CAY HILL--Healthcare professional Dione Trustfull has joined the United People’s (UP) party as a new candidate for the September 26 Parliamentary Elections. This is her first-ever bid for a parliamentary seat.

Trustfull (45) is Case Manager and Coordinator of the Ambulant Care Team of the Mental Health Foundation. She studied healthcare in the Netherlands, and brought with her a wealth of experience to St. Maarten. She first worked with St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) as a dialysis nurse. She is a Registered Nurse with specialization in Dialysis and Diabetes care.

The parliamentary hopeful said better healthcare, both in facilities and more trained personnel, are needed to care for the people of the country. The UP’s strong commitment to the construction of a state-of-the-art hospital and to attract staff to the facility has Trustfull’s support.

Trustfull sees the country’s education system and job sector growing from the healthcare improvements. “There will be no other choice, but to also upgrade our education to lay the foundation for the skilled professionals we will needed to cater to the healthcare sector’s needs,” the first-time candidate said. “As we have specialists in different areas in healthcare to deliver quality care and improve the quality of life, we also need specialists to structure our country. We have to make it our priority and goal to work together to achieve the best for our entire society.

“One of the UP’s priorities is to build of a new hospital. Since healthcare is a focus, I want to see this accomplished. A new hospital will help improve the healthcare for all residents and for those people from neighbouring islands who make use of our facilities. Our current hospital needs a lot of upgrading as the community has outgrown the services currently offered there,” Trustfull said.

Her decision to run in the elections with UP comes from her review of the party’s vision and objectives. “UP’s objectives were most in line with my vision for this country. I want to work for the people of St. Maarten. The people of St. Maarten want to be represented by those who are active in the field and close to the community.”

UP leader Member of Parliament Theo Heyliger said Trustfull is a welcomed addition to the UP slate. “More and more we see professionals in our community answering the call to take up a spot in the public service. Dione is very active in our community and has dedicate her time to caring for those who are most vulnerable, and I salute her for taking her commitment to country and people a step further,” he said.