One Woman’s Plan to Improve Care at a Jamaican Hospital

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - July 10, 2015

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Too many physicians and staff in Jamaica are operating without proper medical equipment, protective apparel or even the basic necessity of hospital bed linens.

Just a few weeks ago, the President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors’ Association said that medical doctors in the country were being given plastic bags instaed of surgical aprons to do their work in operating theatres.

Chantel Kelly (above), a 26-year-old medical software consultant at Modernizing Medicine in Boca Raton, was shocked when she found out about the state of hospitals in Jamaica, and set out to do something about it.


Above: the linen presentation at KPH

A native of Florida and daughter of two Jamaican parents, Kelly has launched an initiative to help solve this problem, first by using her own money to provide bed linens for the entire Kingston Public Hospital in Jamaica’s capital, the largest multidisciplinary hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean.

“I am passionate about healthcare and strongly admire the compassion and commitment that drives staff at KPH and many other hospitals in Jamaica, who are trying to provide quality health care but simply cannot due to lack of resources,” Kelly says. “This [donation] is not much in the large scheme of things, but is what I am able to do on my own right now. However, I do believe it is a small yet imperative start.”

Kelly is operating in what she calls “engaged philanthropy,” a “personal benevolent plan” which she says gives structure to her personal giving and use it as an example to encourage other young people to give.

She next plans to help provide new surgical gowns for the entire physician staff at KPH, new patient gowns and new scrubs for nurses.

“I feel humbled and honored to be in a position to give back and this is only the beginning,” Kelly says.

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