Ms. Valerie Wilson is an Immunologist and public health professional who has provided leadership and technical advisory services to Ministries of Health, private and public sector laboratories and staff in 23 countries within the Caribbean region, through her work as Laboratory Manager and later as Project Manager for the European Union funded Laboratory Strengthening Project at the Caribbean
Epidemiology Centre (CAREC/PAHO/WHO) from 1990 to 2007, and from 2008 to present at the Caribbean Med Labs Foundation (CMLF). She is currently Director of the non-governmental organization, Caribbean Med Labs Foundation (CMLF) which was established in 2008 to support lab strengthening within the Caribbean region.
Ms. Wilson has a Masters degree in Immunology and a Masters in Business Administration. She has extensive experience in the areas of public health laboratory reference services, laboratory management, quality improvement and strategic management. She led the initiative to raise awareness of governments and laboratories in the Caribbean region with respect to the need for medical laboratory standards and quality management systems, and for regulation of medical laboratories. As a direct result of her work, the Caribbean region adopted the international Standard (ISO 15189) for medical laboratories in 2005. She led the development of a framework for national laboratory policy that was endorsed by Ministers of Health in 2014 and facilitated the development of national laboratory policies and strategic plans for laboratory services in several Caribbean countries.
She played a key role in supporting CARICOM in her capacity as Consultant, in the design and development of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). Under her leadership, CMLF has partnered with the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (CARICOM PANCAP) in implementing the laboratory component of the Global Fund (GF) Round 9 Grant for strengthening of HIV/AIDS national and regional laboratory networks within the Caribbean region from 2011 to 2015 and with the OECS GF grant for HIV and TB Elimination (2016-2019 and Continuation Grant 2019 - 2022). CMLF is also collaborating with Caribbean Vulnerable Communities under the PANCAP-CVC-COIN GF Grant 2019-2022.
Ms. Wilson has been involved in several successful collaborative partnerships with international institutions, including the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC); the Michener Institute, Canada, the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), USA, and the European Union in support of improving laboratory services. She is currently a member of the PAHO Regional Validation Committee and the WHO Global Committee for Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (EMTCT). She is a former member of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on In-Vitro Diagnostics (SAGE-IVD).
Ms. Wendy Kitson-Piggott is a microbiologist by profession, trained at McGill University and the University of Guelph in Canada. She is currently pursuing a Professional Doctorate in Health at the University of Bath in England. She is a co-founder of the Caribbean Med Labs Foundation.
Ms. Kitson-Piggott has practised as a public health professional for some 39 years, gaining local, regional and international experience, starting as a veterinary microbiologist with the Ministry of Agriculture in Trinidad and Tobago. From there she joined the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC/PAHO/WHO), providing technical advisory services as the HIV/AIDS/STI Laboratory Advisor and Training Manager for a European-funded Project “Strengthening of Medical Laboratory Services in the Caribbean”.
Dr. Wayne Labastide is an Immunologist with a PhD from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, with local, regional and international experience. Through interest, experience and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Information Systems from the University of the West Indies, Institute of Business, he has evolved into an Information Systems professional, creating solutions for Public Health and Laboratory Medicine in the Caribbean.
Formerly a Lecturer in Immunology at the University of the West Indies School of Medicine at Mount Hope, Trinidad, his focus was on establishing much needed laboratory support for specialised Clinical Immunological investigations. As an associate of the Caribbean Med Labs Foundation, he continues to be involved in the shaping of Caribbean Public Health and Laboratory practice in the area of information management.
Ms. Louise Mathura is an Administrative Professional with several years experience in various areas of the administrative arena both locally and regionally. Her Administrative career has taken her from the construction sites of the Iron and Steel Company of Trinidad and Tobago (ISCOTT) to Environmental Studies at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). At UTT, she assisted in organizing, planning and implementing activities associated with a new Master’s programme in Environmental Science and Management and with Postgraduate Research degrees (M.Phil. and Ph.D.) in Socio-environmental areas and in Environmental Monitoring. Ms Mathura played a crucial role in the intake of four cohorts of students, arranging semester and teaching schedules, preparing the Programme’s validation document for accreditation, and acting as a liaison between students and instructors.
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.