Basseterre, St. Kitts – The sourcing of a new ambulance for the Joseph N France General Hospital has been given a boost from a EC$54,000 donation from the Christophe Harbour Foundation.

At a press event Tuesday, Medical Chief-of-Staff Dr. Cameron Wilkinson explained that five years ago the members of the surgical team of the Joseph N France Hospital decided they would start a fund-raising concert to help to raise funds to buy medical supplies for the facility.

“We realised that we couldn’t have expected government to do everything as it relates to the purchasing of equipment and we need partnerships,” he said.

He explained that Windsor students on the surgical service organized a fund-raising concert, with the first one at Mapau raising $12,000.

“We continued with this effort and over the years, we saw a steady increase in the funds,” he added. “Last year, we raised about $50,000 and this year, we decided that we will try to see if we can double our efforts to see if we can raise [enough] to go toward an ambulance.

He added that individuals call upon the hospital for ambulance services all the time and sometimes they are not aware how much they are stretched, especially when there are activities like carnival and music festival.

“We sometimes have an ambulance designated to those events and still expect to do our regular jobs,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson indicated that they had their fund-raising concert about three weeks ago and were able to raise about $150,000. This will be given to the head of institution and the government will partner with them in assisting in the purchasing of the ambulance.

“For these efforts, we usually rely on public partnerships and were happy that this year Christophe Harbour willingly came forward and donated $20,000 USD to this effort.”

Wilkinson further noted that the estimated cost for the new ambulance was EC $255,000 and they are well on their way to accomplishing that target.

Christophe Harbour’s Vice President of Operations John Gersonde indicated that his company could not be happier to be part of the effort to further equip the hospital.

“Health and wellness and improving the quality of life is a pillar and hallmark of the Darby Foundation, and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of this,” he said.

He also reminded of the contributions his organisation has made to improving health care in the federation in the past months.

“The Christophe Harbour Foundation has played a pivotal role in many health care fund-raising efforts and donations,” he said. “In the past, we have donated several incubators and beds, nebulizers and other medical supplies, as well.” He also underscored the importance of access to emergency response to the federation. “Access to emergency response is super important to the federation and also quite costly, so we couldn’t be happier with the cause and our $54,000EC will go a long way towards that.”

In March, the Pogson Medical Facility in Sandy Point was the beneficiary of a donation of some new equipment from the Christophe Harbour Foundation to assist the facility in its health care delivery in Sandy Point and surrounding communities. A delivery bed, four cardiac monitors and three nebulizers were among items donated by the Christophe Harbour Foundation to the medical institution.