Wed | Feb 26, 2020

Generous Adventists still committed to CRH, says Glen Samuels

Published:Friday | November 1, 2019 | 12:08 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


While two years has elapsed since the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists’ (WJC) took the decision to allow the embattled Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) to use its facilities to provide some of its services, the church remains committed to continuing its assistance, albeit some of its own projects have been severely affected.

“Assisting the CRH has severely curtailed our major functions, especially in terms of our camp meetings and other functions, but we remain committed to assisting because it is our own people from western Jamaica that we’re serving,” said Pastor Glen Samuels, who heads the WJC, told The Gleaner in an interview on Tuesday.

In March 2017, the WJC took a decision to open its doors to the CRH after noxious fumes emanating from a faulty air-conditioning unit, resulted in major dislocation at the 10-storey 400-bed hospital, which was forced to relocate some of its services to the Mt Salem Health Centre, the Falmouth Hospital, in Trelawny; and the WJC compound.

Services provided by the antenatal clinic and physiotherapy department were moved to a section of the WJC’s auditorium, which is in the proximity of the hospital.

In outlining how the WJC has been managing the affected church programmes, Samuels said some planned events have had to be restructured, particularly its community skills-training programme.

“We have not been able to do our skills-training programme because the CRH personnel are still using the building. We have moved some of our programmes around in terms of decentralisation and reducing the size we’d normally work with,” stated Samuels.

“We didn’t anticipate that the arrangement would have been this long, so we have to assess the situation as we go forward and determine options on how best we can work around the challenges. But the church is committed to mission, and mission is helping people where they are, and sometimes you have to put yourself at great inconvenience to help other people out of their inconveniences, and we remain committed to that,” added Samuels.

An independent oversight committee, which was set up by Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton to monitor the restoration at CRH, has estimated that the hospital, which is a J$3.5-billion project, should be fully operational by the end of November.