The threat of rain could not damper the enthusiasm of members of the Rest Store Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Andrews Memorial Hospital (AMH) Outreach Team as they collaborated to impact the communities of Rest Store, Plowden, New Broughton, Cross Keys, Rose Hill, Wigton and Lottery, during a Health Fair hosted on the Church grounds, on Sunday, September 17, 2017.
The fair, which had to be postponed because of the June flood rains saw the entire Church ground transformed into a hospital with doctors’ cubicles, pharmacy, registration desk, triage area, pedicure station, ECG room.
“This has been a really fulfilling weekend.” says Matron Carol Morgan, Vice President of Nursing Services at AMH, and Chief Coordinator of the AMH Outreach Projects. “We are very happy that as a team we were able to reach the people from the various communities who utilized our services.”
At the end of the day, 93 persons received medical attention, and 60 persons had their prescriptions filled free of cost at the mobile pharmacy. Eighteen men did prostate screening, 16 women did pap smear, 18 had HIV testing and counselling done, 18 did ECG, and 5 had pedicure done. In addition, 38 cholesterol, 65 glucose, and 50 blood sugar testings were carried out. Various service agencies such as the Jamaica Cancer Society, Jamaica Aids Support for Life, Office of the Children’s Registry, Child Development Agency, Jamaica Council for Drug Abuse, the Manchester Police, along with First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union, shared presentations on their respective areas, which were well received.
“It has come to buttress the many ways that we (the SDA Church in Rest Store) are seeking to reach to the various communities,” says Pastor Delroy Bicknell. He further expressed gratitude to Lisa-marie Samuels, Matron Carol Morgan and the AMH team, the health team at the SDA Church in Rest Store, including Elder Dexter Williams and Joyce Green, for such an impactful health initiative.
Community member, Dalsetta Powell, expressed that it is the best health fair she has ever attended. Her sister Sherleen added that “Everything was done under one roof…check-ups, medication and advice right on spot”. Similar sentiments were shared by church member Neville Dixon, who noted that it was a blessing to him and residents of the community, many of whom could not afford a private doctor. He was also happy that both the spiritual and physical needs were addressed.
Volunteer doctor, Gabriella Burke, who works at the Linstead Hospital Accident and Emergency Department, was elated to have joined the AMH Outreach Team for the first time. She did one of several presentations on Sabbath afternoon.
“It has been an immense blessing…beyond words. It has enriched my experience and has taken me away from my own problems and stressors, and I am looking forward to many more opportunities with the AMH team”.
The health fair climaxed a Health Emphasis weekend under the theme “Transformed by His Grace” in which the AMH team was in charge of the entire Sabbath worship service.
The Rest Store Church has been hosting similar health fairs as a part of their service to the communities they serve. Health Ministries Director, Nurse Joyce Green was very elated that Andrews Hospital agreed to partner with the Church in “extending the healings hands of Christ’ to others.
AMH is a Seventh-day Adventist institution established in 1944. As a part of their service to the wider Jamaica, they host ‘health emphasis weekends’ four times each year in various communities across the island. They usually partner with a local Seventh-day Adventist congregation in sharing the Sabbath services and hosting the health fair on the Sunday.