Acting CEO, Percy Junor Hospital, Sharon Hibbert Hemmings (left), presents a certificate of appreciation to Dr Beverlyn Allen (centre) and Joan Howard of the Jamaica Nurses Association of Florida for the US$80,000 donation of medical supplies and equipment, which was presented to the Percy Junor Hospital on August 16, 2023. Photo: JIS
MANCHESTER, Jamaica – Medical supplies and equipment worth US$80,000 were handed over to the Percy Junor Hospital, in Clarendon, on August 16.
This was done by Dr Beverlyn Allen, vice president of the Jamaica Nurses Association of Florida and a team comprising members of the Kiwanis Club of Kendall, South Dade, Rachel Dixon Memorial Fund, in collaboration with Dinthill Past Students’ Association.
“Every time we come, we donate to different hospitals, but this is one of our biggest donations, so far. Hospitals are chosen based on recommendations,” said Dr Allen at the ceremony.
The group of some 49 doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals and volunteers are in Jamaica for a medical mission from August 14 to 18.
For the last 38 years, the team has been doing medical missions to their homeland, and this year they saw close to 3,000 people in Kingston, Bethany in Manchester, Three Hills Community Centre and Salem Baptist Church in St Ann and Dinthill Technical High School in St Catherine.
“When we started the mission, our goal was to give back to the less fortunate communities, and we sought out remote areas where people did not have easy access to health services. That’s why we bring medication supplies, clothes and book bags for the children. So, it’s not only a medical mission, but also a humanitarian mission,” Dr Allen said.
She noted that on the medical side, the doctors examine patients and prescribe medications accordingly.
Following requests, they have for two years collaborated with the Dinthill Technical High School Past Students Association to do back-to-school examinations and medical certificates for children returning to school in September.
Dr Allen said this year, they also filled many prescriptions and disbursed school supplies and school shoes, so the mission was an overwhelming success.
Some medical practitioners from the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) and the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA), and personnel from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Jamaica Fire Brigade also assisted with the mission.
One member of the team, Dr Ann Marie Allen, of Baptist Health Hospital, said her facility was always looking for areas to which they can give assistance and make donations.
Dr Allen said she held the Percy Junor Hospital close to her heart, as her relatives had been treated there in the past.
Speaking on behalf of his wife’s charity, Oswald Dixon said they were always happy to return home to the hospital, Christiana Health Centre, Bethany Primary, Devon Primary and Hibernia Basic School.
“We believe in health because a healthy nation is a nation with people who can work. If you have all the money in the world and you’re not healthy, you are in trouble. So, we believe in giving back to our community,” Dixon said.
He said his love for the hospital stems from the fact that his first child, now a medical doctor, was born there and their family was passionate about giving back to their communities and will continue to give back to it as long as they have life.
“The Rachel Dixon Memorial Fund will not go away as long as I am alive,” he said.
Meanwhile, Acting Chief Executive Officer at the hospital, Sharon Hibbert Hemmings, said she was pleased to know that there were friends of the hospital like the very generous donors who were working so hard on their behalf.
“When we see all this, it speaks volumes; together as a team you have done all this for us. We are happy to know that we have brothers and sisters on whom we can call for the benefit of all the patients at Percy Junor,” she said.
The donated items included 10 stretchers, two intensive care beds, hospital beds, an electrocardiogram (EKG) machine, sheets, crutches, walkers, disposable gloves, bandages, humidifiers, reusable gowns, bed pads, face masks and ostomy bags.