Chapelton Hospital to get US$1 million upgrade
Push Start Foundation, a United States-based entity headed by Clarendon native Beverly Nichols, is providing US$1 million for a major expansion and upgrade of the Chapelton Community Hospital in Clarendon.
The work will include a new minor operating theatre; expanded waiting and records areas; improved bathroom facilities for men, women, patients, and staff; a new laboratory to improve diagnostic services; an improved parking area and water storage facility; and new electrical and plumbing works.
Four additional doctors' offices will be built as well as a second ward to accommodate 15 beds, bringing the total number of bed spaces to 30.
Speaking at the ceremony to break ground for the project on Thursday, Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton said that the facility had been recently renovated at a cost of J$23 million and the support from Push Start would double the bed capacity.
He lauded the partnership with the diaspora organisation to improve healthcare for residents of Chapelton and surrounding areas, noting that "this is a formula for success going forward".
"We are very grateful. It epitomises a formula that is the right one to develop and expand healthcare," he added.
Nichols said that she was moved to assist after seeing the needs at the hospital. "Healthcare is not a luxury. It is a basic necessity," she said.
Nichols was recently conferred with the Order of Distinction (OD) in the rank of Officer for outstanding contribution to the Jamaican diaspora in New York, adding to the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service she received in 2011 for contribution to community development and healthcare.
Member of Parliament for North Central Clarendon Pearnel Charles and Chairman of the Southern Regional Health Authority Wayne Chen welcomed the expansion of the hospital.