St. Croix, U.S VIRGIN ISLANDS – The VI Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Division is hosting the Territory’s first-ever Cancer Summit, Tuesday and Wednesday (July 18 – 19), on St. Croix, bringing together local and federal government partners, community organizations, healthcare providers and advocates to collaborate on the development of a USVI Cancer Plan.

The two-day summit will be held at Carambola Resort in Frederiksted and will feature presentations from key stakeholders including the USVI Cancer Coalition, Center for Disease Control (CDC), American Cancer Society, the Office of the Governor’s-Office of Health Information Technology and the VI Department of Health’s leadership. The Department of Health’s Chronic Diseases and Prevention Division will also share its most recent cancer data.

“The summit is a crucial step in the Department of Health’s initiative to increase prevention through early detection, to expand healthcare access to disadvantaged communities and to better support those diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers,” said Justa Encarnacion, VI Health Commissioner. “Our partnerships and the community’s involvement are key to its success. We are genuinely excited about the collaboration and what we can do together to deliver positive outcomes.”

The Chronic Diseases and Prevention Division has reported that cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Territory after cardiovascular disease, which aligns with national trends. Breast and prostate cancers are most common for females and males, respectively.

 “Working in partnership with our key stakeholders, we will identify service gaps, barriers to health equity, and address cancer prevention and control in our community,” said Lyna Fredericks, Director of the Chronic Diseases Division. “We know that many of these deaths could have been prevented if the disease has been caught in the early stage. Ultimately, we aim is to reduce cancer incidence, mortality, and the economic burden of care in the US Virgin Islands.”

The VIDOH Cancer Summit is a working conference, meaning that all attendees will be contributing to the plan’s development. While it is not open to the public, the goal is to ensure that the community remains engaged in the process. The department invites the public to watch the livestream of the presentations and to share their thoughts and ideas in the comment section.  

The public may view the livestream at, YouTube/USVI_DOH, Government Access Channel 27.