Jamaica MEdical Outreach
Twice a year we build integrative medical teams, typically with about 15 to 30 practitioners to accomplish this medical outreach to identified communities in Jamaica. These teams are made up of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, dentists, dental assistants, surgeons, radiologists, acupuncturists, physical therapists and social workers. Over the last seventeen years we have been building these teams and coordinating their travel to Jamaica where they volunteer and provide healthcare out of the Falmouth Methodist Clinic (we are a non-denominational group) and do outreach to various communities across Jamaica. The team works in Jamaica for one week, seeing between 50-70 patients per day in the clinic and screening up to 250 in the course of a one day health fair. It should be noted that our Spring trip to Jamaica also serves as a teaching clinic, including 4th year medical students from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and residents who act as their advisors during their work in Jamaica for which they receive credit toward their medical degrees.
Outreach health fairs are able to identify, screen and treat individuals with a host of health concerns, primarily those with diabetes or hypertension and are able to address acute health concerns as well as pediatric problems. We are able to refer those in need to appropriate follow up care with local agencies. These off site locations have included Granville Place of Safety (a girls shelter), Blossom Hills orphanage, the Falmouth Infirmary (senior care facility), and the Sherwood Healthcare Facility. Additional health fairs have been held in Brownsville, Sherwood, and Kingston.
Nine mile health fair
This health fair has been a part of our medical outreach trips since 2002, becoming biannual in 2008. ICI collaborates with U.R.G.E., a Bob Marley Group of Companies in Bob Marley’s hometown of Nine Mile in the parish of St. Ann to do this health fair. This one day health fair combines our team’s work with many other local organizations, such as the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life Foundation, the Jamaican Cancer Society, Colgate Van, local dental teams, and representatives from the government’s social welfare office. During this one day health fair about 250 adults and children are screened by nurses and doctors, as necessary. The health fair in recent years has been hosted by the Cedella Booker Marley Primary School and during this day, the school is transformed into a place for community healthcare. Also during this health fair, home visits are coordinated for those individuals whose health does not allow for them to attend the health fair.
Other Outreach Projects
ICI has conducted medical outreach projects in both Ghana and Haiti and hopes to expand our work to many other parts of the world as long as we can ensure that the work we do provides sustainable healthcare for the local communities we work with. Continuity of care is one of the most important tenets of our work, without it, a patient is potentially diagnosed and left with no recourse. With follow-up care, long term health outcomes are improved for the communities we care for.