicine Staff
  • Dr. Jackson Keynote Speaker 2nd Day
  • Drs Robert and Fatimah Jackson
  • Group shot with Ambassador Heckler
  • Group shot with Ambassador Heckler
  • Group shot with Ambassador Heckler
  • Institute Attendees Day 1
  • J. Shimmel UVI PR Interviews
  • Mr. Gottlieb and Dr. Callwood
  • Ms. Torres and Dr. Fatimah Jackson
  • Nursing Dean Franklin
  • Poster Presentation
  • Poster Presentation
  • Poster Presentation
  • Poster Presentation
  • Senator Sprauve and Ambassador Heckler
  • Comm. Sheen, Dr. Clarke-Tasker and Sen. Sprauve
  • Sen. Sprauve and Drs Gary and Callwood
  • Sen. Sprauve reviews Heckler Report
  • Dr. Hall, UVI President
  • P. Woods, J. Heyliger and R. Dennery-Francis

October 15, 2009
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  • Desiree Bertrand and Ms. Evan
  • Attendees at Day 2
  • 2nd Day at the Health Disparities Institute
  • Applauding a presentation
  • Attendee Asking Questio
  • Attendees listening to speaker
  • Attendees listening to speaker
  • A Break-out session
  • CERC Research CORE
  • Christopher L. Edwards
  • Dr. Angela Ford
  • Dr. Robert Jackson
  • Dr. Campbell Reporting
  • Dr. Musah At Lunch
  • Dr. Musah and Dr. Jackson
  • Dr. Smith
  • Dr. Callwood Introduces a Guest Speaker
  • Dr. Gilbert Sprauve
  • Drs. Callwood, Gary & Yarandi
  • Hariah dan-Fodio, Drs. Fatimah Jackson & Gotlieb
  • Institute Attendees
  • Lunch Break
  • Penny School Nurse Woods
  • Research Core round-table discussion
  • Round-Table Discussion
  • Sen. Sprauve and R. Dennery-Francis
  • Shenella Pogson and Dr. Robert Jackson
  • Tyra U. De-Castro
  • UVI Attendance at the Institute
  • UVI Senior Nursing Students
  • Veronica Njre-Carr (Johns Hopkins)
  • UVI Student L. Amanda Weber and Dr. Baumann

October 16, 2009
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  • Admininstrative Core Report
  • Dr. Callwood
  • Administrative Core
  • Advisory Board Meeting
  • Comminity Core
  • Community Core
  • Consultants and Mentors
  • Consultants and Mentors
  • Core Work Group
  • Dr. Campbell
  • Dr. Francis
  • Dr. Franklin
  • Dr. Gary
  • Dr. Radelet
  • Drs. Baumann and Sprauve
  • Dr. Baumann
  • Drs. Hossein and J. Campbell
  • Mrs.Bertrand
  • Mrs. Heyliger
  • Mrs. Sutton
  • Ms. Hodge makes a point
  • Ms. Lettsome and Mrs. Evans
  • Research Training Education Core
  • Work Group Report Out
  • Work Groups

October 17, 2009
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August 2nd - 6th, 2009


Toronto, Canada

Nine University of the Virgin Islands students and alumni attended the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) Institute and Conference in Toronto, Canada, from Aug. 2 through 6. Each has been involved with data collection for studies being conducted on health disparities by the Division of Nursing Education’s Caribbean Exploratory NCMHD Research Center (CERC). Their attendance was sponsored by the CERC. The conference gave participants the opportunity to network with nurse researchers, nurse theorists and nursing students. They were able to learn what nurses from across the nation and Canada are focusing on while meeting the health care challenges of the people they serve. The participants also attended workshops where CERC faculty and mentors presented papers on studies to which they contributed.

The NBNA Annual Institute and Conference has maintained its tradition of providing valuable information through their conference sessions and workshops. It gives their members and guests access to people, products and services that will enhance their professional knowledge. The professional and diverse Exhibit Showcase enables the members to learn more about innovative clinical procedures, emerging technology, new products, educational and research opportunities - keeping their experience and participation a fun and educational one. This years Conference was no exception.

December 3, 2008


Virgin Islands Daily News

The nation's academic leaders in the fields of health and medicine will gather on St. Croix this week for the second annual National Conference on Health Disparities, a three-day conference to look at the differences in health and health care in minority communities. The conference will be held at the University of the Virgin Islands' St. Croix campus Thursday through Saturday and will be hosted by the UVI Caribbean Exploratory Research Center. "The UVI Caribbean Exploratory Research Center is totally committed to the elimination of health disparities. By hosting this conference on our campus, we not only join with others in addressing this national issue, but also show the nation that UVI is poised to become a leader in research," Gloria Callwood, director of the center, said in a written statement.

Health disparities involve the disproportionate impact of some diseases on certain population groups, including racial and ethnic minorities. For example, in the U.S., death rates for all cancers combined for both men and women are highest among blacks, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Topics to be discussed at the conference include an overview of health disparities in the U.S., the Caribbean and the U.S. Virgin Islands; overcoming legal barriers in eliminating health disparities; programs that have worked in other communities; HIV/AIDS among minorities; health-care reform and closing the disparity gap; and policy and legislative recommendations.

Dr. Rodney Hood, president of the Multicultural Independent Physician Association in San Diego, will give the keynote speech Friday morning. On Saturday the keynote speaker will be Thomas Perez, the secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation for Maryland's Department of Labor.
Presenters throughout the conference include politicians, health-care workers, advocates and consultants that work closely with minority groups and their health-care needs. Leaders from the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Pan American Health Organization and the American Association of Retired Persons are scheduled to speak about minority health issues.

On Saturday, there will be a panel of individuals from across the country that will discuss community models that work to address health disparities among minority groups.

The conference is sponsored by the UVI Caribbean Exploratory Research Center, the Medical University of South Carolina and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

The purpose of the UVI Caribbean Exploratory Research Center is to study disparities and provide the medical community, government officials and individuals with the information and tools needed to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities in minority populations. "It is our hope that this gathering on our campus of researchers, politicians and other stakeholders will be another step toward realizing our goal of addressing the critical health disparities that impact the quality of life for so many people of color in the Caribbean and on the mainland as well," Callwood said.

The conference is open to anyone, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. Cost to attend the conference is $75, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Virgin Islands Daily News, 12-3-2008