More than $6 million of critically identified equipment and resources have been donated by the Sandals Foundation and its parent company, Sandals Resorts International (SRI), to strengthen the capacity of the island’s healthcare services.
In response to the growing needs within the island’s hospitals, the philanthropic organisation has donated a cadre of vital sign monitors, handheld meters with sensors, hospital grade stretchers, laptops for data storage and more valued at over $4million.
The supplies, which were recently delivered to the Savanna La Mar, Black River, St. Ann’s Bay Regional and Port Maria Hospitals, formed part of a Ministry of Health and Wellness critical needs list.
“For the past nineteen months, our island’s medical professionals and facilities have been operating in overdrive. We are happy to be able to provide some of the key resources to help increase the capacity of our first responders as they provide the quality care needed for patients while also bolstering their own professional wellbeing,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation.
In receiving the donation, Chief Executive Officer at the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, Dennis Morgan shared, “We are deeply grateful for the generous donation which will greatly assist in providing quality healthcare services to our patients and their relatives. It has bolstered our spirits during this time of health emergency and uncertainty, in which our healthcare workers are risking their lives to save others.”
The above support adds to approximately $2 million dollars from SRI towards the expansion of the Covid-19 field hospital at the University Hospital of the West Indies.
That injection will help build additional hard-wall tent structures to the Accident and Emergency area of the hospital, adding some 60 to 80 beds for Covid-19 positive patients being treated at the facility.
In addition, SRI, through its resorts across the island, continue to provide on the ground support to medical teams at the various hospitals including morale boosting engagements and special luncheons. In March this year, Executive Chairman, Adam Stewart also extended free complimentary stays to hundreds of frontline workers with the hope of providing some respite from the day-to-day rigors of providing health care services during this pandemic.
“We are extremely grateful to everyone working within the healthcare services, regardless of their roles. They have been doing a tremendous job in these unprecedented times,” said Clarke.
Since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the Sandals Foundation and Sandals Resorts International have supported the strengthening of the island’s healthcare facilities and the capacity of frontline workers through upgrading hospital infrastructure and providing meals, linens and more. Since 2020, Stewart has allowed the full and cost-free use of its Sandals Inn resort in Montego Bay, first for the quarantining of positive patients and being fully utilized as a vaccination centre.
Both organisations will continue to assess the needs within the sector, providing support where possible and add to the cohesive response under the Council of Voluntary Social Services of which the Sandals Foundation is a member.