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Top notch US medical team to volunteer at May Pen Hospital in April

Published:Tuesday | March 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

A TEAM of top-tier medical personnel that includes medical doctors, surgeons, anaesthesiologists, dentists, registered nurses as well as medical students and social workers is heading to Jamaica on April 27 to May 2 to volunteer its services.

The medical team, which will work under the banner United Mission of Goodwill Inc (UMG) - a registered non-profit organisation based in the United States of America with registration in Jamaica - will provide free medical services to patients at the May Pen Hospital. The team will also conduct a health fair at the Clarendon Infirmary.

UMG President Lorna L Rawle, who established the medical mission in 2012, told The Gleaner that prior to establishing UMG in 2012, she did voluntary work with Northeast Mission of Hope for nine years, providing free health care at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

"That missionary outreach shed light on the urgent need for health-care assistance in Jamaica. There were many Jamaicans in the USA who volunteered for that outreach. They were all in agreement that we should establish UMG to assist our homeland at least once a year," she said.

UMG has since been to Trinityville Health Fair in 2013 and the Port Antonio Hospital in 2014.

Rawle said members of UMG who are Jamaicans are eager to give back to their country, particularly the communities where they grew up.

"Considering that the need exists in every corner of Jamaica, each member has the option of making a request for the mission to visit the community in which they are from. This year, we are honouring the request of Ethelia Mckay to go to the May Pen Hospital," she said.

Cognisant of the many challenges facing the health industry in Jamaica, Rawle said UMG would be making a proposal to the relevant authorities regarding free training of persons who have an interest in health care and who are qualified to be trained as nursing assistants.

She said UMG's ultimate goal is to have a local office in Kingston. There, they will be able to establish medical programmes with the support of the Government as well as get funding through donations. Plans are also in place to assist hospitals with equipment to furnish their operating rooms. The team will donate equipment to the May Pen Hospital during their visit.

Among the medical specialists scheduled for the May Pen Hospital visit is Jamaica-born, New York-based board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dwight Williams. Williams, who will serve as dental coordinator for UMG, has already extended an invitation to senior dental students of the University of Technology to volunteer with the team at the May Pen Hospital.

rural@gleanerjm.com