Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Medical supplies for Trelawny

Published:Friday | October 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Jamaican businessman and restaurant operator, Byron Smith, led the effort to secure millions of dollars' worth of medical equipment and supplies for the Ulster Spring medical facilities in Trelawny.
This 40-foot container packed with medical supplies left Orange, New Jersey recently for Ulster Spring in Trelawny. Photos by DAVE RODNEY
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Dave Rodney, Contributor

A 40-foot trailer loaded with medical equipment and supplies valued at millions of Jamaican dollars left Orange, New Jersey recently for Ulster Spring, Trelawny. The shipment is a gift from Friends of Ulster Spring Hospital International Inc to the clinic and hospital at Ulster Spring in southern Trelawny. The donation includes gynecological tables, refrigerators for medical supplies, dental compressors, bedding, mattresses, wheelchairs, walkers, commodes and crutches,

The effort to amass this sizeable donation of supplies was led by Jamaican businessman Byron Smith, who operates a restaurant in Orange, New Jersey and who is from Ulster Spring. He was supported by 15 other members of the not-for-profit organisation, and most of the donations came from New Jersey area hospitals and nursing homes, including the Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, a large employer of Jamaican support staff. The drive was also boosted by private donations of cash from residents of New Jersey.

"We felt compelled to come together as a team to make this shipment happen," Smith told The Gleaner. "The Ulster Spring hospital scaled back service 20 years ago, and residents in areas like Ulster Spring, Albert Town, Rock Spring, Burnt Hill, Stettin, Joe Hut and Wait-a-Bit, who have emergencies, including pregnant mothers, are forced to travel almost 30 miles away for assistance to the parish capital of Falmouth, or Spaldings, on the border of Manchester and Clarendon," he continued.

The Ulster Spring Hospital now operates as a community clinic, but Smith told The Gleaner that the residents of southern Trelawny have the assurance of Health Minister Fenton Ferguson that the hospital will be refurbished and will reopen in the near future as a full-service hospital. Persons wishing to donate may contact the Friends of Ulster Spring Hospital International Inc at 182 South Center Street, Orange, NJ, 07050.

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