UTech, Jamaica and Ministry of Health & Wellness Sign Agreement for Healthcare Professional Leadership Course

Professor Colin Gyles, (seated, left) Acting President, University of Technology, Jamaica and Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, MP, Minister of Health and Wellness affix their signatures to a Cooperation Agreement between the two entities for the offering of a new Health Care Professional Leadership Training Programme, at a signing ceremony held Friday, July 2, 2021 at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices.  Sharing in the milestone occasion are Dr. Janet Campbell-Shelly (seated, right), Dean, College of Health Sciences, UTech, Jamaica, standing (from left) Dr. Paul Ivey, Associate Vice President, Graduate Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship, UTech, Jamaica, Dr. Stephanie Corinthian-Reid, Programme Director, College of Health Sciences and Miss Kadian Birch, Director, Programme Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Ministry of Health and Wellness

Healthcare leaders from across Jamaica’s four regional health authorities will benefit from a new healthcare professional leadership course resulting from a cooperation agreement made between the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the University of Technology, Jamaica. The agreement was signed by Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness and Professor Colin Gyles, Acting President, University of Technology, Jamaica at a ceremony hosted at the Ministry’s New Kingston Offices on Friday, July 2, 2021.

Under the agreement the Healthcare Leadership Training Programme will be delivered virtually by UTech, Jamaica through its College of Health Sciences over a 144-hour annual programme aimed at meeting the professional training needs for health care professionals and senior health management personnel across Jamaica’s public health care system.  The Agreement is initially valid for a three-year duration.

Welcoming the agreement, Dr. Tufton  acknowledged that “in public health I have always believed that we have excellent clinicians, doctors, nurses..,”  whom he noted work hard, many times under very adverse, difficult circumstances and for this reason, he stated that they must continuously prepare to confront the current and forecasted challenges ahead. 

The Minister pointed out that this preparedness is not just about technical competence, but “also about how we coordinate those technical competencies to deliver quality service with compassion, in a way that gets the optimal results.”  He underscored that such desirable customer service outcomes are determined by client experiences in the public health sector.

Minister Tufton praised the partnership with UTech, Jamaica, as a good one, noting that the institution “has always approached learning, teaching and the preparation of talent in a way that addresses the practical realities of the challenge.” 

Expressing hope that the healthcare professional leadership programme will  transform public health leadership in a way that administers care and compassion to patients,  the Minister expressed the view that “every manager within our public health system, whether they are the  Senior Medical Officer, the CEO or the Head of Nursing, should go through a compulsory refresher training programme at least once per year to remind ourselves  that we are here because we are providing a service and the people ultimately are our clients.”

Acting President, University of Technology, Jamaica, Professor Colin Gyles in his remarks stated that the University is honoured and delighted to have been approached by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to develop the leadership course specially designed to strengthen managerial and leadership administration across Jamaica’s healthcare system.  “As Jamaica’s national university, UTech, Jamaica shares in the mission to contribute to meeting the needs for human capacity building in the leadership of the health sector and in other areas of professional development in our country,” the Acting President affirmed. 

Professor Gyles also noted that over its history, the University has been at the forefront of healthcare and allied health education and training offered through a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses in disciplines such as the flagship Pharmacy programme, Nursing, Dietetics and Nutrition, Medical Technology, Child and Adolescent Development, Health Administration and Complementary Medicine.  He also noted that the University has been leading impactful research which has provided valuable impetus for informing public health policy.

Dr. Paul Ivey, Associate Vice President, Graduate Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship who chaired the signing ceremony, echoed appreciation and gratitude expressed by both Minister Tufton and Professor Gyles to the programme’s coordinating team led by Dr. Stephanie Corinthian-Reid, Programme Director in the College of Health Sciences and an advisor to the Minister of Health and Wellness.

Dr. Ivey also noted that UTech, Jamaica has been a key partner with the Ministry of Health and Wellness through training and research, inclusive of current faculty membership on the Essential National Health Research Committee (ENHRC) looking at matters pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants in the training programme will be awarded a Professional Certificate in Health Care Administration and Leadership, while credits awarded for modules taken in the certificate course may be banked for access to further training in UTech, Jamaica’s degree programmes in Health Care Leadership or Health Administration.


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299 
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm