The JAAC Surgery Team is pleased to report yet another successful mission in June 2013. This year the team consisted of Laurence Weekes M.D.,(Team Leader), Alister George M.D., Maxine Anderson M.D., Toni Scott-Terry, M.D., Janina Sukhu RN, (Nurse Coordinator), Sharon Watson RN, Claudette Coleman RN (Mission Coordinator), and Carlos Cabral Surgical Technician.
The team arrived on Friday, May 31, 2013, and on Saturday, June 1, 2013, travelled to Annotto Bay Hospital where they unloaded several boxes of equipment and supplies donated to the hospital. Some donated equipment had to be assembled tested and made ready for use in theatre in coming week.
The Ninth Annual Laparoscopic Surgery Seminar jointly sponsored by JAAC and Annotto Bay Hospital was held on Sunday, June 2, 2013 at the St. Mary Civic Center in Port Maria, St. Mary, Jamaica. At the seminar the team was ably represented by Dr. Alister George who presented on Endoscopy at Annotto Bay Hospital, Dr. Maxine Anderson who spoke on the topic “Single Port Laparoscopic Surgery” and Dr. Toni Scott-Terry who gave a presentation on “Laparoscopic Surgery for Adnexal Masses.”
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday was spent in operating theatre assisting local surgeons and surgical staff with “Hands On” training in Laparoscopic Surgery and Endoscopic procedures.
On Thursday this surgery team as well as members of the JAAC Executive was invited guests at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) where we met with members of the hospital Board and members of the hospital executive. At this meeting, a presentation and request was made to JAAC for assistance with the reestablishment of their laparoscopic surgery program. JAAC has since considered this request in executive session and has decided to accept this challenge, and do whatever is possible to assist KPH with this endeavor.
Enough could not be said about the new members of a team, Dr. Maxine Anderson and Dr. Toni Scott- Terry. They both were instrumental in securing donations of vitally needed laparoscopic instruments and supplies, and assisted in the shipping of these supplies at their own expense. Although they were new to the surgery team and to the JAAC mission they were undaunted by the unexpected. Their contribution to the Seminar, to the practical training sessions and to the mission as a whole was priceless.
The veterans of the Surgery Team are to be commended for continued dedication and support to this segment of the mission. Dr Alister George personally donated additional instruments and supplies needed to continue the training he started in Endoscopy and ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography). Janina Sukhu, RN, the Nurse Coordinator for the Surgery Team, and Sharon Watson, RN were facilitators for the team and worked with the local Medical Staff to explore new ways in which we could make the training experience more meaningful. Carlos Cabral our OR Technician was a genius at multitasking. Not only did he assist with the training of local technicians, but he also assembled and tested the newly shipped equipment, and worked on previously donated items that needed repairs.
The Surgery Team wishes to thank Dr. Ray Fraser, Dr. Nadine Bourg , and the entire staff of Annotto Bay Hospital for the wonderful reception/boat ride /Picnic/Party which they hosted on Friday, June 7, 2013. It was a truly marvelous day and a great way to end our mission week. We also wish to welcome to California, the Annotto Bay Hospital visiting team of Dr. Andrea Myers, Dr. Ram Yadav, Dr. Zaw Myo Min, Nurse Krista Winter, Nurse Shanille Bamberry, Nurse Kerry-Ann Greaves-Davy and Mrs. Barbara Lewey. The team has just completed the sixth bi-annual JAAC sponsored visit during which the team observed laparoscopic surgery training and operating theatre procedures in California during their weeklong stay.
Many thanks for your continued support of this mission.
Education Team Members:
Patrick Williams – Education Chair
Yasmin Facey – President
Anthony Edwards Martine Hall, Sharon Morgan, Johnise Glen, Andrew Facey, Alphonso Gibbs, Marie Kellier, Doreen Tulloch-Reid, Rose Lebert,
Kingston Technical High
Buff Bay All Age
Zion Hill Primary & Junior High
Port Maria Primary
St. Mary High
Highgate Primary & Junior High
Little London High School
Little London Primary
Catherine Hall Primary
Mount Salem All Age & Junior High
Jamaica Awareness Association of California, (JAAC), had a seven member volunteer team participate in our 12th annual education mission to Jamaica. During our mission week mission, we visited 15 schools and were successful in accomplishing our objectives. Our work impacted the lives over 5000 students in the parishes of St. Mary, Portland, Kingston, Westmoreland and St. James with the support and assistance of the Ministry of Education.
The objectives set forth by the education team and approved by the JAAC board was successfully executed:
- We donated school supplies to over 500 students
- Repaired and serviced previously donated computers at 6 schools
- We donated multimedia projectors, computers, printers, digital cameras, iPods and USB wireless network cards.
- Conducted computer training seminars for teachers
- Conducted 3 Trauma Workshops for guidance counselors
- Conducted career rap sessions at various schools
- We conducted our first Education Summit-Empowered by Knowledge: obstacles to Education in Jamaica
- Made courtesy call on the Ministry of Education
- Made courtesy visits on all 5 of our current scholarship recipients at their various schools and reviewed the current guidelines.
Our annual Training Seminar for teachers was facilitated by JAAC team members, the principal and staff at Highgate Junior High & Primary (St. Mary) in conjunction with members of Negril Education Environmental Trust (NEET). The purpose of the training was to provide the participants with a basic course in Microsoft Word and Excel. There were 32 principals and teachers in attendance and the training was well received by all.
Our Trauma presentation seminar was a new addition to this year’s activities for Guidance Counselors on “Classroom issues and potential answers”. The team conducted workshops in 3 parishes. The first was held at Mico Teacher’s College (Kingston) with 35 attendees; the second took place at Highgate Primary & Junior High (St. Mary) with 33 attendees and the third, at Travellers Beach Resort (Westmoreland) with 30 attendees. The seminars were well received by all participants, and evoked many questions during the presentations. Participants stated that the workshops were refreshing and well needed.
To conclude our week of activities JAAC in collaboration with Saint James Central Constituency, supported by the University of the West Indies Mona, Western Jamaica Campus hosted the first Education Summit, entitled “Empowered by Knowledge: The Obstacles to Education in Jamaica”.
The objectives were to:
- To identify the critical issues affecting education in Jamaica
- Identify and understand the issues from a stakeholder’s perspective
- Identify common threads
- Promote public discourse around the improvement of education
- Drive sensitivity and awareness around the issues
- Create alignment and increase collaboration among the stakeholders towards solutions
- Health and Welfare of the Children: (Health – vision, hearing, dental, nutrition, psychological, emotional etc.)
- Socio-Economic Circumstances: (Family support, finances, parenting, social/community/ environment)
- Access: (Availability of educational resources – teachers, books, supplies, equipment, technology, tools, transportation, training etc.)
- Government/Social Policies: (Government regulations, funding, government response to issues affecting education, access to support etc.)
The event was very well received by the over 100 attendees, including the Minister of Education The Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites who delivered the keynote address; Hon Lloyd B. Smith Member of Parliament. The summit was moderated by Dr. Luz Longsworth, Director of the UWI, Mona Western Jamaica Campus (Principal, Sam Sharpe Teachers College), Dr. Jhody Ann Hendricks (Pediatrician with Ministry of Health) and Mr. Alonzo Jones (Principal, Barracks Road Primary).
JAAC Education team was very well received at all the schools we visited. The teachers and students greeted us warmly and expressed their appreciation for the assistance JAAC has provided to them over the years.
Thanks to all our donors and supporters for allowing us to carry out another successful education outreach mission in Jamaica.
Special Thanks to:
- Dennis Shipping
- Lions Club, Montego Bay
- Ministry of Education, regions 2 & 4
- St. James Central Constituency
- Councilwoman Suzette Brown
- Councilman Sylvan Reid
- UWI Mona WJC
JAAC VP, Education Chair
“Improving Lives Today For A Better Tomorrow”
Laurence J.S. Weekes MD