Residents of St. Thomas joined staff of the Princess Margaret Hospital to clean and beautify the grounds of the 67-year-old facility on Monday (May 23).
The Labour Day activity was undertaken through $1.5 million from the National Health Fund (NHF) under its Community Workday programme and included painting, landscaping, welding works and the removal of debris from the hospital compound.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, Melecia Linton, told JIS News that the pool of workers included the hospital’s nurses, doctors, and support and administrative staff.
“We are excited that persons have come out to volunteer their time to improve their workspace,” the CEO said.
With the country experiencing a fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEO said that the hospital took precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the volunteers and patients.
“We followed our screening process where each person went through temperature checks and sanitising, and we are all in our masks and physical distancing as much as possible,” she said.
Ms. Linton said that the project was also executed at a “safe distance” from the major patient areas, to ensure that interaction was minimal.
She thanked the NHF for funding the Labour Day activities as well as the planning committee and staff at the hospital for taking the time out to collaborate and participate in the project. “We are very grateful,” the CEO said.
Director of Nursing Services and Matron at the Hospital, Nadine Anderson-Lawrence, said she was pleased with the day’s activities, noting that the synergy between workers and members of the community, “shows that we can do something to uplift the institution that we serve”.
The Matron, who was donned in work gear and had rake in hand, told JIS News that it is important for administrators to lead the cause when effecting change.
“Persons can see that we are not against doing anything; we do both medical and administrative work and work on the grounds also,” she said.
Launched in 2013, The NHF Community Workday programme supports public health facilities by covering needy and urgent repairs to infrastructure and replacement or fixing of equipment.
The initiative forms part of the NHF’s mandate to help improve healthcare to the people of Jamaica.