The Adventist-owned and operated Hiram S. Walters Health Centre that serves the Sydenham and the wider Central St. Catherine Communities broke ground for a new building that will host a pharmacy and other facilities for the Health Centre.
The 1300 sqt. of additional space is donated by KennSterl, a pharmaceutical company that is owned and operated by Mrs. Keisha Sterling and her husband.
The ground-breaking ceremony took place on Thursday January 24, 2019 in front of an audience of approximately 70 persons, including institutional, civic and religious leaders.
Member of Parliament for North Central St. Catherine, The Hon. Dr. Andrew Wheatly, who brought greetings during the service had high commendations for the Seventh-day Adventist Church for its service to the community.
He congratulated the church for extending the service through this new building and for her holistic approach to service to the community and by extension, Jamaica.
Pastor Everett Brown, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica and former board chairman of H.S. Walters Health Center, said that “today is an historic moment, because the Central Jamaica Conference is forging another partnership that will position H.S. Walters to provide more services to the Community.”
Brown reminded the audience that the current H.S. Walters Health Centre building was established with the help of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the land purchased from the government of Jamaica. According to Brown, the agreement at the time, was for the church to establish a Health Centre, a school and church.
Pastor Brown also used the occasion to remind the audience that the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica recently formed a partnership with the Ministry of Health in Jamaica to “adopt 100 clinics” across Jamaica. He said that the church is not adopting the clinics, because she has a lot of money, but “we believe, as Jesus did, that our mission is not only to preach the word, but we believe that we have a duty to respond to the needs of people in the community. And H.S. Walters has been doing just that over the years.”
Pastor Levi Johnson, president of Central Jamaica Conference and Board Chairman of the H.S. Walters Health Centre said, “We have been on a journey for over 30 years now. This journey has impacted many lives. Pastor Johnson highlighted that there are individuals who have long standing relationships with the Health Centre for up to 20 years.
Johnson said that when CJC decided to accept the offer from the government to erect 3 buildings, a church, health center and a school, we can say that we have been faithful to the mandate given to us by the government when we received this gift.
Johnson said he welcomes the partnership with Kenn-Sterl. He said that this new facility will help to greatly improve the health care services that they provide for the community.
According to Mrs. Keish Sterling-Richards, owner of Kenn-Sterl, and a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Bushy Park, said that her motivation for donating the building comes from her commitment to God as a faithful steward of the blessings He bestows upon her.
She took time to chronicle her journey from poverty to be the owner of a pharmaceutical company. She thanked the persons who contributed to her successes, including her mother, who was present at the ceremony.
She said that she learnt about the need for a building at H.S. Walters Health Center while conversing with the Health Center manager Mrs. Mary Cole sometime in January 2017.
Project Manager and co-owner of Kenn-Sterl, Mr. Seymour Richards said that the building is to be complete within 6 months of the start of construction.
Background to H.S. Walters Health Center
The Hiram Walters Health Centre, located in Sydenham St. Catherine, is operated by the Health Ministries Department of Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventist.
It is responding to the pressing needs of Spanish Town residents since the late 1980s to provide health and wellness services. Construction began in June of 1985 on lands purchased from the Government of Jamaica through the Ministry of Construction, presided over by the Hon. Bruce Golding, Minister. Central Jamaica Conference partnered with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA) for the project.
The Health Centre was named in honour of a stalwart, visionary pioneer, Elder Hiram S. Walters, a former president of Central Jamaica Conference, who was very instrumental in developing the Conference, and making a huge impact on the Spanish Town citizenry. CJC’s aims were to carry on Elder Walters’ legacy and to plant Adventism firmly in the minds of Spanish Town residents, by giving them health, and wellness services including our health message.
The Operation of the Health Centre began January 9, 1989 offering Medical Services only. The Dental Service was introduced in 1989 with a contribution of dental unit, instruments cabinet, instruments, and dental materials. The equipment and supplies valued over 1.5 Million Dollars. The dental services have been enhanced by voluntary services by partnering with Adventist Medical Institutions. It became necessary to add a Utility Room to accommodate Laundry and other services. The medical service was also expanded to include psychologist, specialist and naturopathic.
In 2011 the building was given an overhaul and face lift in order to reposition the center to meet the growing demands. Presently the services delivered by approximately 28 health care workers included a range of Medical, Dental and therapeutic services.