Heart Institute of the Caribbean cops NCB's 2014 Nation Builder Award
Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) won top honours at National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited's (NCB) annual national awards programme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Tuesday, October 21.
Located in the centre of Kingston since 2005, HIC won the Nation Builder Award for a series of innovative 'firsts' in the diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions, which have put Jamaica in line with First-World countries on cardiovascular care. The enterprise lists among its achievements - being the first and only nuclear cardio programme in the country; first and only dedicated Chest Pain Emergency Care Centre with its own dedicated ambulance service; and being the first medical institution in Jamaica to implement clinical telemedicine and electronic medical records, thus allowing partnerships with Best Doctors USA to provide remote consultation for its local patients, among other achievements. Its charity work is also significant as HIC has been providing free consultations and electrocardiogram (ECG) tests to a number of individuals. Some 667 individuals benefit from HIC's ECG Days when care is provided for indigents who are not able to afford medical services. Free cardio screening is also provided for local athletes.
On this basis the company was selected for the top honour, having met the judge's criteria of 'doing well in business while doing good in its community'. HIC beat the other three candidates in the Nation Builder category:
Round Hill Developments Limited
Home International Limited
HIC also won top honours in the Innovation Category, beating fellow nominee Renewable Energy Developers Limited. It was also the NCB Facebook fan choice for Nation Builder.
Although NCB considers all nominees in the programme to be winners in their own right, and no company went home without a trophy and prizes, some SMEs took home big honours in other categories at the gala dinner:
The Start-Up Award went to EnvironMed (Ecofarms) Limited, which won over Vineyards Food Products Limited.
The Women in Business Award salutes an innovative female business owner with a proven track record of being a positive influence on others. Eva Myers, owner of Evita's Restaurant in Ocho Rios got the nod over Jacqui Tyson-Niederhauser, owner of From Thought to Finish Limited, a catering and event-planning company and originators of Brunch on the Waterfront.
The NCB Vision Award went to UWI students Thamar Binns, Kacey-Ann Nelson and Jodi-Ann Stephenson - who submitted the best business plan for their final year management studies degree project - The Colleyville Production and Marketing Organisation.
During the gala, in a unique onstage interview with master of ceremonies Dr Aggrey Irons, the chairman of NCB Group, Michael Lee-Chin, urged the awardees to remain undaunted by the challenging economic environment in which they operate.
"Jamaicans are among the most entrepreneurial in the world. However, Jamaican SMEs sometimes struggle just to feed themselves and their families from the income they generate. How do you change the equation? Grasp every opportunity that comes your way.
"The opportunities we seek are often hidden in the 'mud' we find ourselves standing in, which has been created by crisis. Your task is to recognise these openings, and then fight your instinct to run away. You must tackle the problems head-on and when you've found your courage, you can then start seeing the opportunities that lie ahead," said Lee-Chin.
Seven years ago, the NCB Nation Builder Awards emerged out of the bank's decision to create a national platform on which to celebrate the numerous quiet entrepreneurial triumphs of the country's small and medium enterprises. The intention is to honour and reward performance, and to also recognise service to community and country, thereby motivating other Jamaican entrepreneurs.
NCB considers itself a strong proponent of the local productive sector and makes strategic decisions based on its corporate philosophy, 'Put Your Best Life Forward', which speaks to the bank's duty to enable its stakeholders to realise their life goals and aspirations for the greater good of society.
All nine Nation Builder nominees/awardees will receive millions of dollars in cash and prizes over the next 12 months from NCB and its partners, including equipment, smartphones, training and staff scholarships as well as business specific consultancy services.