New York, NY, October 17, 2017: The American Friends of Jamaica, Inc. (AFJ) in collaboration with the North East Regional Health Authority (NEHRA) commenced refurbishment of the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital Male Surgical Ward in December 2016. The Most Honorable Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minister of Health, Dr. Christoper Tufton officiated the ribbon cutting ceremony of the newly renovated ward on Friday, October 6th. The project objectives were to improve conditions at the hospital so that patients and staff will function in a healthy and safe environment with better access to healthcare. Residents from nearby communities and visitors to the island will benefit from the upgrade of this facility.
In addition to cruise line and air visitors to popular tourist destination Ocho Rios, St. Ann’s Bay Hospital serves residents in communities in and around the parish of St. Ann. There has been a shortage of beds and the staff struggle to maintain safety and quality patient care. Patients are discharged prematurely to accommodate new admissions and to avoid constant overspill.
The project scope included replacing the roof, doors, windows, floor, beds, electrical and plumbing and other equipment. The projected timeline for completion was 3-4 months. “It is certainly a pleasure to once again partner with AFJ, who has demonstrated the ability to bring international donors and local partners together all in the name of improving lives. We know that an individual’s health is their true wealth. We feel that this partnership has provided the dedicated Doctors and Nurses at the St. Ann’s Hospital a ward which will continue to improve on the lifesaving services they offer to so many locals and visitors to Jamaica,” stated Heidi Clarke, Executive Director, Sandals Foundation.
The project was initiated with direct-donations from Jamaican businessman Mr. Cecil Sam Wright, President of Quality AutoMall in New Jersey who is originally from St. Ann. The AFJ was thrilled to welcome a partnership with Sandals Foundation and appreciates their passion and responsiveness. Additional donations were derived from AFJ fundraisers including gala pledges, online and private donations.