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November 2019 Training – We are returning to Sav La Mar Hospital in Negril for neonatal and pediatric training. This training will provide doctors and nurses with education regarding the care and well-being of the pediatric and neonate patient. The educational program will be geared towards take home messages that can be instituted into medical practice. In addition to didactic lectures, interactive sessions, team-based learning objectives, and pediatric specialty management protocols will be incorporated into the seminar.
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The Issa Trust Foundation announces their 5th Vision mission to be held at the Oracabessa Church of God, St. Mary, on October 7th, 8th and 9th from 9:00a to 4:00p at no cost for children ages 6 months to 22 years old ONLY!

The Issa Trust Foundation and the Lions Club of Michigan will provide free eye exams and prescription eyeglasses at their upcoming Vision Mission October 7, 8 and 9, 2019 at the Orcabessa Church of God in St. Mary.

For 5 years, The Issa Trust Foundation and the Lions Club of Michigan have worked together to bring teams of optometrists, licensed doctors, opticians and volunteer technicians to provide comprehensive eye exams and 4,700 pairs of gently used eyeglasses to children in our community. Each pair of glasses is carefully checked, cleaned, and prepared for children in need.

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In KEEPING with of its commitment to improving Jamaica’s health sector, the Issa Trust Foundation recently sponsored a two-day seminar aimed at helping the sector convert from film to digital medical imaging. The seminar, which started at Couples Sans Souci hotel in St Mary, had digital experts Robert Barkema, Gerry Pyne and Craig Hamilton presenting information to help the audience understand digital medical imaging, from image acquisition to transmission of image data to the archiving of images.
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Chairman, Paul Issa and President & CEO, Diane Pollard, is pleased to announce the appointment of Her Excellency, the Most Honourable Lady Allen, as Patron. Lady Allen joins her husband, His Excellency, The Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, Governor General of Jamaica, who has acted in this capacity since 2011.

The Issa Trust Foundation, the non-profit organization founded by Couples Resorts in 2005 and headed by Chairman, Paul Issa and President & CEO, Diane Pollard, is pleased to announce the appointment of Her Excellency, the Most Honourable Lady Allen, as Patron. Lady Allen joins her husband, His Excellency, The Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, Governor General of Jamaica, who has acted in this capacity since 2011.

Lady Allen began nursing training at the Northern Caribbean University’s (NCU) Nursing Department while serving as the Institution’s Dean of Women. She migrated to the USA with her family and completed the Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing at the Andrews University, Berrien Spring, Michigan and later served in several senior positions at health care facilities in Michigan.

Between 2002 and 2007, she joined the faculty of NCU where she served as Lecturer in the Department of Nursing and later as the University’s Human Resource Director.

A passionate advocate for children and the elderly, Lady Allen now works with teens and young adults in several state-run juvenile facilities and children’s homes. Once per week, she visits the Bustamante Hospital for Children and reads for the children. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the play and learning stimulation room for patients at the Hospital. Diane Pollard, President & CEO of the Issa Trust Foundation, stated, “we are thankful for Her Excellency, Lady Allen’s acceptance as Patron of the Foundation. She is extremely driven and works tirelessly with compassion and commitment to make a difference for our youth. Over the years, Lady Allen has attended our Vision Missions and Medical Missions, spending time mentoring children and educators.”

Contact: Alexandra Ghisays (Couples Resorts)
Public Relations Officer, Issa Trust Foundation
Email: alex@couples.com
Cell: 361 4762

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On Friday, September 28th, a grand opening of the brand-new Computer Lab at the Oracabessa Primary School was held with much excitement. The Computer Lab was donated by Issa Trust Foundation and the Oracabessa Foundation in collaboration with the N.C.B. Foundation and the Ministry of Education. The fully air-conditioned room has 18 computers with new desks, chairs and a projector. In addition, the badly needed girls’ and boys’ restrooms were also remodeled. In total, the cost of the project was US$45,796.
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St Ann's Bay Hospital Pediatric Ward Grand Opening – The Making of For The Children Jamaica from Issa Trust Foundation on Vimeo.

June 2017, Ambassadors, Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, Air Supply, performed a benefit concert at Couples Sans Souci Resort from which $160,000 was raised. This money was integrated in a whopping $267,000 improvement project for the ward, which was officially opened on March 22, 2018, by Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton.

Extensive work was done on the ward and included the provision of new beds, cots, vital-sign monitors, piped medical gases, furniture for staff, patients and visitors, replacement of all windows, new curtain tracks and curtains, a central air-conditioning system, split air-conditioning units, fans, television sets, ventilators, and other critical infrastructural improvements, including the critical care nursery.

“I believe that how we care for each other reflects who we are as a nation; and how we care for children reflects the kind of future we’re going to have,” ITF Chairman Paul Issa shared. Wife of the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, says every Jamaican deserves good healthcare and should have access to first-rate health facilities.

Speaking at the opening of the renovated Pediatric Ward at the St. Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital in St. Ann on Marc Mrs. Holness said it is against that background that it is so commendable that the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA) and the Issa Trust Foundation have joined together “to produce a world-class facility” for children.

“This phenomenal team has put together a world-class facility to ease the pain of children. You don’t find this kind of effort happening every day, which reinforces even more the need to appreciate this kind of love that has been meted out to our children and their parents,” she said.

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Air Supply toured the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital in 2015 and spoke with the children there, and saw firsthand the lack of basic facilities, which clinched their involvement. We’ve put information about the foundation on our website and social media; children are our future and they need to be taken care of,” acknowledged Russell. “We travel the world and see some heartbreaking things, people living under freeways, homeless children living on the streets. You can’t change everything, but you can change some things. This was an opportunity to raise money and for us it is all about helping where we can,” offers Graham.

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MORE than 1,200 children in St Mary recently received free eye examinations through a partnership between the Issa Trust Foundation, the non-profit arm of Couples Resorts, and Lions of Michigan.
Taken from the Jamaican Observer November 28, 2017

In fact, over the three days of the Vision Clinics, 178 pairs of glasses were dispensed.


The clinics were held at Retreat Primary and Junior High School and the Oracabessa Primary School. Over the three days, comprehensive eye exams to test the health of each child’s eyes and whether they needed glasses to improve their vision were provided free of cost.


A total of 1,259 children received eye examinations.


According to the foundation, the mission team consisted of optometrists, a medical doctor, a licensed optician, and five volunteer technicians who assisted in eye examinations and in fitting the glasses.


“All the glasses provided were previously used glasses that had been collected, sorted, cleaned, measured and shipped from the United States to Jamaica,” the foundation said yesterday. “Lions uses a computer program to search for the best glasses that they have in their supply, closest to the child’s prescription needs.”


A clinic was held at Couples Sans Souci for the adult staff of that hotel and Couples Tower Isle, where 252 employees were seen and 177 received glasses, the foundation said.


Lions Clubs International, is said to be the largest service organisation in the world, with 1.4 million members from 210 countries.


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A successful Vision Mission at Retreat Primary and Junior High, Oracabessa Primary School and Couples Resorts. An outstanding and compassionate team from Michigan Lions, Ambassadors, I Believe Initiative, Her Excellency Lady Allen, and volunteers impacted many lives the week of November 6th. In 4 days the team provided 1,511 eye exams, and dispensed 259 glasses at no cost. We were thankful for the partnerships to help the children succeed and do their very best.

The mission team consists of Optometrists, a Medical Doctor, a licensed Optician and five volunteer technicians that assist in examining the child’s eyes and in fitting the glasses.

The eye exams test the health of the child’s eyes and whether they need glasses to improve their vision.

All the glasses provided are previously used glasses that have been collected, sorted, cleaned, measured and shipped from the United States to Jamaica. Lions uses a computer program to search for the best glasses that they have in their supply, closest to the child’s prescription needs.

Lions Clubs International, is the largest service organization in the world with 1.4 million men and women members from 210 countries. There are hundreds more Lions members in Michigan, working weekly on collecting used glasses, sorting, cleaning, measuring, and entering them in a computer database and packaging for shipping. All the workers are volunteers and the glasses are provided free of charge.

We thank the schools for allowing their child to be a part of our Lions Clubs International/Issa Trust Foundation vision care mission.

Dr. Gary Anderson, Lions Club International – Past International Director
Diane Pollard, President & CEO Issa Trust Foundation

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A story by Jessica Dinh, Nurse, who shares her story while volunteering in Jamaica.

According to google the definition of life changing is…

"having an effect that is strong enough to change someone’s life: a life-changing decision/moment. Having a powerful effect."

It’s feels like such an understatement and a cliche to say these past 10 days have been life changing. But it is the literal truth. Anhtuan and I were blessed to join the Issa Trust Foundation for it’s 2017 Pediatric Medical Mission Trip in Jamaica. Thanks to Diane Pollard and Kerri Cook for making this possible.

I wish I could articulate the hundred of moments that i got to be apart of. The group of 42 people that were there we’re such amazing, compassionate individuals and I can’t imagine doing this with anyone else. As I decompress and fully look back at everything we did I know more things will come to me. For now I wanted to share one moment in particular.

 

Our 2nd clinic location we had a 18 year old girl come in. It was obvious that she was extremely ill and the amazing assessment skills of Laci Swanson and Elizabeth Mitchell Foden recognized this immediately and got her seen very quickly. She was in the end stages of a terminal illness. She only weighed about 75lbs and could barely eat or drink anything because it hurt too bad. To add to everything else she also had pneumonia. 

 

We were able to give her antibiotics and a fluid bolus to help with her extreme dehydration……. and then she was on her way home. I had an extremely hard time this day. I was blessed to get to help comfort her during her IV start and throughout her treatment. Those who know me as a nurse know that I do not shy away from these type of situations. I tend to gravitate towards difficult and hard patients and try to make their experience better in some way. This was no exception, but the feeling I had after was something I’ve never experienced in my professional career. It was a toxic combination of sadness, failure, hopelessness, sorrow and guilt.

 

I watched her leave knowing she would likely die within a few weeks if not sooner. That her death would be painful and horrible. That the severe lack of access to medical care ensured the world would be deprived of the amazing things this girl has to offer. I am not saying in america that we could have changed the end. Maybe so, or at least prolonged it. Enough to let her actually live a full life. Or to simply be comfortable.

 

After a few minutes of feeling sorry for myself I came to a surprising realization. After her fluid bolus she did look "better". We were able to give her a sandwich and fresh fruit (although she wasn’t able to eat much). The antibiotics should begin working and hopefully decrease the amount of pain she is in. I do know she left better than when she came in. And although medically we could not save her. I do pray that she left feeling that people cared about her. That she was important and loved. That she mattered. I sent my small fan I brought with me that hangs around my neck with her. It was a cheap $4 Wal-Mart purchase. But I hope that if all I could give her was a little more comfortable death and the feeling of love, compassion, kindness and respect…..I’m not sure we can ask for much more than that…

 

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

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