Lounge for medical staff at St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital

Doctors and nurses on call at St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) now have a lounge courtesy of Sandals Foundation and United States company Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

The $386,000 facility is part of a wider COVID-19 relief donation by both entities and was officially handed over on May 8 to the hospital, which is the main COVID-19 treatment facility for people in the parishes of St Ann, Portland, and St Mary.

Addressing the handover ceremony, North East Regional Health Authority CEO Dennis Morgan said the donation is “important in encouraging our front line workers who are sacrificing their lives every day to take care of persons affected by the virus”.

The lounge consists of a sleeping quarter outfitted with a twin bed, a general space with three wipeable recliners, television, and a dining space with a microwave, electronic kettle, a refrigerator, and a four-seater dining table.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka’s philanthropic arm, Love, Tito’s, has donated a total of US$25,000 to support the island’s hospitality workers in tourism-dependent communities affected by the pandemic.

Heidi Clarke, executive director at Sandals Foundation, expressed solidarity with all staff who are at the forefront of fighting the virus.

“We are so grateful for the work that all front line staff do to save lives and bring a sense of reassurance to the families that are impacted. We hope this lounge will help hospital workers find a sense of comfort in this space designed to help them rest, recentre, and recharge,” she said.

Clarke noted that Sandals Foundation has been actively responding to a number of social and economic needs since the pandemic reached the island’s shores in March.

“We continue to look out for areas to support the people of Jamaica and other Caribbean islands and will work alongside Government, non-governmental organisations, and corporate partners to provide for the needs of the elderly and most vulnerable,” Clarke said.

“We know that the closure of the tourism industry has made life difficult for a lot of families and so [we]will especially seek to aid communities that rely on tourism to survive,” she added.

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