Funds from Air Supply concert well spent - Refurbished paediatric ward opens at St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital

March 27, 2018
Kimberley Murray holds her eight-month-old son, Aaron Johnson, an asthma patient, inside the paediatric ward at St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital.
Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply perform at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in Montego Bay, St James, in 2006.
Lee Issa (left) and Leo Garel, CEO of St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital.

The $20 million that the Couples Resorts' charity arm, Issa Trust Foundation (ITF), raised at the Air Supply Benefit Concert last June at Couples Sans Souci Resort and Spa is part of the $34 million that the Trust spent refurbishing the paediatric ward at the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital over the past six months.

The newly refurbished ward was officially opened by Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton last Thursday in a ceremony that the minister underscored as the true Jamaican spirit of kindness.

The work done on the ward was extensive, and involved the provision of new beds, cots, vital sign monitors, piped medical gases to each bed/cot, furniture for staff, patients and visitors, replacement of all windows, new curtain tracks and curtains, a central air conditioning system, split air conditioning units, fans, television sets, ventilators and other critical infrastructural improvements.

The newly installed chairs that open as cots now allow mothers to spend time with their babies who have been admitted to the ward.

The paediatric ward at the hospital has a bed capacity of 50, 20 of which are for the Special Care Nursery.




The North East Regional Health Authority and the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital have been benefitting from ITF donations since 2010.

Bathing in a sea of praise for ITF, from North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) personnel and later from Tufton and others, ITF chairman Paul Issa refused to take all the credit, reading out a list of persons whose roles were critical in the project.

"We did not do it alone, I have a lot of people to thank," he pointed out. The list included Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply, WISYNCO, Jamaica National, RJR/GLEANER Group, FLOW, CPJ, Rainforest, Select Brands, Fraser Fontaine and Kong, Dolphin Cove, Caribbean Airlines, patrons Sir Patrick and Lady Allen, NERHA and Couples Resorts, with special thanks to ITF President and CEO, Diane Pollard.

Already, mothers are making use of and showing appreciation of the new and upgraded facilities at the hospital.

Kimberley Murray, whose eight-month-old son, Aaron Johnson, is admitted at the hospital, said the new facilities are truly appreciated.

She was especially grateful for the bedside chair which opens as a cot, as it means she will now be able to stay close to her baby at all times.

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