Laura Tucker-Longsworth

Board Member, Healthy Caribbean Coalition; President, Belize Cancer Society


Why would you like to be on the NCDA Board of Directors?

I would like to work with the NCDA Board of Directors to complement and advance the work of the NCDA through strategic partnerships with the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) and other key CARICOM organizations that have the responsibility for the control of NCDS for the Caribbean countries. It would be an honour to be associated with the work of the NCDA.

The stellar work of the HCC is recognized by CARICOM Heads of Government, PAHO/WHO and other regional and international agencies. The agenda utilizes strategies that include life course prevention, social inclusion and participation, looks at the development of people-centred, primary health care-based health systems for universal health, and advocates strongly for partnerships, networks, and resource mobilisation. As a member of the NCDA Board of Directors I will explore ways to increase NCDA’s supporter base in the region, and explore opportunities for collaboration in key public health initiatives. In support of a region that is low resourced in human and financial capital, I can contribute to discussions on innovative initiatives to address the control of NCDs. Even as I seek to extend NCDA's influence in the Caribbean, NCDA will also benefit from the experience and best practices of the Caribbean, thereby strengthening its’ global response to NCD control. I am well poised to fulfil my obligations as an NCDA Board Member.

What makes you a good candidate for the NCDA Board of Directors?

I consider myself a good candidate for the NCDA Board of Directors because of my experience working at clinical and policy levels. As a long serving director of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, I have been engaged in major advocacy initiatives to address regional and national healthcare issues. This required an understanding of economic and social determinants of health affecting CARICOM countries, the political dimensions of corporations, and other factors that must be addressed to garner support in our countries for prevention and control of NCDS. I have championed key initiatives related to the reduction of childhood obesity, halting of cervical cancer, and front of package labelling. I have a deep sense of community and fully understand the importance of dialogue with the community and persons living with NCDs.

As president of the Belize Cancer Society, I advocate tirelessly for an “all of society” approach to address the prevention and control of cancer and played a key role in sensitizing communities on HPV vaccines and other "end cervical cancer" initiatives. As speaker of the House of Representative I established the Belize Parliamentary Front against Hunger and Malnutrition. My experience in leadership, advocacy, and NCD prevention/control, will greatly contribute to achieving the objectives of the NCD Alliance.


Laura holds a Master’s of Science degree in Nursing from the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University Chicago. She serves as the chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee for the Nurses and Midwives Council of Belize. She was also chairperson of the National AIDs Commission, and championed an Equal Opportunity Bill to protect the human rights of vulnerable citizens. As a long serving president of the Belize Cancer Society, she collaborates with the Ministry of Health (Belize) on cancer related initiatives. She is on the Board of Directors for the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC), and represents the HCC at regional and international meetings. She was the Speaker of the House of Representatives, joining the ranks of only two other women Speakers in Belize and also the recipient of several awards for her contribution to health and nursing.

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