Sandals Foundation gives $6m in gifts to health sector
Critically identified equipment donated to bolster health-care services and expand COVID-19 responseWednesday, November 03, 2021
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 health-care services.
In response to the growing needs within the island's hospitals, the philanthropic organisation has donated a cadre of vital sign monitors, hand-held meters with sensors, hospital-grade stretchers, laptops for data storage and more valued at $4 million.
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 19 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 well-being,” said Heidi Clarke, executive director of the Sandals Foundation.
In receiving the donation, CEO of the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital Dennis Morgan said, “We are deeply grateful for the generous donation which will greatly assist in providing quality health-care services to our patients and their relatives. It has bolstered our spirits during this time of health emergency and uncertainty in which our health-care workers are risking their lives to save others.”
The latest donation adds to approximately $2 million 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 of SRI Adam Stewart also extended free complimentary stays to hundreds of front-line workers with the hope of providing some respite from the day-to-day rigours of providing health-care services during this pandemic.
“We are extremely grateful to everyone working within the health-care services, regardless of their roles. They have been doing a tremendous job in these unprecedented times,” said Clarke.
Since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the Sandals Foundation and SRI have supported the strengthening of the island's health-care facilities and the capacity of front line workers through upgrading hospital infrastructure and providing meals, linens, and more.
Since 2020, Stewart has allowed the full and cost-free use of his Sandals Inn resort in Montego Bay, first for the quarantining of positive patients and then being fully utilised as a vaccination centre.
Both organisations will continue to assess the needs within the sector, provide support where possible, and add to the cohesive response under the Council of Voluntary Social Services of which the Sandals Foundation is a member.