New security system creates safer environment at Port Maria Hospital
From left: Lorraine Brown–Wright chief executive officer, Port Maria Hospital; Dr Sydney Powell, senior medical officer; and Heidi Clarke, executive director, Sandals Foundation, gather for a photo.

PORT Maria Hospital, serving more than 125,000 people from St Mary and St Ann, has received eight Internet protocol cameras to provide digital video surveillance as a part of their newly upgraded security system, funded by Sandals Foundation's 2023 staging of the Sandals Golf & Jerk Festival.

Valued at approximately $924,000, the system will be an important tool for maintaining a safe and secure environment for patients, employees, and the valuable, life-saving equipment on the grounds.

Speaking at the handover recently, Heidi Clarke, executive director at Sandals Foundation, described the development as a successful indication of what can be accomplished through shared goals and partnership.

"Today we recognise the invaluable service provided by our medical professionals, recognise our equal responsibility in supporting our island's health-care infrastructure, and celebrate the impact of partnerships that make a difference," said Clarke.

"I stand representing the support of United States-based golf and utilities company Tropicars, Digicel Jamaica, Best Dressed Chicken, AC Marriott Kingston, CPJ Market, Starbucks Jamaica, Jamaica Observer, Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, and all partners that came on board," said Clarke.

"Security systems are important tools for maintaining a safe and secure environment at hospitals. They help to protect patients, employees, and equipment; ensure compliance of hospital regulations; protect patient data; prevent theft and vandalism; and monitor high-risk areas like the accident and emergency [area], thus helping [staff] to monitor and respond quickly to incidents," she added.

Senior medical officer at the hospital Dr Sydney Powell said: "It is difficult to find words to speak to Sandals Foundation for its generosity and unwavering support. This donation is the cornerstone in the provision of a safe work environment for all staff, mitigation of patients who abscond, and added measures to the safety of our admitted babies. Continued, quality health care is ensured and would never have been possible without your selfless and continued support. Together we will continue to positively impact the health of all we serve."

Earlier this year, Sandals Foundation hosted the third staging of the Sandals Golf & Jerk Festival at Upton Estate Golf and Country Club in St Ann. The event, which provided a unique combination of sports and a celebration of the island's cuisine, brought together more than 100 local and international golfers and 24 local jerk chefs who tantalised the taste buds of patrons.

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