Representatives of the Port Maria Hospital in St Mary were elated to receive a donation of medical equipment from the JN Foundation.

The equipment, which comprise an ECG machine, 10 Pulse oximeters, six digital thermometers, a vital signs monitor and a hospital lamp and stand were funded by a grant provided from the JN Foundation.

“JN has always been working with us and to see that we have put forth this project to them, requesting equipment to enhance healthcare and that it has been approved, I can say that we are overjoyed and for sure this will enhance service delivery for our patients,” said Lorraine Brown-Wright, chief executive officer of the Port Maria Hospital.

Dr Powell Sydney, senior medical officer at the Port Maria Hospital, underscored the importance of partnership with the private sector, as he noted that the health sector is in need of critical equipment to improve healthcare.

“These partnerships are clearly critical for us because there is no way that gap can be closed without benefactors and in particular one of the measures… [used to determine] whether a country is developed is actually [the] maternal mortality ratio, which reflects the care that we give to women,” he said.

Dr Sydney noted that there has been a significant decrease in the death rate of women. He said the equipment requested will assist the hospital in managing the care of these patients and other persons with chronic lifestyle diseases.

Jennifer Martin, board director of the JN Foundation, said the JN Foundation was pleased to make the donation of critical equipment that will improve the service offered by the hospital to the general public. The idea to fund the project was presented by the Ocho Rios, Port Maria and Gayle chapter of the JN Circle network.

“The Port Maria Hospital is an important institution in this region, serving not only St Mary, but parts of St Ann, Portland and St Catherine, said Mrs Martin.  “Therefore, when the JN Circle recommended that critical equipment be purchased for the hospital, having done an assessment to ascertain your needs, we were happy to support”.

“Today’s donation will assist with the achievement of the Vision 2030 national development goals, as it will improve access to high quality healthcare in the parish of St Mary and communities in other parishes,” she added.

Orlene McNeish, president of the JN Circle Ocho Rios, Port Maria and Gayle chapter, said that the hospital was selected for the donation because of the need for the equipment to improve health care.

“Another thing that has struck me over the past year and preceding years is that we are seeing a flight of medical personnel and we know that we have the best. We do not want to see [our medical staff] leaving Port Maria Hospital. Today, we are bringing in equipment that is going to make the jobs [medical staff] easier and so you can attract well needed talents,” she said.

“So instead of seeing resignations, we want you to see resumes coming into Port Maria Hospital. That is part of the dream and the vision we have for the parish,” she added.

The JN Foundation last year issued a call for proposals for projects that will improve communities. The Foundation committed up to $1.5 million in financing available for each project. The Port Maria Hospital was one of seven projects that were awarded grants. The projects covered a range of social development, education and health initiatives in communities across six parishes.