For the past five years, the Bessie Kates Foundation Inc. has been providing immeasurable support to the Black River Hospital in St. Elizabeth; the efforts of only two members, founder Alicia Kelly and photographer, Will Lewis.
The Foundation, which is named in honour of the grandmother of Ms. Kelly, was established in June 2009, with the aim of providing free medical supplies and equipment to hospitals and clinics in developing nations.
Ms. Kelly, who holds a Masters of Jurisprudence in Health Law, and who lived in Jamaica for one year, noted that the team visits the hospital biannually to provide a range of clinical and educational services, in addition to donating sundries and equipment.
She pointed out that in 2017, the team which also included her mother, retired pediatrician, Dr. Gayle Kates, a paediatric nephrologist and an ICU paediatric nurse visited the hospital during the week, August 21- 25, and provided support to the hospital team in several areas.
The Bessie Kates Foundation Inc. founder explained that on this visit, training was provided to staff in areas of risk management and customer service, in addition to providing support to the hospital’s medical records department. She added that the Foundation also donated supplies to the hospital including bed linen and several small equipment.
“Our goal is to become a clear bridge of healthcare delivery to hospitals, clinics, and government bodies. We believe that everyone deserves quality health care. No matter where you reside, your health should never be compromised” Ms. Kelly said.
For CEO for the hospital, Mrs. Diana Brown-Miller, the support from the Foundation has been tremendous as staff and patients look forward to the visit of the team each year. She added that the partnership has significantly boosted patient care at the facility.
“Over the last five years, the Black River Hospital has received donations of bed linen, small equipment as well as volunteers assisting in various areas of the hospital. The Medical Records department was given significant support with the organization of their files and the arranging of thousands of inactive dockets in numerical order for purging. A team of three volunteers was here in the week of August 01-05, 2017 and did two days of work in medical records and also assisted in the feeding of patients” Mrs. Brown-Miller added.
In August 2018, the team will be providing support in areas of cardiology, paediatrics, nephrology and diabetic care.
For more information contact:
Latoya Laylor Brown
Public Relations & Advocacy Officer
Southern Regional Health Authority
Email: [email protected]