The Buffalo Jamaica Innovation Enterprise consists of leaders of the University at Buffalo, the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations (NAJASO), the Jamaican and American Association of Buffalo (JAAB) and the City of Buffalo working together to connect Buffalo with Jamaica fostering collaboration in health care and information technology projects.
From the Start: In January 2013, a one-day meeting, chaired by Dr. Gene Morse, SUNY Distinguished Professor, took place at the University at Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences with multiple presentations related to the proposed program between Buffalo and Jamaica. The attendees included leadership of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations (NAJASO), the Jamaica American Association of Buffalo and the City of Buffalo. Buffalo health care business leaders were also present. The meeting concluded with discussions that created a framework for the planning of the Buffalo Jamaica Innovation Enterprise.
Core Committee: A Core Committee was formed that included Dr. Morse, Dr. Charles Anderson, Sr, MD and Ms. Beverly Joy on a weekly basis throughout 2013, 2014 and up to the present in 2015. Dr. Anderson is an ex officio member of the Jamaica Ministry of Health Think Tank and Advisory Group on mobilizing support for health from the Jamaica Diaspora. Dr. Anderson is the co-founder of Project Respect and the National Medical Association, Buffalo Chapter. As a member of Caribbean Medical Mission and HELP Jamaica Medical Mission, he has provided free medical care throughout the Caribbean. Dr. Anderson is the Chairman of the Board of the Jamaican and American Association of Buffalo, a member organization of NAJASO. Mrs. Joy is an Executive Committee member of the Board of the Jamaican and American Association of Buffalo.
Background: Jamaica recently experienced an acute chikungunya virus outbreak. In addition, many patients are experiencing other acute infections (e.g. influenza), mosquito borne viruses (e.g. dengue), as well as chronic viral infections including HIV, HCV and HBV. The potential for detecting and treating ebola infection in individuals entering Jamaica is also a high priority for Jamaica public health officials.
One of the initial education and training initiatives will be the Jamaica Global Infectious Diseases Research Training Program (GIDRTP).
The WNY STEM Hub of the Empire State STEM Learning Network facilitates collaboration among business, education, community organizations, arts and cultural organizations, and government entities to advance the interdisciplinary teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics in support of sustained economic and intellectual vitality in our five-county region.
WNY will be a thriving economic region whose innovative workforce and citizenry are created through interdisciplinary STEM collaboration.
additional information on the WNY STEM Hub is available at: http://wnystem.org/
WNY STEM Hub meets with Jamaica Minister of Education: At a recent meeting with the Jamaica Minister of Education, representatives of WNY STEM and the Buffalo Jamaica Innovation Enterprise (BJIE) met to discuss the STEM initiative for Jamaica.
In addition to the visit to the Ministry of Education, Drs. Buchanan, Kavanaugh, Anderson and Whittaker also met with representatives of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus School of Engineering. This is the first year of operation for this new four year program. Next year, it is anticipated that an engineering program will be established through the university that will employ students.
The Jamaican and American Association of Buffalo (JAAB), founded in 1989 in Buffalo, NY was the city’s heartfelt response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Gilbert. Jamaicans and their American counterparts came together as one to provide support for those whose lives had been altered by the hurricane’s effects. Since its inception, JAAB has provided solace to many people (both in the US and abroad) in the form of effective medical, educational, economic and cultural programs. JAAB, a member organization of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations (a U.S. based 501c(3) non-profit organization), embodies the Jamaican National Seal's motto: Out of many, one people!
The National Association of Jamaican & Supportive Organizations, Inc. (NAJASO) is a non-profit, tax-exempt umbrella Association of Jamaicans and supporters throughout the United States and internationally. NAJASO was founded July 4, 1977, when representatives of Jamaican groups from across the United States of America met in Washington, DC and launched the national body to address immediate problems which primarily affected their communities in the United States.
Gene Morse also directs the Translational Pharmacology Research Core in UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. He has been actively involved in drug development research since the introduction of antiretrovirals for HIV in 1986, with more recent emphasis on HCV infection and antiviral drug development.
He is the principal Investigator for the NIH Fogarty International Center, HIV Research Training Program with the University of Zimbabwe, co-chair of the SUNY-University of the West Indies Faculty Task Force for Health Research Development and chair of the Buffalo Jamaica Innovation Enterprise Executive Committee. Morse is the hub steward for the Western New York Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Hub.
Beverly Joy Morrison has worked with nonprofit organizations for 40 years. She worked with the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts at a local church level as well as serving on the Diocesan Council and the Bishop’s Executive Committee. Her current nonprofit service is in the role of President of Jamaican and American Association of Buffalo and Recording Secretary for National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations. Morrison is a Board Member of Buffalo Jamaica Innovation Enterprise. Beverly is President and CEO of a medical practice management company and is passionate in coordinating the care of patients. She is a graduate of Boston College. Above all, Beverly is the proud mother of Noelle and Vanessa; grandmother of Marc.
Previously President & CEO of Pearce & Pearce Co., Inc., a real estate management and investment firm. Prior to moving to Buffalo in 2000, was Senior Vice President and practice manager at Stern Stewart & Co., a corporate finance advisory firm based in New York City. Current and previous board service includes: 716 Squash (Treasurer); U.B. School of Social Work – Dean’s Advisory Council; Forest Lawn Heritage Foundation; Buffalo Jamaica Innovation Enterprise; Medaille College (Chairman, Advancement Committee; Executive Committee); Buffalo Seminary; Kaleida Health Foundation (Chairman); Buffalo Zoological Gardens capital campaign steering committee; Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fontana Boathouse;. Graduate of Lawrence University with a BA in Government.
Gibson is a full-time chemistry professor at SUNY Buffalo State College. He also serves as the comptroller for Spectrum Radiology Associates. Members of the board of trustees are principally charged with the strategic, long-term protection and strengthening of the financial, physical and programmatic assets of the school, while manifesting the mission of the school. Board members have a three-year term, and serve on at least one standing committee of the board.