Retired nurse now living overseas, Ms. Tatleen Vassell had several options for a beneficiary of 5.0627 hectares of land in St. Elizabeth valued at $8.6 million, however; for her, this gift should serve the entire community, and so, she made the donation to the Black River Hospital (BRH).
The land, which is located in Cheltenham, near New Market in St. Elizabeth was officially handed over on Tuesday, April 18 at the BRH and to date is one of the single largest donation to the hospital.
It was an emotional Ms. Vassell who noted that it is because of the many blessings she has received why she was able to make the donation. She added that her family also has a long history of contributing to the hospital.
Parish Manager for the St. Elizabeth Health Services, Mr. Sean Brissett said though the land is located some distance from the hospital, it will be factored into the hospital’s developmental plan. He noted that its use will be determined in short order.
“This donation is symbolic in many respects because others looking on and seeing this generosity will want to come on board. Health is everybody’s business because it is not if you are going to get unwell, it is a matter of when so as administrators we are working hard to prepare a place that will contribute to the wellbeing and comfort of citizens during that period” Mr. Brissett said.
For Southern Regional Health Authority Director of Operations and Maintenance, Mrs. Herschel Ismail, the donation is timely and important to the development of the hospital. She noted that because of financial constraints, public private partnerships are very important to the health sector.
“As a health sector and a regional health authority we welcome these partnerships. Today we salute our philanthropist, Ms. Tatleen Vassell and make the assurance that this parcel of land will be managed and utilized in such a way that the population of the parish of St. Elizabeth and the adjoining districts will benefit through an improved delivery of healthcare.”
Acting Senior Medical Officer at the BRH, Dr. Sheriff Imoru in expressing gratitude to Ms. Vassel and her family noted that the hospital which serves the entire St. Elizabeth, parts of Manchester, Westmoreland and St. James has greatly improved over the years and is now providing 24 hour service in several areas.
He noted that for this growth to continue, the involvement of the community is needed as the government cannot do it alone. Dr. Imoru urged persons to contribute to the development of the hospital despite the size or value of the donation.