Mon | Jun 24, 2019

US$1 million for Chapelton Hospital renovation

Published:Monday | April 22, 2019 | 12:22 AM
Clarendon-born businesswoman Beverley Nichols (second left) presents a cheque of US$500,000, during an American Friends of Jamaica grant ceremony on April 15, for renovation works to the Chapelton Hospital. Also in photo are Dr Christopher Tufton, minister of health; Wendy Hart (left), president of the AFJ; Michele Rollins (second right), director of the AFJ; and Ambassador Sue Cobb.

Following an upsetting experience at the Chapelton Community Hospital, a native of the Clarendon community has pledged US$1 million towards the renovation of the facility.

Last Monday, New York-based businesswoman Beverly Nichols donated US$500,000 of the amount towards the project during an American Friends of Jamaica grant ceremony at the United States Embassy in Kingston.

“One day, I so chose to visit, and when I got there, I was in shock and awe because the days under the British days, those were the days I’m telling you about, the place was so beautiful,” Nichols reminisced.

“What has become of it today, it has been reduced to a clinic, and a very dingy one. [A] very run-down, dilapidated place. I could not believe what I saw there, and that prompted me to do something,” she continued, pointing out that her family has been using the services of the medical facility for decades.

She told The Gleaner that in addition to the renovations, a new wing will be added to the hospital.

KEEPING HOSPITAL'S NAME

“My name will carry a portion of the building. We don’t want to take it away from ‘Chapelton Hospital’ because I really want to keep that name, ‘Chapelton Hospital’, and on Chapelton Hospital, it will be a wing,” Nichols disclosed.

“So that’s an extension of the hospital, as well as refurbishment. We are going to refurbish all that run-down area ... so the money will split across the board to bring it back to reinstate the hospital as opposed to a clinic,” she added.

Although her donation will not cover the cost of equipment, Nichols told The Gleaner that arrangements have been made to acquire equipment for the community hospital.

“We already have a company we contacted that will give us all the beds, all the blood pressure machines...all those equipment,” she said, adding that sheets for the beds have also been sourced.

Nichols, who was last year conferred with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Officer for her outstanding contribution to the Jamaican diaspora in New York, is encouraging other Jamaicans living overseas to make similar contributions to their homeland.

“I would challenge other people in the diaspora to follow my lead and do something in their community. The government alone can’t help people here, and we cannot have our citizens living like third-class citizens,” Nichols charged.