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A History of our Jamaican Health Mission

The Caribbean Health Outreach mission to Jamaica was born out of a discussion in 2001 between CHO Vice President Wil Bodden and a Past President and life member of the Hopewell Jaycees, Senator Calvin G. Brown, about the desire of the CHO to extend its mission to Jamaica.

Bodden, who is himself a past president of the Trelawny Jaycees, outlined the concept which sought to unify hands and hearts across Hanover and Trelawny and advancing the motto of the CHO of “Advancing Health Awareness Through Education.”

The discussion resulted in a Jaycees project, which the then president of the West Indies Jaycees Karen Grant was invited to chair. She garnered the assistance of the Round Hill Hotel and Villas, The Tryall Club and Hanover Charities, which since that time have been our major sponsors.

The implementation of the health fair was a tremendous success and the Western Regional Health Authority and the Hanover Health Department were so impressed by the services and professionalism of the Caribbean Health Outreach medical team, they were asked to return the following year.

The focus was "How to contribute to the advancement of the bio-psychosocial model of health that was grossly lacking in Hanover and promote wellness among its residents. JCI Hopewell/CHO collaboration implemented the Hanover Health fair the following year, May 2002, as a five-day medical Health fair in partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Hopewell, Hanover Charities, Air Jamaica cargo, and the western Regional Health Authority.

 

Over the years, the project has touched and brightened the lives of some fifteen thousand persons, many of who can be described as being among the neediest, primarily the elderly and children.

Along with the medical clinics the active healthy lifestyle workshops have provided health education for young and old, with special empowerment sessions as well as school visits targeting youths from age 10 to 17.

The medical and dental clinics that have been held in some fifteen communities in rural Hanover have all been deemed an overwhelming success.

Our collective experience so far has been indeed an interesting rewarding and informative experience also filled with many challenges which we were able to overcome with focus, fortitude and teamwork. Most of the population we served in Jamaica was 60+ and mostly female. As you know health care for older adults is complex and multifaceted with chronic conditions needing quite a variety of medical resources.

We have also reached out to the wider community by way of the churches and the adolescent population by the way of the high schools in Hanover, Montego Bay and Trelawny.

  • We endeavor to continue our mission by: supporting the primary care structure carried out by the Ministry of Health in relation to a healthier lifestyle and curative care;
  • Support and assist with the maintenance of rational prescribing practices, by providing medication and treatment plan that conforms to their pharmaceutical protocol.
  • Recruit and organize groups of health professionals and support staff to assist with our health care mission to the Caribbean.
  • Encourage and facilitate U.S.A. health professionals opportunities to participate in workshops and seminars with their Caribbean counterparts.

 

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