New doctor at Bermuda Medical Specialties

The Bermuda Medical Specialties Group has taken a new doctor, Andrea Gilford Johnson.

Dr Gilford Johnson hails from Georgetown, Guyana, and has been practising for 18 years with particular interest in community and preventive medicine.

“My personal motto is to treat others the way you would like to be treated as a patient, and to deliver compassionate healthcare,” Dr Gilford Johnson said. “I believe the Bermuda Medical Specialties Group delivers excellent, co-ordinated, and complex care to the residents of Bermuda, and I am excited to be a member of this extraordinary team.”

BMSG medical director Arlene Basden was excited to welcome Dr Gilford Johnson to the practice.

“She provides a great blend of first-rate clinical education and knowledge with a strong passion for providing community-based care,” Dr Basden said.

Previously, Dr Gilford Johnson worked with the British Virgin Islands Government at the new Peebles Hospital. Initially, she was a general medical officer and was subsequently promoted to the position of a medical registrar in the department of medicine. While there, she was given an award of excellence for her interaction with colleagues and patients.

She graduated from the University of Guyana in November 2000 with a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery. She also has a diploma in medical technology, with distinction, specialising in haematology, and certifications in the American Heart Association basic and advanced life support programme.

Dr Gilford Johnson is now part of a team of medical professionals with a range of specialities such as cardiology, neurology, and family medicine, among other things.

“We have designed an extensive health programme using tools, talent, and techniques that will benefit our community,” Dr Basden said. “We have not reinvented healthcare, but we have approached it quite differently. We offer comprehensive, complex, medical care, using technical diagnostic equipment, providing innovative client information and education programmes. We believe in a holistic approach to healthcare for our patients, one that involves primary care doctors and specialists that focus not only on the medical diagnosis and treatment of ailments, but also on prevention and screening.”

To help patients get to know Dr Gilford Johnson, BMSG is offering a no copay doctor’s appointment during February and March on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“With the holiday season just over, and this being the time where people put off healthcare over other needs, we wanted to show our support to the community at a time of year when money is limited, and people are most prone to illnesses,” Marico Thomas, BMSG chief executive officer, said.

BMSG is at 3 Reid Street, on the third floor, adjacent to The Phoenix Centre.

New lung machine up and running

Healthcare options have just increased

New Medical Clinic Set To Open In Hamilton

Bernews, January 31,

Bermuda Medical Specialties Group [BMSG] will be opening a new medical practice on Reid Street in Hamilton, with the 6,500 sq feet facility featuring 9 exam rooms, 4 diagnostic rooms, an infusion/blood donation suite and a procedure room; and the business — co-founded by Dr. Arlene Basden and businessman Marico Thomas — is planning to employ over 20 people and commence seeing patients in March.

Bermuda Medical Specialties Group [BMSG] said they are a “new medical practice whose mission is to provide comprehensive, coordinated medical care to improve chronic diseases affecting the residents and visitors in Bermuda.

“BMSG is a polyclinic – a large healthcare center able to provide a wide range services. BMSG will many medical subspecialties under one roof. These include cardiology, neurology, rheumatology, pulmonology, endocrinology, dermatology, and dietary,” they said.

“The team of physicians will focus on the diagnosis and management of chronic medical diseases with an emphasis on prevention and screening. The specialist and general physicians are supported by nurses, medical technicians, medical assistants, allied health professionals and administrative personnel.

“BMSG offers a different approach to medicine and healthcare. They dared to ask – “What do people in Bermuda need, and want for their healthcare?” They asked doctors and nurses, insurance companies, hospital personnel and most importantly – patients, their support, and their family members.

“BMSG consulted with persons and organizations that lead healthcare in and outside of Bermuda. In collaboration with others, BMSG has designed a comprehensive health program using tools, talent, and techniques that will benefit our community.

“BMSG will be offering comprehensive medical care using technical diagnostic equipment. BMSG will be providing innovative client information and education programs while making use of engagement tools to impact persons during their normal day-to-day activities.

“BMSG on Reid Street will commence seeing patients in March of this year. BMSG is located on Reid Street in Hamilton, in the same building as the Phoenix Annex. The entrance is through two glass doors to the left of the pharmacy entrance, and next to the big clock on the sidewalk.

“The clinic is located on the third floor. Upon opening the doors to the clinic, it is immediately apparent that one is about to experience something is very different.

“The facility is large, spacious, and designed to impress. It is attractive, modern, and purpose-built to provide care and promote healing. There are beautiful colours, a wave wall, large waiting areas, 9 exam rooms, 4 diagnostic rooms, an infusion/ blood donation suite and a procedure room – all laid out in almost 6,500 sq feet of space. Persons who have had preview tours have been calling it a mini-hospital.

The services and features at Bermuda Medical Specialties Group will include:

  • Internal Medicine
  • Multi-disciplinary Specialist Care
  • Infusion Care
  • Non-Imaging Diagnostics
  • Ultrasound [glands]
  • Vascular screening [circulation]
  • Respiratory screening [lungs]
  • Cardiac testing [heart]
  • Perioperative Management [to make you safe for surgery and assist you after]
  • Telemedicine
  • Weight Management programs
  • Obesity and Diabetes programs
  • Wheelchair accessible facility
  • Clinic and in-hospital visits
  • Honest & clear diagnosis, with simple, plain talk that can be understood and remembered
  • A Team approach toward patient care
  • Quick turnaround times for interpretation of results & studies
  • Shorter wait times to see physicians and other health professionals
  • Social and education programs
  • Co-ordination of care and records, amongst all doctors – community, hospital & overseas
  • Weekend and after-hours Service
  • Fast access to Information
  • More time per patient visit
  • Patient transport services

“BMSG is a place for specialist treatment, advice, education and management of complex medical issues. BMSG will introduce diagnostics previously unavailable in Bermuda. The availability of these modern tools, combined with the specialist physicians, internists and technicians, will mean that Bermuda residents will no longer have to travel overseas for screening and testing now available here, on-island and conveniently located in the middle of Hamilton.

“BMSG is co-founded by Medical Director & CMO, Dr. Arlene Basden, FRCP with CEO, Mr. Marico Thomas. Dr. Basden’s education and training includes Canada, the Caribbean and the UK.

“She has a wealth of clinical hands-on and leadership experience in Bermuda including as Director of the Hospitalist Service at King Edward Memorial Hospital where her scope of responsibility encompassed the Emergency Department, the general wards, and the ICU [Intensive Care Unit].

“Mr. Thomas is an operator of multi-concept, multi-location businesses with over 30 years of experience in organizational development, systems, and customer-first service. Together they have been researching and planning BMSG for over eight years.

Mr. Thomas told Bernews, “At BMSG, we will use education, prevention and intervention to help Bermuda to be well. Our style of care will be comprehensive, complex and coordinated. These words may sound fancy, but they each have significant meaning and speak to the skill of our team, our approach to your care, and difference you will be able expect from us.

“There seems to be a lot of dissatisfaction around Healthcare. I personally have heard so many complaints, and from everyone – patients, providers, payors, policy-makers and politicians.

“After years of looking at it, we have very strong opinions about what needs to improve and how to do so. At BMSG, we will start with being patient-focused and patient-first, supported by tools, technology, talent and our tactics. We will be different, some may say disruptive. For us at BMSG, patient satisfaction and excellent, useful care are very important.”

Mr. Thomas also says, “People are living longer, and it is the aim of BMSG for them to live better. The variety of programs and solutions at BMSG will not only be used for the ill patient. We have great concern for the growing, aging population converging with the worldwide, decreasing number of medical personnel.

“As a result, BMSG has developed several proactive initiatives capable to impact the Bermuda population. We will use modern tools, technologies and talent to provide efficient, effective and exceptional, high quality medical care Bermuda residents will be impressed with”.

When asked why healthcare & whether it poses any conflict, Mr. Thomas stated, “It is not our role to judge the aspirations or choices of another. That said, we all have varying circumstances which should guide and inform our choices.

“Everything in moderation. I love a delicious rib-eye steak, but it would not be the healthiest choice to eat one every day. At BMSG, I will be very focused on delivering a great service, high standard of care, and in supporting the function of our doctors, nurses and others all while ensuring that we achieve our goals for service, wellness and happiness.”

Bermuda Medical Specialties Group said they will employ over 20 persons and are recruiting multiple persons for the following positions: Internist Specialist Physician, General Physician, Registered Nurse, Medical Technician, Medical Assistant, Billing & Coding Personnel, Accountant, Performance & Human Resources Assistant, and Marketing Manager.

‘Mini hospital’ set to open in Hamilton

Royale Gazette, January 31st

A multi-specialty medical practice offering a fresh approach to healthcare services is set to open in Hamilton within weeks.

The Bermuda Medical Specialties Group practice, located in a 6,500-square-foot space on the third floor of Reid Hall on Reid Street, will become one of the largest healthcare centres on the island.

Entrepreneur Marico Thomas and his fiancée Arlene Basden, the former director of hospitalist services at the Bermuda Hospitals Board, are the investors behind the project.

About 20 people, including six to eight doctors, will be employed by the multi-specialty practice that resembles a “mini hospital”, Mr Thomas said.

Work to decorate and outfit the complex care practice is well under way and Mr Thomas intends to open its doors in March. It is located above the Annex Toys store and accessed via the glass door entrance below the prominent clock at 3 Reid Street.

Well known as the owner of Four Star Pizza and the Glaze bakeries, Mr Thomas said he had been working on the project and consulting with healthcare experts, in Bermuda and overseas, for eight years.

He has identified multiple problems with healthcare services in Bermuda that contribute to dissatisfaction among patients, doctors and administrators alike, and unnecessarily high costs.

Deploying his own entrepreneurial flair, with a focus on problem-solving and customer service, Mr Thomas has set out to address those issues. With the guidance and healthcare expertise of Dr Basden, he has designed the new facility to address some of the system’s fundamental weaknesses.

“There has to be a better way to do healthcare services, to reduce costs and improve outcomes and to make people smile in the process,” Mr Thomas said.

“Many people here are trying to nudge the needle to improve things, but we believe that this will be meaningful.”

Features of Bermuda Medical Specialties Group will include nine examination rooms, three assessment rooms, a waiting area, a meeting room and three sleep monitoring labs. The practice will also boast diagnostic and monitoring equipment for circulatory and respiratory conditions, an ultrasound scanner, as well as a procedure room.

There is also a demonstration room fitted with a video camera, to be used for educational purposes. Presentations made in there can be broadcast via the 16 television screens around the facility.

Bermuda Medical Specialties Group will have an electronic medical records system, enabling doctors to quickly access information on particular patients and also to build up a database that can help doctors assess the success of a certain type of treatment with various types of patients, for example.

Some of the equipment will be new to Bermuda, Mr Thomas believes. One example is a “BodyBox”, a device used to measure lung condition, which can help to diagnose respiratory issues.

Such equipment can help to avoid wrong diagnosis of a condition such as asthma, which could mean a patient being prescribed treatment and medication they do not need.

The infusion clinic is another feature that has cost-saving potential for the island’s healthcare system.

“Bermuda is one of the most expensive places in the world to have IV [intravenous] infusion therapy,” Mr Thomas said. “Because the Emergency Room at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital has limited space, people can be kept waiting for beds because infusions are scheduled. We can relieve some of the burden on the hospital and we will offer it here at a much reduced rate.”

In general, the new facility will aim to offer complex care, with focus on the preventive and a mission to provide national healthcare solutions.

Mr Thomas said: “As the population ages, we will have more people with complex issues — more than one thing going on. For those people, this will be the place to come.”

Dr Basden, who will be the facility’s medical director, said that, with a treadmill and heart-monitoring equipment, the practice would be capable of checking patients over “from bottom to top” to detect circulation issues that could flag up risk of a heart attack, for example.

Mr Thomas said: “The way our healthcare system works is that people go to the doctor, who may then refer them to a cardiologist if they’re at risk of a heart problem. It may take a few weeks to get an appointment. It’s inefficient and expensive to for people to be referred from one place to another.

“Here, you can be scanned for a circulation issue and if you have a skin issue or a foot issue as well, we can deal with that too, all under one roof in one visit.

“Too many people in Bermuda get sent overseas for treatment for issues that we can address here.

“People think the insurance company pays for it, so it’s free. There’s the cost of the hotel, meals, sometimes a companion, and it’s not free, because the cost of that will be included in next year’s insurance premiums.

“We believe we are capable of having an impact on reducing the national cost of healthcare.”