Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 27, 2019 (DBSKN) -- Institution-Based Health Services, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, on Friday August 23 on the grounds of the Administration Building at the Joseph Nathaniel France General Hospital in Basseterre under the theme Saving lives, one call at a time held a handing over ceremony of two ambulances.
One of the two ambulances was donated by the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Fund, while the other ambulance was purchased through fundraising activities that had been spearheaded by Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph Nathaniel France (JNF) General Hospital, Dr Cameron Wilkinson.
Marketing Officer at the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, Ms Vernitha Evelyn-Maynard who was at the handing over ceremony commended the spirit displayed by the doctors, singling out Dr Cameron Wilkinson and Dr Natalie Osborne, and the medical students for going out of their way to serve the needs of the country in the way they did by soliciting funds from the corporate world and from the general citizenry by way of concerts.
"Dr Wilkinson and Dr Osborne approached the Development Bank in 2017 and outlined how they intended to raise funds to buy an ambulance for the JNF General Hospital," recalled Ms Evelyn-Maynard. "This function here today Friday August 23 is testimony to the hard work of these doctors and the students who went beyond the call of duty for the exclusive benefit of the people of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis."
Added Ms Evelyn-Maynard: "We at the Development Bank, the Board of Directors, Management and Staff are satisfied and proud that in this country we have a team of dedicated medical practitioners who will do everything in their power to ensure that health services in the country are up to the required international standards, by working overtime to achieve that goal."
The handing over ceremony, which was chaired by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Delores Stapleton-Harris, was attended by among others, the Minister of Health the Hon Eugene Hamilton, the Minister of State for Health, Senator the Hon Wendy Phipps, and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hazel Laws. Addressing the gathering, Dr Cameron Wilkinson, noted that he and Dr Natalie Osborne had seven years ago come up with an idea to organise a concert to raise funds for the hospital.
According to Dr Wilkinson, they decided they would raise funds using creative talents of the students from Windsor University who use the JNF General Hospital for the their clinical education, as that would make them get active and try to augment what the government had provided them. That saw the birth of the annual Windsor University/Joseph N. France General Hospital Concert.
"Before the start of our last fundraising concert two years ago, I said at a ceremony like this one that we had plans to raise over $100,000 to purchase an ambulance," commented Dr Wilkinson. "Some doubted our commitment to this endeavour. I am here to tell you however that raise it we did. And as proof you can look to the left and see our brand new Ambulance."
According to Dr Wilkinson, that feat would not have been possible without their major sponsors who included, Gold sponsor, Christophe Harbour and Buddy Darby; silver sponsors were the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank, The Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis (DBSKN), National Caribbean Insurance Company, the St. Kitts Cricket Association, the University of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the Windsor University.
"I also thank Social Security for coming on board and purchasing a second ambulance which means that today we will be adding two brand new ambulances to our fleet," added the Medical Chief of Staff, who also mentioned other sponsors who came on board. "Their financial contributions were invaluable to our effort. The emblems of our major sponsors were placed on the ambulance so that the public will know these are the companies that made a significant investment in our health system."
1: From right: Dr Cameron Wilkinson, Ms Vernitha Evelyn-Maynard of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Hon Wendy Phipps, and Dr Natalie Osborne.
2: Hon Wendy Phipps presents keys to the ambulances to Dr Cameron Wilkinson. Looking on from left are the Hon Eugene Hamilton, PS Dr Delores Stapleton-Harris, and Director of Social Security Mr Antonio Maynard.
3: Rev Mark Christmas, Superintendent Methodist Church, blessing the ambulances.