Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Jamaican couple teams with American philanthropists to give back

Published:Wednesday | April 26, 2017 | 4:00 AM
Members of the Ophthalmology Medical Mission and personnel of the Mandeville Regional Hospital. Front row (from left) are: CEO of the Mandeville Regional Hospital Alwyn Miller; sponsor of the medical mission, Dr Kiran Patel, and co-founders of Mind Body and Soul Health Ministry, Hillary and Horace Morgan.

Horace and Hillary Morgan, a Jamaica-born couple based in Florida, have teamed up with Drs Kiran and Pallavi Patel to help hundreds of Jamaicans access critical eye surgeries.

The Morgans, through their foundation, Mind Body and Soul Health Ministry, have been supporting residents of St Ann for several years through medical and evangelical missions. Morgan is a native of Alexandria in the parish.

For their most recent mission to the island, the philanthropic couple decided to focus on eye surgeries in order to save the sight of persons suffering from eye conditions. Morgan's aunt is blind and she wants to save persons from the same fate.

They reached out to Dr Patel's Family Foundation, which agreed to help, and, thereafter, contact was made with the Mandeville Regional Hospital where some 257 cataract surgeries were performed, free of cost, recently.

The team, which performed the cataract surgeries in Mandeville, have also done similar operations in South Africa and Zambia, Kenya, and since 2010 have done 750 operations in Jamaica.

In addition to the eye surgeries, Dr Patel and his wife are providing support for the upgrading of the Alexandria Health Centre.

"I will be spending US$300,000 to upgrade the dental and pharmacological units," Dr Patel said at the recent post-cataract surgery clinic in Mandeville.

"The rural communities will be our focus; we want to give those people technologically advanced, cutting-edge care, including the use of telemedicine to maximise the use of the facility, so that people do not have to travel several miles for health care."

Born in Zambia to Asian Indian parents, Dr Patel's philanthropic work is well known in Tampa, Florida, where he resides with his family. Over the years, he has donated millions of dollars to health and education initiatives.

Hillary Morgan is a nurse practitioner, who was recently nominated as Florida's Nurse Practitioner of the Year.