Following a fire that destroyed St. Jude Hospital in St. Lucia, International Medical Corps set up a temporary medical facility at the George Odlum National Sports Stadium. Through funding from Hess Corporation, we have been supporting the interim medical ward throughout 2010 by equipping the facility with donated medicines, supplies and critical equipment, training hospital staff to strengthen local capacity and providing logistical support.
In a letter to International Medical Corps, St. Jude Hospital CEO, Chierry A. Poyotte, cited the organization and Hess Corporation as pivotal in the success of the interim facility.
“We believe that the initial commitment of support to St. Jude Hospital at the Stadium by Hess/International Medical Corps was one of the most important external factors responsible for the survival of St. Jude Hospital as an institution,” said Dr. Poyotte. “On behalf of St. Jude Hospital I would like to say that it has been a wonderful experience for us.”
In addition to upgrading an operating room and supporting the hospital’s establishment of specialty clinics, International Medical Corps facilitated gift-in-kind donations to fulfill essential medical equipment, supplies and medicines as identified by the hospital. Through our partner network we provided manual hospital beds and medical supplies including scrubs, patient monitoring machines and infusion pumps. International Medical Corps and Hess also facilitated the repairing of a dysfunctional sewer system so that the interim facility could expand and established two secured storage facilities for supplies and equipment. We also guided the St. Jude purchasing and logistics departments through inventory control training and assisted with implementing stock control mechanisms to ensure efficiency.
To build staff capacity through training, International Medical Corps began conducting Continuing Medical Education (CME) activities for hospital staff and are working with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to provide technical support. International Medical Corps’ Dr. Pranav Shetty visited St. Jude to lay the groundwork for long-term training programs and facilitate potential partnerships with UCLA in order for volunteers to assist St. Jude year round.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas, which devastated the island in November, International Medical Corps immediately deployed by boat to deliver drinking water and supplies to St. Jude. Within days after the hurricane, International Medical Corps expatriate consultants arrived on the island to assess damage at St. Jude as well as local schools, clinics and other hospitals. Based on the assessment team’s findings, International Medical Corps was awarded an additional grant to assist in the recovery efforts by Hess. In alliance with National Emergency Management Organization and the MOH, International Medical Corps designed a program to provide ongoing aid, revitalize existing health education programs in Saint Lucia as well as furnish numerous clinics and hospitals island wide with essential medical supplies.
“…We have recognized the tremendous potential benefit that a continuing relationship with International Medical Corps would have to St. Jude Hospital and the people of St. Lucia,” said Dr. Poyotte. “Management now realizes that it is necessary to focus its attention on Human Resource needs including training and staff development. We must now ensure that the care provided to the patients of St. Jude Hospital is in keeping with recognized standards.”
Having laid the foundations for a comprehensive plan for CME programs at St. Jude as well as Disaster Risk Reduction programs in St. Lucia, International Medical Corps hopes to continue its activities. Through additional funding, we will be able to ensure that patients of St. Jude Hospital and the people of St. Lucia have access to fully-accredited health care long-term.