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Jean Vanterpool vows to give back amid concerns

Jean Vanterpool

Jean Vanterpool and Elton Georges

While expressing concern about the thousands of diabetes cases in the territory, newly elected President of the British Virgin Islands Diabetes Association (BVIDA) Jean Vanterpool said her main aim is to give back to the community.

She was elected President of the BVIDA on January 9, taking the mantle from Elton Georges, who did not seek re-election.

Vanterpool is the first female president of the Association in 12 years.

“I consider it an opportunity for me to contribute back to the community in a very small way as the President of the BVI Diabetes Association. I believe that, with the team recently selected, together we will come to review the services the association offers to the people of the community, and to see where we can improve on the services and reach out to more of our diabetics in the community,” said Vanterpool who has been a trained nurse since the 1970s.

More than 3,000 diabetics locally

In relation to the number of diabetics in the BVI, she told BVI News Online: “From the general information I’ve gathered, we are somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 [cases]. I cannot confirm that, but I believe that’s in the ball park figure for the number of diabetics within the BVI.”

“It’s not just unique to the BVI but, from the information we have gathered, it’s a growing concern worldwide,” Vanterpool said.

She stated that, as president of the BVIDA, she plans to raise the level of awareness through talks and educational initiatives such as visits to schools.

“These are some of the things we have done in the past, and it’s something we will continue to do in the future. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, but continue to improve on what was established by past presidents and members of the Association.”

Meanwhile, other persons elected to serve on the BVIDA board are: David Abednego (Vice president and Legal Advisor), Stephnie Turnbull (Secretary), Elton Georges (Treasurer), Lucille Malone (Assistant Secretary/Treasurer), Astrid Wenzke (Public Relation Officer), and Harriet Cameron (Assistant PRO).

The BVIDA, in a media release today, further said: “The medical advisor for the Association is Dr K K Robinson. The directors are: Franka Pickering (President of the Virgin Gorda Branch of the BVI Diabetes Association), Nora Manns (President of the Eastern Branch), Gerda Smith-Wallen (President of the Western Branch), Astrid Wenzke (President of the Tortola Central Branch), as well as Tatica Scatliffe – a founding and still very active member of the BVI Diabetes Association.”

The BVIDA, among other things, aims to promote public awareness, encourage health improvement, and provide education for people with diabetes and their healthcare providers.

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