JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation Gifts J$1.7M Towards UHWI Field Hospital
The JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation has joined with other corporate donors to make the near-completed field hospital at University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) a reality, with its donation of approximately J$1.7 million (US$12,000). This facility, which will cater to COVID-19 patients, and comes in response to the dramatic increase in hospitalization, as the country goes through another wave of infections.
Kim Mair, CEO of the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation shared, “We are pleased to join with other corporate donors in assisting the UHWI in this way, as we recognize that partnership is critical to successfully balancing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives and livelihoods of our fellow Jamaicans. Our Vision of Love motivates us to accept our social responsibility, understanding the role we play as a link in a wider chain, of society. As such, the Foundation acknowledges the importance of our part in providing funding for the preservation of lives, by ensuring the best care can be provided to those who may become ill as a result of COVID-19.”
Speaking at a walk-through of the facility and donor handover event recently, Hon. Daryl Vaz, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, commended the companies that have given to the project thus far. He also urged other companies to come onboard to assist in completing the facility and assist in further outfitting the facility with well-needed equipment. “This is a matter of life and death, (and as such) I urge you to give, and give generously,” he added.
Dr. Carl Bruce, medical chief of staff at the hospital underscored that the impact of the pandemic was far-reaching and that the facility will ensure that the hospital can continue to deliver on its mandate to provide top-class medical care in a humane manner, while also maintaining its role as a teaching hospital, responsible for preparing the next generation of medical professionals. He outlined that the facility will allow the University to be better able to develop the critical skills of medical students in the next 2 years, as it continues to train and certify the critical skills needed and expose students to modern technology, in keeping with its mandate as a world-class teaching medical institution.
The modular hospital will be equipped to operate autonomously and is entirely created to offer high-quality medical assistance. Throughout the layout process of the field hospital, experienced medical professionals and suppliers have been consulted, to ensure that it offers a practical approach and that the hospital complies with best practices and the latest standards in modern health care. It will house a nurses’ station; sluice room; doffing and donning areas, to ensure the medical team is able to handle personal protective equipment with the utmost safety; resuscitation areas and isolation rooms to manage suspected COVID-19 patients; and will be equipped with modern medical technology, including surveillance for remote monitoring of patients.
Gary Allen, CEO of RJRGleaner Communications Group, who spearheaded the UHWI field hospital project, built to a tune of J$50M, gave kudos for the support of donors and other key stakeholders; outlining that their support allowed for this phase of project to be completed within a one-month period. Allen in his brief remarks at the event, shared that leading the project was an opportunity to make a positive difference and to honour the lives of his late colleagues, Michael Sharpe and Rohan Scarlett, who regrettably succumbed to COVID -19, even with the excellent medical attention received at UHWI. The RJRGleaner Group boss commended corporate Jamaica for its contributions stating, “the willingness to help shows that the best part of Jamaica is still alive.”
Standing for the Greatness of All
The Foundation’s contribution to this project is in keeping with its commitment to stand for the greatness of all, as evidenced by its support of other initiatives, designed to manage and reduce the spread of COVID-19. As such, the company has responded to calls from the PSOJ to lend financial support to the One Tablet or Laptop Per Child initiative, spearheaded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI), along with the Junior Achievement Jamaica and National Education Trust (NET), to provide needy students with the requisite tools to function in the virtual teaching and learning environment.
The JMMB Group has also assisted with the distribution of food packages (in the amount J$10 million) through the PSOJ COVID Relief. The fund was aimed at mobilising and distributing resources for the protection and welfare of Jamaicans, through a multi-sectoral partnership, including other umbrella organisations such as the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), The United Way of Jamaica (UWJ), American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), and other key stakeholders.