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Cornwall Regional partners with diaspora non-profit for incubator donations

Published:Tuesday | November 15, 2016 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas

The Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay has forged a partnership with the Jamaica United Relief Association (JURA), a South Florida-based non-profit organisation, for the provision of neonatal incubators to the hospital, following a meeting between the two groups at the hospital on Wednesday.

JURA's visit was part of its planned drive to arrange donations of incubators to both CRH and the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston.

JURA was founded in 1985 in South Florida by civic-minded Jamaicans in the diaspora who were responding to the need for a Caribbean-oriented service organisation addressing the needs of the less fortunate, with the aim of giving back to the community in both South Florida and Jamaica.

"The plan is, first of all, to at least open the door with getting one incubator here within the next month or so, and after that we begin to see how many would be needed and what the available resources would allow us to do," said Oliver Falloon-Reid, president of JURA.




"Our fundraising for health-care needs is done in April of every year, so it will not be until next April that we will then make another commitment of how many incubators we can bring based on the receipts we get from that project," Falloon-Reid continued. "It is going to match the specifications we are given, and what we are seeing, it is somewhere in the region of US$4,000 to US$7,000 for one unit. that matches the specs that CRH have supplied us."

Falloon-Reid said there needs to be stronger collaboration between diaspora organisations and their beneficiaries in Jamaica and promised to liaise with diaspora groups in the United States to provide the incubators over time.

"The size of the need is going to be bigger than our group's ability to respond, and what I intend to do is to say to a few of the diaspora associations, 'let us collaborate on this. Let us make a greater impact, and let us not just bring one incubator and move on'," he said. "There has to be greater dialogue, naturally ... I think with many of our recipient organisations here, there is a disconnect between the giving and the receiving. It is very transactional, and because of that, a lot of opportunities are lost in terms of building on a success story."

Chief executive officer of the CRH, Anthony Smikle, pledged the support of the hospital in building on the relationship with JURA and other diaspora interest groups.

"We always encourage partners to continue to contribute to our organisation because we want that type of relationship because it enables the community to feel like they are a part of the institution and because it takes a community to run this outfit," he said. "We want to reach out and have a relationship with the diaspora, and we want to continue to foster the relationship. We commit to working with you to provide all the information that is needed for that partnership."