The Cornwall Regional Hospital has benefited from some $25 million from proceeds raised from three stagings of the Rainforest Seafood Festival, which was first held in 2013.
The financial benefits that the hospital has reaped from the partnership with the family festival, held at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay, has positively impacted the standard of service offered at the health care facility, according to the hospital’s CEO Anthony Smikle.
He said that the much-needed funds, given to the hospital from the festival, has, over time, greatly assisted in the procurement of vital items for both the children’s care nursery and the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department.
“We have benefited from the proceeds. We have got some critical pieces of equipment, in terms of ventilators for the children’s care nursery and special equipment for the A&E Department and that have assisted greatly in emergencies,” said a grateful Smikle, who added that the partnership is ongoing.
The relationship was born in 2012 after a group of concerned citizens initiated the We Care Foundation.
We Care is a non-profit organisation dedicated to meeting the regional hospital’s need for additional manpower, basic health care equipment and infrastructural upgrades.
We Care member Brian Jardim, CEO of Rainforest Seafoods, conceptualised the family festival, which boasts a range of seafood dishes, kiddies games, giveaways and live entertainment from some of Jamaica’s most sought-after performers.
“He [Jardim] realised that he wanted to get the whole western Jamaica involved in giving more to the hospital so that was how the Rainforest Seafood Festival was born. The idea was to make it an event that everybody could attend,” Bethany Young of Rainforest Seafoods said.