Wednesday, 04 July 2012 02:30
By caribarena news
Antigua St. John’s - With a US$50,000 capital injection, the Convalescence Ward of the ClareVue Psychiatric Hospital will be outfitted with amplified facilities that some might say was long overdue.
The grant, which was signalled in late 2011, comes as part of telecommunications company Digicel’s staff-encouraged community needs assessment programme called WAVES which was conducted simultaneously across the it's network. The winning submission was made by Orville Mathurin of Potters and was selected from amongst 171 entries across the region.
Superintendent of ClareVue Psychiatric Hospital, Clarence Pilgrim said the initiative, which will immediately benefit at least 25 per cent of the male patient population, comes as the hospital embarked on a vigorous corporate citizenship programme aimed at getting the much needed funding for the facility that the government is clearly unable to provide.
“We embarked on a mission to basically see what we can do to be proactive and to source our corporate citizens. Quite happily there was a meeting of the two – Digicel and ClareVue – and we found that we had something in common and that was the desire to see the hospital be placed in a better position than it is at present,” Pilgrim said.
He noted that the project is an extremely important one considering its focus on a “main ward” that is “in dire need of repair”, and was one of the areas originally targeted by the hospital’s management in its 2012 budget.
ClareVue Hospital’s occupancy level hovers at around 130 patients at any given time, with a 2-1 ratio of men to women.
The renovations are aimed at providing the patients of ClareVue to be treated in an environment that they “deserve.”
Civil engineer Cynthia Laviscount and local contractors have held talks with the hospital’s management and work was said to have begun in late June.
Pilgrim said an assessment was conducted and although the hospital management has seen the architectural projections, it has not been privy to the actual assessment report.
“We have had discussions about the re-design, but the nuts and bolts we are going to go into that right after the launch,” Pilgrim said. “When we are finished renovating we are hoping that we may be able to hold some more patients.”
The changes involve major renovations to the 60-year-old ward to include roof repairs, replacing rotting partition walls, painting external and internal walls, replacing all the beds and mattresses, retiling the floor, and a complete refit of the bathroom areas. Work will also include the construction of a seating area immediately outside of the ward, and a general beautification of the immediate surroundings.
The hospital superintendent said other corporate citizens have expressed interest in assisting in the institution’s development but, to date, Digicel is the only one to have come forward with tangible support.
In the meantime, Digicel’s Technical and Business Efficiency Project Manager Orville Mathurin said the company was indeed pleased to be on board with such an initiative and while it is budgeted that the facility’s improvement would cost under US $50,000 the remaining monies will be applied to the further development of the facility as directed by the hospital’s management.
“All Digicel employees will participate in this project and assist with the renovations. Our primary goal is not only to directly improve the conditions of some of the patients of the hospital, but to bring an awareness of the importance of mental health in our society,” Digicel’s Marketing Manager Troy Byrne said in a prepared statement.