Regional

Hospital Aid

Cornwall Regional receives $10m from Rainforest Seafoods Festival proceeds

BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter

Thursday, June 15, 2017



The ailing Cornwall Regional Hospital yesterday received a $10-million boost, courtesy of Montego Bay's largest charity organisation, the We Care Foundation.

The donation, handed over to the hospital by Rainforest Seafoods, represented proceeds from the seafood festival, held at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay on Ash Wednesday.

Major sponsors of the festival also included National Bakery and Walkerswood Caribbean Foods.

An elated Rainforest Seafoods CEO Brian Jardim revealed that since the start of the festival in 2013, this year was the highest amount raised.

He expressed gratitude for the “overwhelming support” of patrons, sponsors, volunteers, and other stakeholders, who he said made this year's staging of the event a success.

“The Rainforest Seafood Festival has distinguished itself as western Jamaica's largest charity event, raising $6 million for Cornwall Regional Hospital's paediatric ward at its inaugural showing. The food and music festival continued to be a major highlight of Montego Bay's social calendar while raising $8.25 million and $8.5million in 2014 and 2015 respectively,” Jardim said during yesterday's handing over ceremony, held in the conference room of the 40-year-old hospital.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton welcomed the much-needed donation, saying that it came at “an opportune time”.

“It's $10 million, and I am told that there are some badly needed equipment that is going to be purchased. So the patients at the hospital will definitely benefit from that for sure, and we appreciate it,” the grateful health minister remarked.

Recently, the Cornwall Regional Hospital has been making headlines after noxious fumes leaking from a faulty ventilation system forced an evacuation on the three lower floors.

This has resulted in the relocation of some outpatient services to other locations on the premises while most have been housed at the nearby Seventh-day Adventist Western Jamaica Conference facility.

The dilemma facing the hospital was foremost in Jardim's mind as he planned this year's staging of the seafood festival, he revealed.

“As we planned the fourth staging of the Seafood Festival in late 2016, the reports of the hospital's challenges with its ventilation system appeared,” Jardim explained yesterday,

“It motivated us to plan our biggest festival yet so that we could assist the hospital during a time when it needed it the most and truly live up to the Festival's motto - “Eat Good, Do Good.”

Meanwhile, Dr Tufton noted that, “Cornwall Regional is coming on”.

“We have passed the crisis. We have a plan and we are executing the plan according to schedule. We have a project manager in place … we have the consultants on board, the project team for the ventilation system, they have been engaged, they are here now, they are doing their technical assessment which will lead to a design, which will lead to a procurement and an installation,” Dr Tufton said.

“We are assessing all the floors and starting to do work right through the system, not just the vent system, but all the other areas.”

We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital was launched in 2011 by a group of concerned Montegonians with the aim of bolstering the services and capacity of the Hospital. Since then, over $23 million has been raised to purchase life-saving equipment, diagnostic units and vital sign monitors.

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