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About Caribbean Med Labs Foundation


The Caribbean Med Labs Foundation, based in Trinidad and Tobago, is a non-governmental organisation established in response to a request from CARICOM Ministers of Health in June 2007. The Ministers had requested continuation of the regional effort aimed at building and sustaining the highest quality medical laboratory services through an independent self-sustaining mechanism.

This request was made at the 11th meeting of the CARICOM Ministerial body, the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD).

Their decision was made against a background that an estimated minimum of 70% of medical decision-making is influenced by information provided by medical laboratories and was based on the success of the CAREC EU-funded medical laboratory strengthening project which ended in 2007.


CMLF's Board

The Foundation’s Board of Management reflects a wide range of stakeholder expertise, experience and service to the Caribbean region. The Board members come from many relevant and health-related fields and they reflect an in-depth knowledge and understanding of issues impacting Caribbean health and economies.

CMLF’s first Chairperson is Dr Stephen King , a well known and widely respected St Lucian clinician, laboratory professional, health administrator and adviser on health sector reform, who is currently an Independent Senator in the  St. Lucia senate.

Other members of the CMLF Board are:

  • Mr. Lawford Dupres – Board Deputy Chair - former Director of Trinidad & Tobago Bureau of Standards
  • Ms. Ingrid Lashley   – Board Treasurer – CEO Trinidad & Tobago Mortgage Finance Company Limited.
  • Ms. Marvo Harper  – Board Secretary – Legal Practitioner (Trinidad & Tobago)
  • Dr. Paula Burns  - President & CEO of Lethbridge College, Alberta, Canada
  • Dr. Farley Cleghorn  - Vice President and Head, Constella Futures, USA
  • Mr. Jones P. Madeira – Court Protocol and Information Manager of the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Professor David Picou – EmeritusProfessor, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Dr. Sonia Roache  – Medical Practitioner and Executive Director of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians (CCFP)

 The CMLF team comprises:

Valerie Wilson

Ms Valerie Wilson,

Wendy Kitson Piggott

Ms Wendy Kitson-Piggott,
Laboratory and Quality Systems Specialist

Wayne Labastide

Dr Wayne Labastide,

Louise Mathura

Ms Louise Mathura,
Administrative/Finance Assistan


Achievements of the EU-funded Strengthening of Medical Laboratory Services (SMLS) Project

The Project, “Strengthening of Medical Laboratories in the Caribbean”, funded by the European Union through CARIFORUM and implemented by the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) from 2002-2007, has been widely acknowledged for its significant contribution to the improvement of medical laboratory services in the private and public sectors in 23 Caribbean member countries.

In seeking to transform the delivery of medical laboratory services in the Caribbean region, the Project achieved the following critical milestones:

  1.  ‘National Laboratory Advisory Committees’ (NLAC) and Quality Coordinators established by Governments to drive laboratory improvements. 
  2. A standard (ISO 15189) for medical laboratories operating within the Caribbean agreed.
  3. The Caribbean Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (CLAS), established and made operational in 2008. CLAS is a mechanism for accreditation of laboratories created by and for the region and supported by a network of national focal points.
  4. Model legislation for licensing of medical laboratories and personnel drafted and available to all CARIFORUM Governments.
  5. A harmonized, competency-based curriculum for medical technologists developed and being implemented by training institutions in the region. 
  6. A comprehensive and culturally appropriate range of laboratory operational guidelines, standard methods and training material produced and distributed.
  7. A cadre of 55 senior laboratory professionals in the region certified in laboratory and quality systems management to support improved. laboratory management and operational capacity.
  8. Over 1,000 laboratory staff and stakeholders trained and sensitised to laboratory standards and quality systems.

Today, in virtually every CARIFORUM country -- whether English, Dutch, Spanish or French-speaking -- there is an awareness of the need for standards and quality in laboratory operations. There is a greater appreciation of the benefits of laboratory accreditation and increased empowerment of laboratory staff and stakeholders towards transforming the medical laboratory operational landscape. There is a growing sense that laboratory business is truly everybody’s business.   

It is against this background that Ministers recognised the need to maintain the momentum towards transformational change.

Caribbean Med Labs Foundation (CMLF)

63A Petra Street, Woodbrook, Port of Spain

Trinidad, West Indies

Tel: (868) 628-5911/4765 • Email: cmedlabsfoundation@gmail.com

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CMLF News Issue #7
27th January 2016