(CMR) The Poinciana: Residential Mental Health Facility (formerly the Long Term Residential Mental Health Facility) in East End is now expected to be ready in September 2023; however, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has appointed a director for the facility.
In a recent update, the Ministry said the Poinciana’s Project Management Team (Public Works Department) has advised that the main facilities, including the administration, workshop, and cafeteria building, are now in the final building inspection phase, with some items not yet being cleared. The cottage works and perimeter security system are also nearing completion, and the expected handover to the Ministry of Health and Wellness is the end of September 2023 and not June 2023 as previously anticipated.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health & Wellness has appointed Marcia Amoy Mullings-Thompson as the incoming director of the Poinciana: Residential Mental Health Facility in East End. The former CEO of Bellevue Hospital, the largest psychiatric facility in the Caribbean, with the overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of the hospital with over 500 patients and 600 staff members, will will take up her post on Monday, 10 July 2023.
“I know that there continues to be great anticipation and interest about the status of the facility and the human resources complement of the facility. As such, the Ministry is pleased to make this announcement today. The recruitment process for this post was rigorous, and we are confident that, based on Mrs. Mullings-Thompson’s diverse and rich experience and qualifications, she is suitably poised to assume the Director role and lead the management and administration of the Poinciana Residential Mental Health Facility,” Ministry of Health & Wellness’ Chief Officer, Nellie Pouchie stated.
“We look forward to working with her as we seek to bring the facility on board and to fill the mental health needs in our community,” the Chief Officer added.
Mrs. Mullings-Thompson has been a registered nurse for twenty-eight (28) years, sixteen (16) of which were spent in management positions. She holds her Bachelor’s Degree equivalent (formerly certificate) in General Nursing Care from the Kingston School of Nursing in Jamaica and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health/Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from the University of the West Indies.
Since 2005, Mrs. Mullings-Thompson has held the post of Regional Mental Health Officer for the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) in Jamaica, which consists of three parishes, coordinating, supervising, and managing the nursing and other aspects of the community mental health services. She transitioned into Jamaica’s Ministry of Health to act as the National Mental Health Coordinator for a short period of time, where she was responsible for assisting with monitoring and auditing, policy development, and legislative reviews.
Along with her advanced degree, Mrs. Mullings-Thompson has continuously engaged in continuing education activities in the field of mental health. She is a Trainer of Trainers in several areas, including disaster-related psychological trauma, mental health support and crisis intervention, psychosocial support and psychological first aid, human rights and ethical issues in mental health, PAHO/WHO mhGap intervention, PAHO/WHO Problem Management Plus intervention.
“I understand that there is a lot of hope and many expectations around this facility, and I take the responsibility of being accountable not only to the Ministry of Health and Wellness but also to the residents we serve, their families, and the community as a whole very seriously,” Mrs. Mullings-Thompson stated.
“This facility is not intended to stand alone, but rather to help enhance the full suite of mental health services that already exist on island. I am looking forward to developing strong and meaningful relationships with not only these providers but also the advocates and civil society organizations that have their finger on the pulse of the community,” she added.
Senior Management Recruitment
In addition to the appointment of the facility’s director, the recruitment process for the remainder of the facility’s senior management team is also currently underway.
The listings and job descriptions for the posts of the Clinical Manager, Facility Manager, Finance and Business Manager, Human Resources Manager, and Programme Manager are open on the Cayman Islands Government’s career portal (careers.gov.ky).
“With the Director in post and directly involved in assembling the senior management team, the care services, programming, processes, and overall management of the facility, the Ministry’s focus on the commissioning and occupancy of the facility continues. We look forward to the onboarding of new staff, services, and occupancy in due course,” Chief Officer Pouchie added.
Minister for Health & Wellness Hon. Sabrina Turner said “Mental health and wellness continue to be a priority for my ministry, not only as it pertains to this facility but holistically in strengthening and enhancing the national capacity for and access to mental health services, promotion, and prevention.”
“While the completion of the facility remains under the remit of the Public Works Department, our Ministry team continues to work diligently to mitigate against delays relating to the staffing, forthcoming handover, and upcoming occupancy of the facility. It has been a long road, but we continue to take positive steps forward and I am confident that the finish line is fast approaching in getting the facility ready to receive its first residents,” Minister Turner added
The Ministry said it will continue to keep the public apprised as to the status of the ongoing inspections and handover of the facility.