Dr Chantelle Simmons: New Chief of Psychiatry

July 21, 2011

Dr. chantal Simmons bermuda Jul 11Bermuda Hospitals Board today [July 21] announces the appointment of Bermudian Dr Chantelle Simmons as Chief of Psychiatry, effective 1 September 2011.

The Chief of Psychiatry is responsible for the development of psychiatric services and the medical staff at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.

Dr Simmons will be replacing Dr Michael Radford, who has been Chief of Psychiatry at MWI since 2009 on a contract that expires on 31 August 2011. Originally from England, Dr. Radford was previously employed with BHB between 1974 and 1985 as a consultant child and adult psychiatrist at the former St. Brendan’s.

Dr Radford recently gave an interview to The Royal Gazette where he spoke on the Psycho-Educational Programme, saying “There’s going to be pressure on the Island’s services when these children come back. It’s going to be a disaster. We are being told that all those coming back have finished their treatment, that’s ‘the political truth’.”

“But these children will still need further treatment or aftercare plans, it will mean more work for us, things are going to be stretched to the limit. They are being thrown back into the community for the summer, then they will be back at school in September.”

Minister Glenn Blakeney held a press conference yesterday where he refuted Dr Radford’s statements, saying “Dr. Michael Radford, who is currently Chief of Psychiatry at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, does not have direct knowledge or oversight of the treatment status of the children in the Psycho-Educational Programme and has no authority to speak on behalf of the Programme.” The Minister went on to point out remarks that he said were incorrect and inflammatory.

Since joining BHB in 2009, Dr Simmons has worked as a Consultant Psychiatrist at MWI for the General Adult Psychiatry and Substance Abuse Treatment Programme services.

In this capacity, she provided the medical leadership for the Turning Point Programme, as it worked towards its recently awarded CARF accreditation. As a Bermudian, she has participated in the BHB succession planning training. Dr Simmons is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Howard University in Washington, DC.

Prior to joining BHB, Dr. Simmons worked and trained in the US; she completed an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at the Emory University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Atlanta; served as the 2007-8 Psychiatry Chief Resident at Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta; and completed her general psychiatry residency training at Emory University.

Dr Simmons earned her Bachelor’s degree in biology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada and an MD from McGill University in Quebec, following her graduation from Warwick Academy in Bermuda and completion of the International Baccalaureate Diploma at the Lester B Pearson United World College of the Pacific in Victoria British Columbia.

Published in Psychiatric Annals, and with articles recently accepted to the American Journal of Addictions and International Journal of Culture and Mental Health, Dr Simmons has also presented widely and taught both in Bermuda and the US.

Most recently, in June 2011, Dr Simmons was invited to speak at a Howard University symposium about the introduction of the recovery model in Bermuda. Dr Simmons sits on the BHB Ethics Committee and Chairs the Ethics Education sub-Committee.

She is also the co-Chair of the MWI Dual Diagnosis Capacity Working Group, Faculty Advisor for the Bermuda Medical Students’ Association, a Council Member of the Bermuda Girl Guide Association and a non-official member of the United World College Bermuda National Committee.

Dr Donald Thomas, Chief of Staff, comments: “I am very pleased to appoint Dr Simmons to this extremely important position. We are very fortunate to have had the benefit of Dr Radford’s experience over the last two years during the formulation and initial implementation of the Bermuda Mental Health Plan and I thank him for all he has done at MWI and for mental health in Bermuda.”

“We are, however, very fortunate to have a Bermudian psychiatrist of Dr Simmons’ ability and professionalism to take the helm. She is passionate about improving mental health services in Bermuda, and along with the team at MWI, will continue to build on the strong foundation that has been set.”

Dr Simmons adds: “I am honoured to take on this position and excited about the direction of mental health in Bermuda. It’s a privilege to work with such a strong team at MWI. I look forward to continuing the long term implementation of the Mental Health Plan and to developing services that improve the mental health of the Bermuda community.”

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Comments (6)

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  1. Kudos says:

    Great news! Congrats Chantelle!

  2. Ha! says:

    Congratulations Dr. Simmons! Its wonderful to hear of Bermudians making it to the tops spots.

  3. George Courtney says:

    congrats doc, you deserve it as i know you know your stuff

  4. milk & money says:

    Congrats! let’s listen to what the doctor senator will have to say

  5. shirley Richardson says:

    congrats, Dr. Simmons, Bermuda deserves the best, and you fit the bill, as for the senator doctor, she should take a page out of your book and show some knowledge,grace,and humility before she starts spewing political garbage about MWI.

  6. Congratulations Nubian Queen Dr Chantelle Simmons!! We know you are excited!