February 9, 2017
By: Tamara Bailey
The Mandeville Regional Hospital is one step closer to having its dream of constructing a pathology laboratory realised through a collaborative effort between the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) and the Lions Club of Mandeville.
At the project launch, held recently, on the layout prepared site for construction, it was disclosed that this regional pathology lab would serve the southern parishes of Manchester, St Elizabeth, Clarendon, and Trelawny and is expected to significantly reduce the waiting time for test results and post-mortems.
According to Hopeton Falconer of the Lions Club, the service club has done several projects that have benefited the parish, but this is by far their most ambitious project.
“In recent times, we have worked quite closely with the Mandeville Regional Hospital and have provided them with cardiac monitors, a defibrillator, and was a main donor when the hospital started its haemodialysis unit, but the need for anatomical pathology services at the hospital has become critical,” Falconer said.
As a result of the lack of facilities, the regional pathologist, Dr Colette Hall, is forced to operate in borrowed space at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where all surgical specimens and biopsies taken in Mandeville, have to be sent.
NOWHERE NEAR TARGET
While proceeds from the club’s past and future stagings of their signature event, ‘Men Who Cook’, will go to this cause, it will not be enough to secure the over $34 million needed to complete the building.
“We are nowhere near our target, and so we are seeking the assistance of those who can make donations. We appeal to you to help make this dream of ours a reality, as we continue to live by our motto, ‘We Serve’,” said Falconer.
The Lions Club is expecting to receive tremendous support at their ‘Men who cook’ event on Sunday, April 30, in addition to having donations made to the project accounts JMMB (Jamaican dollars) AC#1251622 and (US dollar) AC# 1393769.
Regional technical director of the SRHA, Michael Coombs, in his address, expressed his appreciation for the public-private partnership through which health care can be improved.
“(We want) to establish a regional laboratory offering a comprehensive set of services with the advancements in technology and human resource. Ultimately, our aim is to have this lab accredited according to international standards,” he said.
Chairman of SRHA Wayne Chen lauded the Lions Club, among other volunteers, for reinstating hope.
“The predictions of the town and community’s demise have been many in the past. Certainly, with the exodus of the Bauxite alumina industry, there was a feeling that you would go into steady and protracted decline, but I want to pay special tribute to those volunteers who have done the work necessary to keep a community alive, thriving… despite the taking away of a significant economic driver,” said Chen.