Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Good Samaritan Inn gets health centre

Published:Monday | July 4, 2016 | 7:00 AMDaviot Kelly
Pastor Everett Brown (left), president of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, jokes with Pastor Leon Wellington, vice-president of the Inter-American Division of the church. They were at the official opening of the Good Samaritan Health Centre at Geffrard Place in Kingston.

For years, the Good Samaritan Inn (GSI) at Geffrard Place, Heroes Circle in Kingston, has provided warm food, clothes and shelter for the needy.

To further enhance its service to the community, the GSI opened an adjoining health centre on Thursday June 30. The centre will provide maternal and dental care, including paediatric dental services to the needy and homeless.

The centre will serve not only residents of central Kingston, including Allman Town and Kingston Gardens, but the wider city. The GSI was established in 2007 by the East Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and members of the Adventist Laypersons Services and Industries.

The GSI is now a registered charity, with a board comprising of church leaders and corporate figures. Dr Eric Nathan, chairman of the GSI, said the centre is a dream realised.

"We have seen the need for this facility and we are now pleased that God has blessed the effort of the many supporters and volunteers of the GSI through the establishment of this centre," he said.

He noted that this completes phase one of the overall plan for the health centre. In phase two, the centre will provide child guidance and mental health services. Phase three includes a skills training component.

Nathan noted that the funds for the centre came from the world church of Seventh-day Adventists after members of their general conference visited Jamaica and lauded the work being done at the GSI. Money from the church's global mission offering was given to build the centre.

Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, said the clinic shows that "the church is concerned with the total development of persons".

"This facility is an example of what the Seventh-day Adventist Church is doing as we seek to be good corporate citizens ..., to utilise our resources to engage in nation building, addressing the total well-being of our brothers and sisters," he said.

Pastor Israel Leito, president of the Inter-American Division of the church, lauded the work of the local church, volunteers and corporate bodies who collaborated. He reiterated that work like this was not for them to get congratulatory applause.

daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com