JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The annual Atlanta/Montego Bay Sister Cities Health Mission has been renamed the Vin Martin Atlanta/Montego Bay Health Mission, in honour of the late founding member of the mission.
  • Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the St. James Parish Council, Glendon Harris, made the announcement at the opening of the 2014 mission on Monday, October 6, at the St. John’s Methodist Church Hall in Montego Bay.
  • Mr. Martin, a former Honorary Consul to Atlanta and prominent attorney, died on July 23 in Atlanta, Georgia, after a long illness, and just one week shy of his 71st birthday.

The annual Atlanta/Montego Bay Sister Cities Health Mission has been renamed the Vin Martin Atlanta/Montego Bay Health Mission, in honour of the late founding member of the mission.

Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the St. James Parish Council, Glendon Harris, made the announcement at the opening of the 2014 mission on Monday, October 6, at the St. John’s Methodist Church Hall in Montego Bay.

“Be it resolved that this health mission, as of today onward, will be known as the Vin Martin Memorial Atlanta/Montego Bay Health Mission,” he declared.

Mr. Martin, a former Honorary Consul to Atlanta and prominent attorney, died on July 23 in Atlanta, Georgia, after a long illness, and just one week shy of his 71st birthday.

Mr. Harris described Mr. Martin as a “gentle giant of a man, who has demonstrated a dedication of service and commitment to mankind by overseeing the establishment and execution of a health mission that has touched the lives of millions of Jamaicans”.

He said the “dedication of service to his fellow human beings, exhibited by Hon. Vin Martin, a great son of Jamaica,” has left an indelible impression on many. He made a call for more Jamaicans to serve their fellowmen, especially the less fortunate.

Mission leader, Dr. Yvonne Smith, said the event, which commenced 21 years ago with five volunteers, has grown to a team of 50, and the number of patients has also increased significantly.

“Instead of seeing 200 people over the three days of the mission, we are now seeing greater than 3,000 persons over three days.  We have also established outreach missions to further rural areas such as Glendevon, Greenpond, Granville and adjoining communities, in order to reach out to many who may have difficulties reaching us in Montego Bay,” Dr. Smith told JIS News.

More than 3,500 persons benefitted from medical treatment over the three days of the mission from October 6 to 8. They also received blood pressure, heart, eyes, and dental checks, and were educated on child health and lifestyle diseases.

It is estimated that the mission provides some US$800,000 worth of free health care and medication annually. Persons also benefit from donations of school supplies, household items and clothing.