CRH to receive $10m
Stating that it was committed to the development of the city of Montego Bay in St James and the improvement of the health sector across the island, Rainforest Seafoods is to donate $10 million to the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) rebuilding exercise.
This would be the largest contribution to be made by a private-sector entity since the start of the rehabilitation of the Type-A public hospital which offers specialist care in western Jamaica. Rainforest will raise the funds from the Rainforest Seafoods and Music Festival, set for Ash Wednesday, February 26, at the Catherine Hall Complex in Montego Bay.
“We feel this money is pivotal to ensuring that the facility is brought up to the standard it is known for as the only Type-A facility outside of Kingston,” marketing and communications manager at Rainforest, Bethany Young, told The Sunday Gleaner.
The event, which is being staged under their We Care for Cornwall charity, was formed in 2011 with this in mind. Since inception, the group, chaired by business mogul Adam Stewart, has donated $30 million to the hospital.
According to Young, two of the artistes on the show, Agent Sasco and Ding Dong, have committed part of their performance fee towards restoration of the facility.
“It was not difficult to get them to commit, once we told them that it was CRH, they were ready to give back.”
Some 15,000 patrons are expected to attend the event which was placed on a two-year hiatus due to the company’s focus on expanding its presence across the region, including the upgrading of their cold storage capabilities at their Montego Bay headquarters and developing state-of-the-art seafood processing plants in St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Young said in the last seven years, Rainforest has donated two incubators to the maternity ward and assisted in the refurbishing of the Accident and Emergency unit.
Lauding the move and the return of the festival, Dr Delroy Fray, clinical coordinator at Cornwall Regional, argued that there was no question that the financial assistance from Rainforest had been very impactful, particularly in paediatrics and anaesthetics over the years.
“The money is helping in elevating the standard of care on offer at the hospital, as we strive to reach first-world standards,” he told The Sunday Gleaner, adding how grateful he was, and anxious to continue the ongoing partnership with the festival in the years to come.
He said he hoped the committed donation would be used to fortify neurosurgery at the facility with new equipment.
“The truth is, we have not had much investment in neurosurgery since it started in 2009, most of their equipment has been donation from the good links of Professor Renn Holness, who gets gifts from Canada and friends who have been helping the department so far,” he revealed.
Although in need, last year alone some 80 neurosurgery cases were handled at CRH. In the past, those cases would have been transferred to the Kingston Public Hospital or University Hospital of the West Indies, said Fray.
Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, for his part, described the partnership with Rainforest and the rest of the We Care team as critical value to the rehabilitation exercise.
“Every dollar counts in this rehabilitation, which is a massive project. We have had many expressions of interest from the private sector, but Rainforest has not only talked about the issue, they walk the talk.”
Their boosting of the project, he said, was sending a signal to the rest of the country.