2023 speakers

BPSO Knowledge Exchange Conference

Dr. Denise Braithwaite-Tennant


Dr. Denise Braithwaite-Tennant completed her MBBS medical degree at the University of the West Indies in St Augustine, Trinidad and Doctor of Medicine in Emergency Medicine at the University of the West Indies Mona, Kingston Jamaica.

Dr. Braithwaite-Tennant was appointed lead consultant of the Emergency Department of the Turks & Caicos Islands Hospital, InterHealth Canada in April 2010 which was a first for the Islands. Through a series of promotions, she progressed up the ranks holding several leadership positions as Head of the Emergency Department, Site Administrator for the Cockburn Town Medical Centre, Chief of Medical Services with her current position as the Chief Executive Officer. Over the course of her career she has led the introduction of new health services, programs and policies and possess a wide range of experience in health care accreditation, quality and health education.

She is the faculty and founding member of the American Heart Association Life Saver Training Centre delivering the full suite of resuscitative courses. She is a member of the Association of American Health Care Executives, ISQua and NAHQ.Dr. Braithwaite-Tennant holds a Master of International Management with a specialization in health sector management degree from the University of Liverpool in the UK, Forensic Medical Examiner for Sexual Assault and Rape and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality.

Mikette Been

Interhealth Canada Portraits

Miss Mikette Been is a Registered Nurse/Registered Midwife, completed her Bachelorette of Science degree at the then West Indies College, Now Northern Caribbean University In Mandeville Jamaica. Later completed her Certification in Midwifery at the University of the West Indies Mona, Kingston Jamaica.

Miss Mikette Been was appointed Nurse Manager of the Inpatient Unit of the Turks & Caicos Islands Hospital, InterHealth Canada in April 2012. Through a series of promotions, she progressed up the ranks holding several leadership positions as Deputy Chief of Clinical Services, Team lead for Obstetric Emergency Accreditation, Co-Lead Disaster and Emergency Services, Wound Care Specialist , BPSO Lead for TCI Hospital, 1st appointed Chair of the Turks & Caicos Islands Nursing and Midwifery Council 2018-2021. She is a faculty member of the American Heart Association Life Saver Training Centre, delivering Heart Savers and Basic Life Support  resuscitative courses and is currently the Chief of Clinical Services at Turks & Caicos Island Hospital,  She is a member of the American Association of Wound Care (AAWC) and Friends of RNAO.

Miss Mikette Been holds a Master Degree in Healthcare Administration in Strategy and Innovation from Advent Health University Orlando, Florida USA.

Susan McNeill

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Susan McNeill has worked as a registered nurse in various roles across the spectrum of care in Canada, New York City and Bangladesh. At the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), Susan has been the guideline development lead for three best practice guidelines (BPG) on the topics of elder abuse prevention, the “3Ds” (delirium, dementia and depression) and falls prevention. Susan is currently the Associate Director of Guideline Implementation and Knowledge Transfer at RNAO. In this role she supports Best Practice Spotlight Organizations® to use both systematic and social movement approaches to support the uptake and sustainability of BPGs.

Shantell Gardiner

Interhealth Canada Portraits

Shantell Gardiner hails from the beautiful Island of north Caicos.  She became a Registered Nurse In 2002. On completion of her studies, she was employed at the Grand Turk hospital and was transferred to Myrtle Rigby Health complex eventually.  Later on, she went on to obtain a post-graduation diploma in Midwifery. She is passionate about her work and is a great team player.

In 2010 She joined the Interhealth Canada/Turks and Caicos Hospital as a Registered Nurse/Midwife and was eventually promoted to nurse Supervisor. Nurse Gardiner continued to pursue her studies online where she obtained a BSN in nursing as well as a certificate in leadership in Management. She is currently the Nurse Manager for the Emergency Department and Ambulatory Care Clinic and also plays an integral role in the accreditation Canada Team.

Sarah Alisch RN, MN

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Sarah Alisch is a master prepared Registered Nurse with 18 years of experience in health care. The majority of her nursing career was spent in paediatrics at SickKids Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Sarah has taken on progressive leadership positions across several clinical areas in both direct patient care work and administrative leadership work. She is passionate about teaching and mentoring others and is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto.

She has been a Director of Professional Practice and Patient Experience at Southlake Regional Health Centre for the past two years. She has recently expanded her portfolio as the Interim Chief Nursing Informatics Officer. She enjoys (on most days!) spending time with her husband and two young children and extended family and friends.

Jolly Kurien

Interhealth Canada Portraits

Mrs Jolly Ajith Kurien is originally from Kerala, India. She completed her Registered Nursing and Midwifery course from Parsee General Hospital in Mumbai, India. Then, she moved to the Sultanate of Oman-Muscat, where she worked at the Royal Hospital as a senior staff nurse in the ICU, where she developed her knowledge and experience in post-cardiac surgery. Mrs Kurien was recognized as the best nurse of the year before relocating to the Turks and Caicos Islands as an ICU and Anesthetic Nurse.

While working with the Ministry of Health at the Myrtle Rigby Health Complex, she completed her BSN from the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, Jamaica.

In 2010 she joined Interhealth Canada Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital as a seniour Registered Nurse and ICU Nurse. In 2018, she was appointed as a Nursing Supervisor and in 2021 promoted to the Nurse Manager of the Inpatient Unit. Mrs Kurien underwent several professional development programmes and recently obtained training in Canada for Port-a-Cath use in children with Hemophilia. In 2021 she completed a Master of Business Administration in Hospital Management from Capital University.

In addition, Mrs Kurien plays a role in various community activities. She has played a critical role in the accreditation processes and the BPSO implementation at the Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital.

She is blessed with beautiful family, a loving husband and two beautiful daughters and is also known for her compassion and caring interaction with the patients she serves.

Michael Williams

Interhealth Canada Portraits

Mr. Michael Williams, a Nurse by profession, successfully completed the Registered Nurse/Registered Midwife Programs at the New Amsterdam School of Nursing, and his Nursing Degree at the University of Guyana in 1991. He migrated to the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2001 where he worked with the Ministry of Health as the Health Educator, and subsequently gained employment with the Turks and Caicos Islands Hospitals in October 2010.

Mr. Williams held the Registered Nurse position until April 2016 when he received the designation as Lead Nurse, and subsequently Deputy Site Manager of the Cockburn Town Medical Centre in September 2019. Mr. Williams also assumed responsibility as the Training Centre Coordinator of the Turks and Caicos Islands Hospitals Life Saver Training Centre in 2015, working assiduously with a team of vibrant Instructors to provide training in emergency life-saving skills to hospital staff and the population at large. Mr. Williams also hold a Master of Science Degree from Trident University in California with specialization in Health Education.

Deniese White

Interhealth Canada Portraits

Nurse Deniese White completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Generic) in 2012 at the Excelsior Community College – UWI TLI, St. Andrew Jamaica.  In 2017 she went on to gain certification as an Oncology Nurse Specialist at the Ministry of Health – Inservice Education Unit, Kingston Jamaica. She graduated this training receiving three out of a four categories of awards.  She was awarded first place ‘Clinical Practice’; Best ‘Care Study’ and ‘Leadership and Management’.

Nurse Deniese was assigned Acting Charge Nurse of the Brachytherapy Ward (2 West – Gynae) at the Kingston Public Hospital in Jamaica during the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Here, she brought innovative changes to the functions of the unit along with incorporating a Wednesday weekly educational component.

Nurse Deniese commenced her tenure here at the Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital in June 2021 as a Locum Oncology Nurse.  Her status changed in September 2021 when she rejoined the team as an employee in the same capacity.  At the TCI Hospital, Nurse Deniese have been a part of several educational projects and is currently a member of the BPSO team represent Pressure Injuries in Providenciales.

Nurse Deniese, the mother of two boys is pending award in Masters in the Arts Teaching.  This accreditation allows her the privilege to host workshops and seminars.  Her philosophy is from her Elementary/Primary School alma mater “Aspire to Achieve Excellence”.

Sarah Henry

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Nurse Sarah Henry completed her certificate in Registered Nursing in 2002 and Emergency Nursing in 2004 at the University Hospital of the West Indies School of Nursing, Mona Kingston Jamaica. She graduated second overall in her class, obtained the clinical prize and also the Neurosurgery prize for excellence. Nurse Sarah Henry was appointed Acting Charge Nurse of the Emergency Room and Outpatient Department at University Hospital of the West Indies from 2008 to 2013. She was subsequently appointed Charge Nurse of the Emergency and Outpatient Department from 2014 until her resignation in 2016.

Throughout the course of her career she has been a member of the disaster committee at the University Hospital of the West Indies, managed the disaster room in the Emergency Department and held the position of Entertainment Coordinator for the Emergency Department UHWI.

Nurse Henry commenced her tenure here at the Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital in January 2017, where she works as a Nurse in the Emergency Department at the Cockburn Town Medical Center. She is currently a member of the BPSO team where she is the lead for the Person and Family Centered Care in Grand Turk. Nurse Sarah Henry holds a certificate in Management from the University Hospital of the West Indies.

Sandra Roberts, RN, Postpartum Unit

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Sandra Roberts is a dedicated and compassionate Registered Nurse with over 40 years of experience. She has worked in various clinical settings, including OR, ICU, CCU, arrhythmia, endoscopy and postpartum. Sandra is committed to ongoing educational development and has been part of implementing the laser lead program at SRHC. She is passionate about patient advocacy and healthcare improvement. Sandra aims to share her RNAO Advanced Clinical Practice Fellowship on the Research and Possible Implementation of a Postpartum Anxiety and Depression Screening Tool in our Electronic Health Record at SRHC. Anxiety and depression affect up to 20% of peripartum women in Ontario and are associated with poor infant bonding and attachment, relationship breakdown and, at its worst, suicide and infanticide. The goal is to decrease stigma around mental health by providing universal screening and timely access to care in our postpartum population.

Yathusha Rameshshanker, RN(EC)

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MN Yathusha Rameshshanker is a nurse practitioner at a clinic focusing on geriatric medicine. She completed her undergraduate schooling at the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) and practised in General surgery until she pursued her graduate degree at the University of Toronto (UofT). Yathusha quickly realized that her passion lay within direct patient care and subsequently transitioned to the Nurse Practitioner (NP) bridging program offered by UofT. Yathusha’s clinical experience (spanning over ten years) lies in General Surgery, Cardiovascular Surgery, and Geriatric Medicine. She is currently one of the co-leads for the Nurse Practitioner Council at Southlake Regional Health Centre and is actively involved in evolving the type of care provided to the ageing population in an outpatient setting. Yathusha lives actively and plays recreational volleyball with her husband twice weekly.

Julie Schmidt, RN, BScN

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Julie graduated from Queen’s University almost 30 years ago and, over the years, has cared for patients in surgical, endoscopy, and emergency departments. Julie spent ten years in the USA before returning to Canada and joining Southlake Regional Health Centre. In addition to providing bedside care, she has over 15 years of experience as a clinical nurse educator. She has co-led Southlake’s BPSO program since 2018, when she joined the Professional Practice department. Julie is passionate about developing new staff and helping healthcare providers deliver compassionate, quality patient care. Julie lives in Aurora, Ontario, with her husband, three kids, and two cats.

Alrisa M. Gardiner


Ms. Alrisa M. Gardiner is the Primary Health Care Manager within the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Ministry of Health and Human Services.

She is a dedicated professional with over two decades of experience in the field of nursing, over a decade in senior nursing management and seven years in health care management.  She is from the beautiful island of North Caicos, the best island in the TCI.  She obtained her secondary school education at the Raymond E. Gardiner High School and her nursing education at the Barbados Community College. She holds a Master of Public Health from the University of the West Indies Mona, Jamaica and a Specialization in Strategic Leadership and Management from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

In her role as the Primary Health Care Manager, she heads the unit responsible for government clinic facilities and the Migrant Health program. She leads a team of 50 health care professionals across eight (8) primary care facilities and works closely with all private facilities across the TCI.  She is also responsible for the TCI’s Expanded Program on Immunization leading a small team of public health nursing professionals and providing guidance on vaccination to all health care facilities across the TCI.

When she is resting from her daily job, she enjoys traveling, spending time with those closest to her, free Crocs promotion and preparing for the Christmas holidays, regardless of the time of the year.  She is a believer and lives by the golden rule “do unto others as you would have them do to you”.