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Edition 62 – A patient’s perceived effect of the “No Visitor Policy” implemented during COVID on their Overall Mental and Physical Health: A Retrospective, Observational Study


Edition 62 – Mental Health

A Patient’s Perceived Effect of the “No Visitor Policy” Implemented During COVID on Their Overall Mental and Physical Health: A Retrospective, Observational Study

By Eman Al Haddad, Brent Hill, Kristina Grant, Sabrina Henri, Hugh Giffords, Dr. Melchor L Bareng, Ph.D.

Citation

Haddad E, Hill B, Grant K, Henri S, Giffords H, Bareng M. A patient’s perceived effect of the “no visitor policy” implemented during COVID on their overall mental and physical health: A retrospective, observational study. HPHR. 2022;62.

A Patient’s Perceived Effect of the “No Visitor Policy” Implemented During COVID on Their Overall Mental and Physical Health: A Retrospective, Observational Study

Abstract

Background

A social support system has proven to improve patient outcomes; thus, we are proposing that with the implementation of the “No Visitor Policy” during COVID that there was an effect on the patient’s overall physical and mental health. Because this is a retrospective, observational study we assess the patient’s perceived level of effect that this “No Visitor Policy” had on their overall physical and mental health via a likert-style survey.

Methods

We conducted a retrospective, observational survey study in which we selected 538 participants in a random fashion via survey administration on social media.  The Inclusion criteria were as follows:  each participant must have been hospitalized with COVID during the pandemic as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as be located within the Windsor, Ontario, Canada area. Our primary outcome measurement is to determine whether the “No Visitor Policy” implemented during COVID impacted the patient’s overall physical and mental health.

Results

The model consisted of 2 major themes; 57.81% of respondents indicating no perceived negative physical impact and 29.37% showing a minor negative physical impact, while 94.42% of the respondents perceived that their mental health was negatively impacted, with the majority of respondents, 32.16% indicating they felt the visitor restrictions had a major negative impact on their mental health. ANOVA statistical method identified a significant difference in perceived physical health between gender and whether their physical health was impacted; females (M=1.68, SD=.894) agree more than males (M=1.52, SD=.832) that their physical health was impacted. F (1, 536) = 3.452, p= 0.032. Furthermore, females (M=3.92, SD=1.079) agree more than males (M-3.47, SD=1.163) that their mental health was impacted F (1,536) = 0.748, p< 0.001).

Conclusion

We believe this is an important research topic to further investigate because patient outcomes and compliance are so closely tied with patient social support.

Introduction

During times of illnesses, acute or chronic, patients’ mental wellbeing and recovery are imperative. In addition to the prescribed medical treatment and its implementation tasked to various health care professionals, many factors impact the progression and overall recovery outcomes. A social support system is essential and regularly compliments the medical treatment plan.

 

A social support system is a multidimensional concept that includes, but is not limited to, emotional support, informational support, tangible support, and social interaction.15 Emotional support includes being present to offer compassion, reassurance, and encouragement. The presence of a trusted person can alleviate anxiety and fear.  Family engagement may affect the healthcare outcome. One study reported that longer visiting hours in the intensive care unit were linked to reducing cardiovascular complications, possibly through patients’ reduced anxiety and better hormonal profiles.9 

 

As described by the World Health Organization (WHO), “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  Good mental health allows you to feel, think and act in ways that help you enjoy life and cope with its challenges.5 Therefore, during challenges like acute illness hospitalizations, the social support system has been proven to benefit the patient’s mental health.

 

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic, and hospitals and healthcare systems worldwide quickly implemented changes to all aspects of their procedures to combat the spread of the virus effectively. Restriction of companions in emergency rooms, surgeries, ICU and hospital wards were one of the first to be impacted by the new changes designed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. To better understand the effects of these restrictions on patients, this observational study will focus on the regulations implemented in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. On December 2nd, 2020, all hospitals in the region implemented a “No Visitor Policy” across the board. This policy was instituted until April 17, 2021, for a total of 136 days. This observational study will survey adult (18+) patients that were hospitalized due to acute illnesses during this period to determine the impact it had on their physical health and mental health.

 

Multiple evidence-based studies prove that allowing visitation for recovering patients leads to decreased anxiety and increased satisfaction for both the patient and the companions.14 A literature review indicated that open visitation policies enhance patient and family satisfaction, while a survey of patients, families, and health care team members revealed a desire for a more open visitation policy.19 When companions are allowed to visit and spend time with a patient, they provide a social support system for the patient. This includes emotional support, informational support, tangible support, and social interaction.15 This social support system supplements the treatment plan for the patient by having positive impacts on recovery and their mental wellbeing—furthermore, the mental well-being of their companions, including family members and friends.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm. Due to the many unknowns the virus brought with it, hospitals around the globe quickly implemented protocols to eliminate the spread and manage the affected patients. Almost every aspect of the healthcare system across North America was involved, including, but not limited to, cancelations of elective surgeries and routine visits, shifting to telemedicine appointments, and prohibition of visitations or companions for inpatients. Although these changes were undertaken to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the effects of their imposition have negatively impacted many people’s lives.

 

The elimination of visitation and the prohibition of allowing companions or visitors with patients, regardless of a COVID-19 diagnosis, greatly impacted both the patient and their loved ones.  A study conducted to evaluate what parents were experiencing with NICU visit restrictions due to the COVID‐19 pandemic stated parents expressed dysphoric emotions, sadness, and anger. The study confirmed that restrictions accentuated the emotional suffering of parents whose infants were in the NICU and that the distress may interfere with the baby’s development.14 

 

These findings echoed in every ward in the hospital and other health care institutions. From pregnant women delivering unaccompanied to emergency room patients brought in alone to nursing home patients denied interaction with the general public devastating stories have been documented across North America due to the restrictions that have been imposed.4

 

Moreover, for patients who expired without family members or companions by their side, the mental anguish of the bereaving individuals has been compounded. Many families have reported being denied opportunities to say goodbye before a death.3 These circumstances have negatively impacted the normal grieving process and the mental health of the bereaving surviving loved ones.

 

This study assessed the level of physical and mental health of the “No Visitor Policy” as perceived by patients in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Specifically, it sought to answer the profile of the respondent based on in regards to age and gender, the level of physical and mental health of the respondents, the difference in the level of physical and mental health of the respondents when grouped according to age and gender and the relationship between the profile variables and the levels of physical and mental health of the respondents.          

 

The null hypothesis states there is no difference in the level of physical and mental health of the respondents when grouped according to age and gender and there is no relationship between the profile variables and the levels of physical and mental health of the respondents.

Methods

Using an observational retrospective design, qualifying participants completed a survey with a series of questions to assess the impact of the “No Visitor Policy” on their physical and mental health.  Respondents were categorized using standardized age groups used by the census in Canada.

 

This study was conducted using the outlined survey (Appendix-I) using Survey Monkey via public local city pages (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) on social media outlets.

 

 The population targeted patients over 18 years old hospitalized due to an acute illness in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, during December 2nd, 2020, and April 17th, 2021 (136 days). This geographical location was chosen due to its uniform hospital visitor restriction policies across all local hospitals, population size, and convenience of reach.

 

Using Slovin’s formula, the researchers estimated the number of respondents based on the population and statistical data regarding hospitalizations per month (Appendix-VI). Windsor, Ontario, Canada’s population and acute illness admission statistics, given the outlined timelines and a 95% confidence level and a 5% margin of error, a total of 362 respondents were necessary.

 

A structured questionnaire was the primary tool in gathering data from the respondents. The first portion includes the demographic profile of the respondents, while the second portion includes the respondents’ experiences concerning their physical health and mental health. “No negative impact” will be categorized into “no impact group” and “Minor negative impact, “Moderate negative impact,” “Major negative impact,” and “Severe negative impact” will be grouped into “impacted group.”

 

Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the profile and impact of physical health and mental health as perceived by the patients over the age of 18 who were hospitalized due to an acute illness in Windsor, Ontario, Canada during December 2nd, 2020, and April 17th, 2021 (136 days).

 

Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine the differences in the level of physical and mental health when grouped according to profile variables at 0.05 level of significance.

 

Pearson Product Moment of Correlation was used to determine the relationship between the age variable and levels of physical health and mental health of the respondents at 0.05 level of significance. A Chi-square test will be used to determine the relationship between the gender variable and levels of physical health and mental health of the respondents at a 0.05 level of significance.

 

Any respondent that did not meet the participation criteria, time, or geographical location criteria and any respondent that did not fully complete the survey questions were excluded.

Results

Figure 1: Age Profile of Respondents Sample, n=538.
Age Profile

Table 1: Demographic Characteristics of Age Profile for Respondents Sample, n=538.

Age Groups

Frequency

Percentage

18 to 19 years

23

4.28%

20 to 24 years

23

4.28%

25 to 29 years

32

5.95%

30 to 34 years

28

5.20%

35 to 39 years

43

7.99%

40 to 44 years

52

9.67%

45 to 49 years

52

9.67%

50 to 54 years

75

14.94%

55 to 59 years

86

15.99%

60 to 64 years

60

11.15%

65 years and older

64

11.90%

Total

538

100%

Figure 2: Gender Profile of Respondents Sample, n=538

Table 2: Demographic Characteristics of Gender Profile for Respondents Sample, n=538

Gender

Frequency

Percentage

Male

255

47.40%

Female

283

52.60%

Total

538

100%

Figure 3: Results of Perceived Physical Health Impact on
Respondents.

Table 3: Characteristics of Perceived Physical Health Im-pact on Respondents.

Description

Frequency

Percentage

1 – No Negative Impact

311

57.81%

2 – Minor Negative Impact

158

29.37%

3 – Moderate Negative Impact

48

8.92%

4 – Major Negative Impact

12

2.23%

5 – Severe Negative Impact

9

1.67%

Total

538

100

Table 4: One-Way Analysis of Variance for Perceived Phys-ical Health Impact by Genders

 

Sources

df

SS

MS

       F

p

Between groups

1

   3.452

3.452

     4.613

                  .032*

Within groups

536

401.009

.748

 

 

Total

537

401.461

 

 

 

Note:

* Significant at 0.05

Table 5: One-Way Analysis of Variance for Perceived Phys-ical Health Impact by Age

 

Sources

df

SS

MS

       F

p

Between groups

10

   19.867

1.987

     2.72

                  .003**

Within groups

527

384.594

.730

 

 

Total

537

404.461

 

 

 

Note:

** Highly Significant at 0.01

Figure 4: Results of Perceived Mental Health Impact on Re-spondents.

Table 6: Characteristics of Perceived Mental Health Impact on Respondents.

Description

Frequency

Percentage

1 – No Negative Impact

30

5.58%

2 – Minor Negative Impact

47

8.74%

3 – Moderate Negative Impact

131

24.35%

4 – Major Negative Impact

173

32.16%

5 – Severe Negative Impact

157

29.18%

Total

538

100

Table 7: One-Way Analysis of Variance for Perceived Men-tal Health Impact by Genders

 

Sources

df

SS

MS

       F

p

Between groups

1

   27.842

27.842

     22.214

                  .000**

Within groups

536

671.756

1.253

 

 

Total

537

699.599

 

 

 

Note:

** Highly Significant at 0.01

Table 8: One-Way Analysis of Variance for Perceived Men-tal Health Impact by Age

 

Sources

df

SS

MS

       F

p

Between groups

10

   21.209

2.121

  1.648  

                  .090NS

Within groups

527

678.389

1.287

 

 

Total

537

699.599

 

 

 

Note:

NS Not Significant

Table 9: Correlations between perceived physical health, mental health and Age

 

Variable

Age

Physical Health

Mental Health

Pearson Correlation

Sig. (2-tailed)

1

-.076

-.016

 

.080 NS

.716 NS

Note:

NS Not Significant

Table 10: Chi-Square Tests: Relationship between Gender and Physical Health

 

 

Value

df

Asymptotic Significance (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square

6.541

4

.162NS

Note:

NS Not Significant

Table 11: Chi-Square Tests: Relationship between Gender and Mental Health

 

 

Value

df

Asymptotic Significance (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square

29.299

4

.000**

Note:

** Highly Significant at 0.01

The power for this research project indicated that 362 surveys would be required for the results to be statistically significant.  There was a total of 547 respondents that completed the survey.  Of those 547 respondents, 9 were excluded because they did not meet the inclusion criteria or did not complete the survey correctly, leaving 538 respondent participants.  The respondents were relatively diverse, with participants ranging from 18 to over 65 years. The majority of the respondents were between 50 and 65 years and older (285, 53.98%, see Table 1).  Additionally, the respondents had equal representation regarding gender, with slightly more female respondents than male (Females 283, 52.60% and male 255, 41.40%, see Table 2).

 

The patient’s experience during hospitalization has been a point of refinement for health services improvement.  A likert-style survey was utilized and a model representing the patient’s perceived physical health impact emerged from the analysis (see Figure 3).  The model consisted of 2 major themes (see Table3), with approximately 57.81% of respondents indicating no perceived negative physical impact and 29.37% showing a minor negative physical impact.

 

ANOVA statistical method identified a significant difference in perceived physical health between gender and whether their physical health was impacted (see Table 4, Appendix II). Females (M=1.68, SD=.894) agree more than males (M=1.52, SD=.832) that their physical health was impacted. F (1, 536) = 3.452, p= 0.032.  As the P-value is less than 0.05, this indicates the statistical significance and gives evidence against the null hypothesis. There is less than a 5% probability the null hypothesis is correct as of the result of randomization. Thus, we reject the null hypothesis. This finding indicates a definite and consequential relation between gender and perceived physical impact when visitors were limited, where females perceived more physical health impact than males. The overall results reveal that approximately 57.81% of respondents indicate no physical impact. In comparison, 42.19% of respondents indicate minor to severe negative impact, with only 1.67% of respondents indicating a severe negative physical impact. This was further analyzed (see Appendix IV) with 133 females indicating some form of perceived negative physical health impact, while only 94 males reported a negative physical health impact.   

 

Additionally, statistical analysis was performed to evaluate the difference between age groups, and their perceived physical health was impacted (see Table 5, Appendix III).  The ANOVA statistical method identified a highly significant difference between age and physical health impact.  Those in the age groups from 18 to 19 years old (M=2.17, SD = 1.193) agree more than those from 30 to 34 years old (M=1.39, SD=0.629).  According to data collected, the order of  age and physical impact from  age groups with  highest perceived  physical  impact to  least  perceived physical  impact is as follows: 18 to 19 years old (M=2.17, SD = 1.193) with highest perceived physical impact, 20 to 24 years old  (M=2.00, SD=1.044), 65 years and older (M=1.83, SD=1.106), 35 to 39 years old (M=1.70, SD= 0.832),  25 to 29  years old (M=1.63, SD= 0.833), 40 to 44 years old (M=1.54, SD= 0.830), 60 to 64 years old  (M= 1.53, SD= 0.700), 45 to 49 years old (M = 1.50 , SD= 0.754), 55 to 59 years old (M= 1.49, SD= 0.778), 50 to 54 years old (M=1.45, SD=0.810), 30 to 34 years old (M=1.39, SD=0.629) with least perceived physical impact. F (10,527) =2.722, p< .01. According to the p-value, we can reject the null hypothesis.  The results provide support indicating a definite and consequential relationship between age group and perceived physical impact.

 

The ANOVA statistical method identified a significant difference in mental health between gender and whether their mental health was impacted (see Appendix II).  Females (M=3.92, SD=1.079) agree more than males (M-3.47, SD=1.163) that their mental health was impacted. F (1,536) = 0.748, p< 0.001).  According to the p-value, the researchers can reject the null hypothesis. Our results provide support indicating there is a definite and consequential relationship between gender and mental health impact.  According to the data (see Table 6), approximately 94.42% of the respondents perceived that their mental health was negatively impacted, with the majority of respondents, 32.16% indicating they felt the visitor restrictions had a major negative impact on their mental health.

 

 Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate the difference between age groups and their perceived mental health impact. Those in 20 to 24 years old (M=4.22, SD= 0.951) agree more than any other age group that their mental health was impacted. Those in the age groups from 30 to 34 (M=3.39, SD=1.286) agree that their mental health was impacted. F (10,527) = 1.648, p>.05. One- Way ANOVA data indicates no statistical difference between age groups and perceived mental health impact. Thus, for this relationship we fail to reject the null hypothesis.

 

A Pearson correlation was used to express how the two variables, age, and perceived physical impact, are linearly related (See Table 9). The data indicates no correlation between age and physical health, r (538) =-0.076, p> 0.05. However, the data is not statistically significant. Additionally, the correlation between age and mental health was also measured. The data indicates no correlation between age groups and perceived mental health impact, r (538) = 0.016, p >.05. The data is also not statistically significant.  Thus, we fail to reject the null hypothesis for both a correlation between age and physical health and for age and mental health.  The lack of evidence doesn’t prove that an effect does not exist.

 

A Chi-Square test was used to examine whether a statistically significant relationship exists between nominal and ordinal variables to determine whether two variables are independent of one another.  We looked at whether gender and perceived physical health are independent or not (see Table 10, Appendix IV). The data indicates no relationship between gender and perceived physical health X2 (4, N=538) = 6.541, p>.05. There was no association between gender and perceived physical health. Thus, we fail to reject the null hypothesis, and our data did not provide sufficient evidence to conclude that an effect exists. We also examined the statistically significant relationship between gender and mental health (see Table 11, Appendix V). The data indicates, there is a significant relationship between gender and mental health X2 (4, N=538) = 29.299, p<.01.  Thus, we reject the null hypothesis, indicating a relationship between gender and mental health.

Discussion

The respondent age profile is outlined in Figure 1 and Table 1.  Furthermore, the age distribution is outlined in Figure 2 and Table 2, with 47.4% (255) of respondents being male patients and 52.60% (283) female patients.

 

On the provided scale of 1-5, 1 being no negative impact on physical health and 5 indicating a severe negative impact on physical health, 57.81% (311) of respondents answered that they experienced no negative impact as a result of the “No Visitor Policy” which were put in place due to COVID-19 in Windsor, Ontario. 42.19% (227) reported negative impact; with 29.37% (158) minor negative impact and 1.67% (9) severe negative impact (see Figure 3 & Table 3).

 

Although more than 57% of the respondents answered, they experienced no physically negative impact, 43% of people did share some type of negative impact regarding their physical health and social isolation.  Studies have shown that people with depression have worse outcomes in physical recovery.20.

 

Furthermore, with regards to mental health, the provided scale of 1-5, 1 being no negative impact and 5 being severe negative impact; 94.43% (508) were impacted; with 8.47% (47) with minor impact and 29.18% (157) being severely impacted (see Figure 4 and Table 4). Several studies have described mental health consequences in prior lockdowns, such as increased depression, stress, or insomnia.17 What was unknown was the mental state and capacity of the individuals that completed the survey for the study.8

 

Zavaleta et al. (2017) defined social isolation as “inadequate quality and quantity of social relations with other people at the individual, group, community, and larger social environment levels where human interaction takes place.”22 Policymakers and practitioners have realized the role those social relationships play with individuals. Structures through social connections can influence health.20 People with mental illness may have a more significant negative experience with isolation than the general population.

 

According to the results, there was a difference between gender and physical health. More females were impacted in their physical health than males; being a female was considered a risk factor.17

 

All age groups were negatively impacted in their physical health; however, the 18-19-year-old group was most affected.  To isolate these young adults from their families and peers could introduce forms of depression and anxiety.1

 

There was a difference between gender and mental health, with women being more affected than men. Study results from China and Italy suggest that women are more vulnerable to stress than men.1

 

There is a difference in the relationship between females and physical and mental health. More females were negatively impacted in these categories than males.  Women and young adults are more likely to experience depression and anxiety than other groups.8 One study found that at the beginning of lockdown, younger adults and women, and people with pre-existing mental health conditions reported higher levels of depression and stress.8    

 

Biological processes in gender differences are not fully understood; however, some evidence shows that the changing hormones in women may be responsible for sensitivity to emotional stimuli.1 Along with greater brainstem activation in women and greater hippocampal activation in men may enhance their capacity to conceptualize fear.

 

This study aimed to understand the patient experience, paying particular attention to aspects of hospitalization visitation policy during COVID restrictions. Policy and practice related to visiting hours are of pressing concern and will continue to be an ever-changing aspect of medical healthcare, specifically when the fear of an epidemic or pandemic is of genuine concern.  Following the reactions to Coronavirus of 2019, policies and practices related to visiting hours in healthcare settings have become pressing, with no evidence-based guideline to inform decision-makers regarding the best available method. These findings provide insight for leaders and hospital policy makers into patients’ perceived physical and mental health impact during a time of hospital stays. The challenge presented is to maintain positive health outcomes, especially when faced with the challenge of minimizing the spread of infections. It is best to be proactive. This study provides insight into the importance of patients’ perception of physical health and mental health to better implement policies that decrease negative impact while increasing positive effect on patients. 

 

Quarantines should be as short as possible to minimize the stress and negative impact physically and mentally.17 Some recommendations to help with social isolation would be to strengthen social connection and cognitive stimulation.17

Limitations

Due to the nature of this retrospective observational study and the limited resources, this study will not capture respondents who expired during their hospitalization. Further limitations in the study include the possibility of recall bias and selection bias.  Efforts were made to decrease confounders within the study by formatting the survey in the form of scales and prolonged-time collecting data for three months, thus allowing for a larger sample size.  However, human memory is imperfect; the participants were asked to recall specific details to collect dates, thus introducing “recall bias” as patients may not remember the facts accurately.  Furthermore, the study subjects may not be representative of the population as participants who chose to answer the survey may be different from those who decided not to answer.  

 

Furthermore, there were no clear-cut quantitative definitions of no impact to severe impact. Each individual participant has an internal gauge of this definition and so there is not really any standard to assess what is considered no impact for one patient and what is considered severe impact for another patient. To combat this the data separated the groups into no impact and impact thereby alleviating some of that statistical discrepancy.

Conclusion

In summary this study has determined that during times of acute illness a patient’s mental and physical health are needed for recovery.  According to this preliminary data, when hospital visitations are restricted, interventions should be considered to minimize the impact on physical and mental health. Moreover, the findings should be extrapolated and considered by healthcare professionals in the future when formulating response plans to confront future catastrophic and/or pandemic-like events.

 

Many studies have indicated patient outcomes are directly linked to the patient’s social support. We believe that our data warrants further investigation into other patient populations in order to determine if there is a link between the “No Visitor Policy” implemented during COVID and a patient’s perceived mental and physical health.  We also believe that more data could prove beneficial in the future with regards to policy implementation changes.

Acknowledgements

There was no funding required for this observational study.

Disclosure Statement

The author(s) have no relevant financial disclosures or conflicts of interest.

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  22. Zavaleta D, Samuel K, Mills C. Social isolation: a conceptual and measurement proposal. Oxford: Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI); 2014. https://doi.org/10.35648/20.500.12413/11781/ii029

About the Author

Eman Al Haddad

I am a current second year medical student at Saint James School Of Medicine Anguilla.  I received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Windsor.  I completed training in Medical Laboratory Science from St. Clair College.  I not only manage the daily life of a medical student, but am also able to continue my work as a Medical Technologist at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.  I have worked as a Medical Technologist for the last seven years with a specialized focus in blood transfusion medicine.  I am a current member of the American Medical Student Association.  I look forward to advancing the field of medicine through innovation and research.

Brent Hill

I am a current second year medical student at Saint James School Of Medicine Anguilla.  I have had the opportunity to be involved in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for over 15 years and have special interest in the promising effects of HBOT management of patients with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).  I hope to complete my residency in either Emergency Medicine (EM) or Internal Medicine (IM) with possible fellowship in HBOT.  I have a special interest in research and hope to continue to find projects that will promote excellence and advancement within the medical community.

 

Kristina Grant

I am a current medical student at Saint James School Of Medicine Anguilla.  I am concurrently completing a dual doctorate pathway which I will complete a Doctorate in Public Health along with my Medical Doctorate.  I joined the United States Army at the age of 17 and served in Iraq.  I served a total of 10 years in the United States Army.  I am currently involved in the Student National Medical Association, Inc. (SNMA) where I am serve as the Diversity Research Chair.  As the Diversity Research Chair for SNMA, our committees role is to focus on promoting support through investments and improving the amount and quality of research in those underrepresented minority areas through the eyes of those minority medical students.  SNMA also focuses on promoting racial equality within the physician medical profession.

Sabrina Henri

I am a current second year medical student at Saint James School Of Medicine Anguilla.  I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Nursing.  I also received a Master’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Health Service Administration.  I have always wanted to pursue a career in the medical field.  I initially thought about applying to Dental school but after being exposed as an Emergency Room Nurse during the Pandemic, I felt a calling to apply to medical school.  I received my Bachelor’s degree of Nursing from Mount Aloysius College and believe that because of that strong base in education, faith and learning I am better equipped and more well rounded as a physician in training during this pandemic and as a future practicing physician.  I am also very interested in providing access to quality mental health care that respects people’ human rights and implementation of Emergency Medical Services to help health equity, while decreasing the existing health disparities.

Hugh Giffords

I am a current medical student at Saint James School Of Medicine Anguilla.  I currently practice Veterinary Medicine in Phoenix, Arizona.  I received my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  I have had the opportunity to experience the healthcare profession from a variety of different perspectives as I previously worked as a police officer for the NYPD and as a first responder firefighter with the New York Fire Department.  On September 11th, 2001 I was part of the New York Fire Department first responders on scene.  Those brave men and women will never be forgotten.  Being there when the North Tower fell and observing the bravery of average everyday men and women is something that I will remember for a lifetime.  I have continued a life of service both in Veterinarian Medicine and now as a medical student at Saint James School Of Medicine.  I hope that everyone will remember all those great guys that lost their lives during 9/11 and that the path I have chosen will make them proud.

Dr. Melchor L Bareng MSc., MSc., PhD., PGCOHS

Dr. Melchor L Bareng is the current Dean of Student Affairs at Saint James School Of Medicine at the Anguilla campus.  Dr. Melchor L Bareng has received two Master degrees as well as a PhD degree.  Dr. Melchor L Bareng has a Master in Public Health – Infectious Diseases from James Lind Institute and a Master of Science in Public Health from Universita Telematica Internazionale UNINETTUNO.  Dr. Bareng also has a Master of Science degree in Human Biology for which he graduated in 2008 from Cagayan State University.  Dr. Bareng received his Doctor of Philosophy in 2012 from Cagayan State University.  He also completed Post Graduate Course in Occupational Health and Safety at the University of the Philippines.  He is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine at Saint James School of Medicine.  His subject area of focus is Histology.  He currently teaches Histology.  Dr. Melchor L Bareng is also an instructor of research, statistics and methodology.  He mentors current medical students and is a co-author on our current research project focusing on how the “No Visitor Policies” implemented during COVID have impacted the individual patient’s mental and physical health.