Tue | Nov 24, 2020

Medical doctors give back at JEP health fair

Published:Friday | August 28, 2020 | 12:11 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Dr Camille Davidson.
Dr Camille Davidson.

Young medical doctors are heaping praises on the Jamaica Energy Partners (JEP) for giving them a lifeline years ago, when financial struggles threatened to force them in a direction opposite to their dreams.

It is for this reason that when JEP’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Wayne McKenzie, hosts health fairs that cater to communities in Kingston and St Catherine, two medical doctors in particular, who received scholarships, Dr Camille Davidson and Dr Donclair Brown, volunteered their services.

Dr Davidson, who hails from Linstead, St Catherine, started out using her own finances to pursue pure and applied sciences at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.

She studied for one year before realising her passion was medicine, but did not know where the money would come from to pursue studies in that field.

“I so happened to come across the advertisement from Jamaica Energy Partners for their scholarship and then I applied. Fortunately, I got it. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I would be able to afford medical school at the time. I am grateful to them because with their help, I was able to finish. I am now a medical officer at the Linstead Hospital,” she said recently at one of JEP’s health fairs, held at the Charles Chinloy Health Centre in west Kingston, where five doctors attended to 152 patients from that community.

Patients grateful

Davidson smiled even more when she shared how her patients usually return bearing gifts after a check-up or after recovery from an ailment.

“They are so grateful, they sometimes bring ground produce for you as a gift, even though you tell them that you are OK. I am grateful for opportunities like this. I am always happy to come and help them out.”

Twenty-five-year old Donclaire Brown, who grew up in Tivoli Gardens and attended Campion College in St Andrew, said he was introduced to JEP’s scholarship programme after struggling at the UWI.

“All the university money my parents could provide for tuition pretty much dried up. So I had to go to the Students’ Loan Bureau to cover tuition. I then saw a poster for the scholarship, but the date had already passed. My mother said I should still try and apply, and so I did.

“The JEP funds also helped me to move out from the community in the last few years of medical school, when the violence was escalating to the point where I couldn’t focus any more. Since joining the JEP family, I try my best to give back whenever I can. So I’ll be present at health fairs, especially those in my community.”

According to McKenzie, he has found a formula to expand the company’s influence and ability to cater for the health needs of citizens.

“What makes it work is that a number of the doctors we have that work with us on these health fairs are persons JEP has given scholarships to. This is their way of giving back. Even if it means taking a no-pay day to work, they do that. Regardless of the circumstances, issues and tribulations that everybody faces, we are committed to the health and development of the citizens in the communities that we serve,” he said.

Vern Samuels, 78, praised the organisers of the health fair at the Charles Chinloy Health Centre, sharing that he has problems with his eyes and was happy the initiative was a one-stop shop, where he could obtain medication after seeing the doctors.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com