Dr Chris Parchment: passionate about giving back
“The reason I give is because I know what it is not to have,” said Dr Chris Parchment, who is living one of his dreams by making an impact on communities by hosting on health fairs and assisting students and parents.
“It is something that I have always wanted to do growing up. I have always seen health fairs being held during the holiday period, and because I was driven to do medicine, I thought that one day, I would like to give back to my community in the same way,” Parchment said.
There have been four health fairs held since July of this year when the project started. It began in Montego Bay, and then Parchment and the team went to St Mary, followed by Portland.
“One of the things is that for the summer, the health centres in places like St Mary and Portland, they don’t have a doctor who goes to all the health centres every day like in Kingston, so there are a lot of children there who have to do their back-to-school medical, which is compulsory,” he said.
In an effort to increase access and take the burden off parents who not only have to travel a far way, but also take the day off from work, Parchment said that there are different centres where residents can receive service.
“On each visit, save when we went to Montego Bay, there are several centres within that region, so persons can go to the nearest one on that particular day,” the young doctor stated.
He further shared that promotion of the upcoming health fairs is done before hand, and on the day, residents are registered by 8 a.m., and the team gets there by 10 a.m. and works until about 4 p.m.
“The venture is a good one because most of the students who come there are in a transition stage from doing PEP (Primary Exit Profile) or CXCs and going on to another school, so you can have a lasting impression on them in the 15 minutes that is spent doing their medicals,” Parchment noted.
He said that medical supplies are donated for each visit and noted that the process of getting the events off the ground was made easier with assistance from Dr Morais Guy and Senator Damion Crawford.
“There are approximately 17 doctors that make up the team, and they devote their time to this cause,” Parchment stated. “We hope to go to August Town on August 25.”
Parchment is living the life he envisioned for himself, first by becoming a doctor, and now he is giving back to the society. He said that he wants to bring the health fairs to his community of George’s Plain in Westmoreland but is hindered by the logistics and planning as he is currently based in Kingston.
“From a very tender age, I always wanted to become a doctor. I am always a person who asks why, and when my grandmother got breast cancer, I wanted to know why she got it,” Parchment shared. “It is humbling to be able to do this because I believe that giving back is very important, especially when you have been given so much in life.”
He said that he is grateful for the network of friends and doctors who are part of this journey with him and encourages other youth to lend a helping hand in their communities because it will have an impact on others.