CEO of Cornwall Regional Hospital Everton Anderson (second left) pose with ‘We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital’ directors (from left) Adam Stewart, Eleanor Miller, Mark Hart, and Brian Jardim during the launch of the initiative at Sandals Montego Bay on Tuesday. (Photo: Alan Lewin)
MONTEGO BAY, St James — The charitable organisation ‘We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital’ established last year by a group of concerned business operators in this resort city aimed at raising funds to assist the hospital’s operations has so far raised more than US$73,000 in cash.
The group seeks to collaborate with the hospital’s team of professionals and the Ministry of Health in determining the areas of need for the facility and to assist in raising funds to address the institution’s operational deficiencies.
Its initial efforts are being targeted to the hospital’s paediatric ward, operating theatres and the accident and emergency units.
At Tuesday’s official launch of the initiative held at Sandals Montego Bay, Government praised the move by the business community for administering the much-needed shot in the arm to the ailing health sector.
In a message from Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson, read by Dr Ava Lewis Fuller, chief medical officer in the ministry, Ferguson described the partnership as one of the approaches Government will use to provide better health care.
” This initiative forms part of the implementation of one of the strategies by which we will provide health care for those that are ill,” Ferguson said.
“Building new partnerships is a necessary step in achieving the health goals of the country. The ministry of health and indeed the government cannot do it alone. A partnership such as this relationship that is being launched today provides several advantages.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of the board for ‘ We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital,’ Adam Stewart echoed similar sentiments.
” We feel that through these types of initiatives we can raise funds and we can start to wean away Cornwall Regional’s dependency on the government and its constant dependency of needing more, by getting more people involved. At the end of the day I have always felt that it is kind of unreasonable to expect the government to fix all of the problems, and the people in Jamaica to blast the government–whichever party is in power, it makes no difference,” said Stewart, who is the chief executive officer of Sandals Resorts International and Jamaica Observer deputy chairman and CEO.
” The United States of America has challenges, Europe has challenges–I just came back from Japan on a trip– they have challenges. We will have to find a way to fix our problems.”
He thanked the American Friends of Jamaica, Junior Plus Preparatory School, the Sandals Foundation, Digicel and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) for their donation towards the worthy venture.
Maga Mart, Fontana, and Rain Forest Seafoods are currently involved with ongoing fund-raising activities towards the programme, the Observer West was told.
Cornwall Regional Hospital’s CEO Everton Anderson described the hospital’s collaborative enterprise as “just what the doctor ordered.”
” I believe this is a critical part of any health care industry for there to be a merger between community and healthcare facilities. We appreciate the donations and we are encouraged by what we see here today (Tuesday) from corporate Montego Bay,” remarked an elated Anderson.
Research indicates that the Cornwall Regional Hospital’s current operation is in dire need of basic health care equipment and infrastructural upgrades in order to effectively serve the residents of Trelawny, Hanover, St James and Westmoreland.
‘We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital’ aims to raise US$1.8 million by yearend to upgrade the hospital’s equipment and infrastructure.
Stewart explained that the initiative will be ongoing, as he encouraged other members of the business community to get on board.
“The objective is not a one-time thing. It is to get more people onboard, to get more initiative going so that the cash flow that comes in can build and this is a programme as far as I am concerned that can go on forever more.”
Directors of the group include Stewart, SRI directors Jamie McConnell and Eleanor Miller; Dmitri Singh, attorney- at- law, Mark Hart, CPJ chairman; Paula Kerr -Jarrett, attorney-at-law; Brian Jardim CEO Rainforest Seafood Limited and Candis Craig, attorney-at-law.
ORACE HINES Observer West reporter