The Board of Directors of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados has announced the appointment of Ms. René Brathwaite as Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1st July 2009. She succeeds Adrian Randall who retires from the Foundation at the end of August 2009, after five years at the helm of the leading health NGO.
The organization was founded in 1985 as the Heart Foundation of Barbados, and included stroke in 2006 to become the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados. Its programmes include the provision of training in Emergency Cardiac Care for persons in the medical profession, also for the general public, as well as specific monitored rehabilitation in its Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation programme for persons who have had heart surgery, a heart attack, heart failure, a stroke or are at risk of those conditions. The Foundation also organizes health fairs and other outreach programmes that educate and inform young persons and adults about the benefits of healthy living.
Ms. Brathwaite is a businesswoman who brings over 13 years of strong marketing, business development and general management experience to her new role as CEO of the HSFB. A Jamaican trained Pharmacist and Pharmacologist, her working career began in Jamaica on completion of her studies with the International Pharmaceutical Company ROCHE, where she was introduced to the field of marketing and had the opportunity to work both in Jamaica and Bermuda. René returned to Barbados towards the end of 1997 to take up a management position with the French Pharmaceutical company, Servier, at their Caribbean Head Office and this was where her passion for marketing and business development on an International level was developed. She has worked extensively throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe with various medical fraternities from the pharmaceutical level in such areas as Cardiology, Neurology, Psychiatry, Internal Medicine, Dermatology, and Orthopedics, to name a few.
In 2001 feeling the need to contribute to her Country in a more significant way, René accepted the offer to become the Aide/Advisor to the then Minister of Health. Here she had responsibility to develop, lead and execute the production of all marketing and community development strategies. She also sought to advise the former Minister on a strategic vision for the Ministry of Health and all of its departments, to elevate the profile of the Ministry throughout the wider community, and to advise on business process optimization and reengineering in the day to day management of the Ministry and all of its departments as well as with external agencies.
A past student of Queen’s College, UWI and The University of Technology (Jamaica), René is also a sports and fitness enthusiast, having represented all of these institutions in various sporting disciplines. Her most outstanding contributions have been to Barbados in Lawn Tennis and Hockey at both the junior and senior level. She is the former Junior Vice-President of the Pickwick Cricket Club and has represented that club for about 25 years at the highest level in hockey.
René also holds an MBA degree from the University of Leicester (UK) and is looking forward to her mission at the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados to “keep people heart healthy and to reduce suffering and death from heart disease and stroke.”