Issa Trust Foundation – March 2015 Newsletter

Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell
Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell
Announcing Air Supply as New Goodwill Ambassadors  
Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell of the popular Air Supply music group have performed thousands of concerts in their 40 years as a soft-rock duo, but one of their most recent tours to visit sick and disadvantaged children in Jamaica put them on a different stage as the new Goodwill Ambassadors of the Issa Trust Foundation. “Sharing a day with the children of Jamaica at school and in the hospitals was one of the most beautiful and touching days I have ever spent,” Russell says. “It reminds us that we are all one people and we must share our resources with those far less fortunate and in great need. This is the real world, and we are all a part of it. We all need each other.”
“Their award-winning song All Out of Love has a new meaning for us now,” says Diane Pollard, President of Issa Trust Foundation. “Air Supply performs 130 concerts a year, and it’s wonderful that they still have time to show their love for our future, the children.”  

Computers for Kids  
Free Hill Primary with Ambassador Sue Cobb
Children are eager to learn on the new computers at Jamaica’s Free Hill Primary and Infant School.
Collaboration between the Issa Trust Foundation (ITF) and the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) has resulted in a new computer room for the Free Hill Primary and Infant School in the St. Mary Parish. The new dedicated space will be a significant resource to reach under-performing kids in the school of more than 400 students. Principal Martin Murphy says it will be overseen by a teacher who will provide one-on-one instruction that will greatly enhance each child’s literacy and math skills. Issa Trust Foundation understands that ensuring a strong primary education for Jamaica’s children is critical to Jamaica’s improved future. As a result, ITF has been actively involved in numerous projects at the Free Hill Primary and Infant School, including the outfitting of an impressive library.
Meet Leo Gilling and Camp Summer Plus  
Leo Gilling
Leo Gilling is not one to forget his roots-or anyone in need. The industrious native of Jamaica, who now runs an insurance agency in Florida, grew up in Oracabessa with a determination to make the most of his life. For Leo, that means working hard and giving back even harder, particularly in the area of education. Read more.
Issa Trust Foundation Newsletter
Jim Colvin considers the chance to build working relationships with Jamaican medical workers a valuable strength of the Issa Trust Foundation.
A Medical Match
Jim Colvin saw a perfect partnership when
visiting Jamaican hospitals for the first
time in November 2013. “I had been to Haiti,
so I was prepared for anything,” says Jim, whose job at medical equipment manufacturer Welch Allyn includes handling global donation requests.
“But Jamaica has a different type of need. While Haiti is still struggling with infrastructure and
relies more on remote clinics, the hospitals I visited in Jamaica have brick and mortar and extremely dedicated staff….The medical personnel are educated and able to help,
but they can’t because they lack medical equipment of all types.” Read more.

A Winning Team
Dave Rahme takes height and weight measurements at one of the Issa Trust Foundation’s rural clinics.

Had life proceeded on the course I envisioned

a few short years ago, I would have been in the

press box at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands

on Sept. 27 covering Syracuse-Notre Dame football. Instead, I was filling medical prescriptions in a makeshift pharmacy and counseling young Jamaican mothers on the possible side effects of giving their children ferrous sulfate (may cause hard do-do

or green do-do, don’t take with milk). Read more.

Meet Rob Barkema

As co-owner of Michigan-based Radiology Imaging Solutions for 27 years, Rob Barkema has frequently donated x-ray and digital imaging equipment. “Through the years we have helped International Aid,

a Christian missionary group in our area that donated a piece of x-ray equipment for one of the hospitals helped by the Issa Trust

Foundation,” Rob says. “We usually get the equipment to International Aid and that is the end of it for us. This time, Diane Pollard came back and wanted to know if we would come to Jamaica to install the equipment.”

Responding with a yes, Rob went, saw the need, and agreed to help start a new initiative to help Jamaicans get the healthcare they desperately need. Here, he shares some insights into the new program: Read more.

Issa Trust Foundation
Enriching Lives in Jamaica
With tireless devotion, Issa Trust Foundation CEO Diane Pollard, Dr. Pat Brophy, Kerri Cook and Michelle Swaney led the highly-successful recent Medical Initiative. Your support is needed to continue serving the children, our future.
We couldn’t begin to do it without you. Thanks to your generous support, our 10th Medical Initiative of more than 40 volunteer doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, and support staff helped nearly 1,000 underserved children in Jamaica. By the end of five clinic days, the team had dispensed 77 eyeglasses and filled 1,301 prescriptions. They also delivered hospital equipment, encouragement, nutritional education–and plenty of hugs. As Medical Director Pat Brophy says, “It’s all about the kids.”
It is standing room only in the emergency room of St. Ann’s Bay Hospital as Dr. Jeffrey Segar squeezes through the chaos to reach a back room. Here, he and respiratory therapist Jana Meredith are enthusiastically working to bring a stripped-down Read more. 

Shanique Powell remembers playing marbles, shooting a slingshot, and splashing in a backyard river in the rural Jamaican community where she grew up. She also recalls less idyllic times. All these thoughts and more flooded the University of Iowa pharmacy intern’s mind as she revisited rural Jamaica for the first time in more than 5 years. “There are a lot of Jamaicans that leave here and never come back,” Shanique says. “They never figure out a way to help their community or reach out to everyone who is here because they go abroad for a better life.” Read more.

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We’re excited-and grateful. As we prepare for our 10th Annual Pediatric Medical Initiative, we hope we can again count on you for much-needed support. Thank you for working alongside Issa Trust Foundation to help dramatically improve lives. 


Issa Trust Foundation and Couples Resorts will once again be offering free medical care for children ages birth to 18 years in 6 locations this September.


An enthusiastic team of more than 40 volunteers (including pharmacists, physicians, paediatricians, nephrologists, pulmonologists, paediatric nurses and nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists and a neonatologist) is preparing to leave for Jamaica this September. In addition to physicals, all children will receive free eye exams and glasses, if needed, courtesy of the Michigan Lions. The team will also provide health and education lectures at St. Ann’s Bay Hospital. 



Coming Soon: Our 10th Annual Medical Initiative! 







You don’t have to travel to Jamaica to be a huge member of the team. Your support helps provide much-needed medical supplies to help improve the healthcare for many deserving children and families. Your gift can make a world of difference in the life of a child. Please come through for deserving kids with your generous gift today. Opportunities to Help


Chris Mentz, RN Happy Times  Kerri Cook, RN







Every donation to the Issa Trust Foundation brings real-life miracles by funding equipment, medical care, and educational programs that save and improve thousands of children’s lives each year. Monthly giving is now available, as well. Please don’t wait. At this very moment, far too many children are in need of your compassionate support. 

 Please donate now.







Our volunteers change lives-including their own. Third-year pediatric resident Merrian Brooks writes about her experience in our pediatric rotation program:


Falling in Love  

“Yes, it’s true. I’ve fallen in love…. with a 6-year-old boy with the sweetest smile. Don’t worry I’m not getting all Mariah Carey on ya. I saw this boy in clinic the other day, and he just wowed me. He has a chronic illness. He could tell me why he was coming and could name his problem. He was initially shy but became very chatty. Like many boys his age, he was asking all kinds of questions and kept practicing saying the word stethoscope.” Read more  Merrian’s Story

Free Hill Primary & Infant School


We need your help to build a much needed playground to give children a place to play and raise awareness for the importance of healthy child development. Please, donate now: Help Make Dreams Come True


The school located in St. Mary, Jamaica is situated in the rural district of Free Hill, located approximately 10Km from it’s main town of Port Maria, the capital of St. Mary. The school<![if !vml]>Free Hill Students<![endif]>, with students ranging from 4 to 12 years old, has a staff of 16 and caters to the social and educational needs of the 448 students. The students are drawn from the communities of Oxford, Geddes Town, Port Maria, Oracabessa, Bailys Vale, Jacks River, Fontabelle and as far away as Ocho Rios, Jamaica. 


Free Hill Video

Free Hill School Playground

Current Playground

Children sharing their dreams

Children Sharing Their Dreams Of A Playground

Thank you for your support of the Issa Trust Foundation! 

W elcome to the July newsletter of the Issa Trust Foundation (ITF ). We’re grateful for your support of our work to expand pediatric and educational programs in Jamaica. We invite your suggestions at any time.
Standing Tall

Undeterred by a rare health issue that prevented her limbs from fully developing, 5-year-old Noadiah Watson competed in races, coming in first and second running on her knees. Her dream of having the necessary surgery and prosthetics to “walk” was more than $30,000 away, a cost that her parents simply couldn’t afford.


When Issa President Diane Pollard learned of Noadiah’s situation, she worked to get Noadiah accepted as a patient at the Shriners Hospital in Galveston, Texas. Now Noadiah can “walk” on her new prosthetics.


“Words cannot express our gratitude,” Noadiah’s mom says. “My greatest wish was to see her walking. I really hope that one day we will be able to give back some service to Issa.”

Noadiah Before Surgery
Noadiah Shows More Confidence
Before & After Surgery

You and the Children Win-

Set It and Forget It!

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the Issa Trust Foundation at no cost to you. When you shop at , you’ll find the exact same low prices and selection as, with the added bonus that you can choose Issa as your charity of choice, and Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to our foundation.

Click on the link below to begin using AmazonSmile in support of The Issa Trust Foundation!


Issa teams with WelchAllyn and Radiology Imaging Solutions to bring much-needed medical equipment to the island

Sometimes it takes a village-or at least a dedicated team. ITF recognizes the power of partnerships to make significant health-care improvements in Jamaica. One recent collaboration resulted in a gift of $70,000 worth of critical health equipment. Additionally, Issa sent volunteer medical specialists to train Jamaican health-care workers how to use the donated machines.

Special thanks to our partners: Radiology Imaging Solutions Inc. donated an x-ray processor and diagnostic testing equipment. WelchAllyn donated ECG and blood pressure machines, vital spot monitors, and more.

“I visited Jamaica for the first time in 2013 to evaluate their needs for medical equipment,” says Jim Colvin, Lead Coordinator of Volunteerism at WelchAllyn. “When I returned in March 2014 with donations I was overwhelmed by the genuine affection and gratitude displayed by the staff that I was able to see for a second time. As Dr. Maurice Sloley so eloquently put it during my first visit: ‘We have a wonderful and dedicated staff; all they lack is the proper equipment.’ It is such a joy for myself and WelchAllyn to be able to provide just a few donations at a time, and see how much it really means when you have so little.”

JULY 2014

Every donation to the Issa Trust Foundation brings real-life miracles by funding equipment, medical care, and educational programs that save and improve thousands of children’s lives each year. Monthly giving is now available, as well. Please don’t wait. At this very moment, far too many children are in need of your compassionate support.

Please donate now.
Macie and Mac, 6, Rian, 8, and Cain, 3, are learning at an early age the joys of sharing with others.

Possibly one of the most hope-filled forms of generosity is when kids want to make a difference in the lives of other kids. Such was the case when 6-year-old Macie put together a shoebox of toys that she wanted to give to kids in need. Her mom, Kris, knew about Issa from a coworker, and soon Macie, her twin brother Mac, and siblings Rian and Cain were on a mission. They scoured the house for gently used toys and books. The kids also did chores to earn money-which Kris matched to buy additional school supplies.

Issa is grateful to receive support from creative kids with heart. Here are a few ways your kids can get involved:

  1. Birthday parties: Make it a giving party by asking attendees to bring school supplies (backpacks, pencils, spiral notebooks, hand-held calculators) to donate.
  2. Garage sale: Sell things you no longer use. You get a clean house, Issa gets needed funds, and everybody wins.
  3. Let kids sort through their things to share extra supplies. Match funds to double whatever they donate.

Wear Your Cause

You can now purchase Issa Trust Foundation clothing and much more! Check out our website to order.

Our volunteers change lives and love what they do. Anne Hartson is preparing for her 7th medical initiative in Jamaica this fall and shares what that means to her:

“I can’t believe how fortunate I am to return for a

seventh year on the I s sa Medical te am to Jamaica!  There are so many faces of children that come to mind when I think of the mission trips.  I will never forget a 9-year-old boy who came limping into the exam room in obvious pain but not complaining.  He had a severe skin infection covering his lower back and legs and was walking with difficulty. We were able to give medication to help with pain control, antibiotics to treat the infection, and bandages to help prevent his clothes from sticking to the skin. Being able to provide care for immediate health problems such as this child’s skin problem is very rewarding, and it’s also rewarding for our team to be able to support Jamaican parents’ efforts to prevent other ongoing health problems such as anemia and dental caries.

It has been wonderful to develop relationships with children and families and to see some familiar faces when returning to clinic year after year.  Usually the clinic days are hectic and there is never enough time to do all you would like during a visit, but the families are so thankful and always show this with their smiles, hugs and thank you’s.  It is impossible to adequately express the impact this experience has meant to me but I have loved every minute of the mission trip (except for the heat and humidity, but that is Jamaica)! I feel it has been an incredible privilege to be a part of the mission team.”

Thank you for your support of the Issa Trust Foundation!
Brent Isenberger, Blaine Moats & Austin Bayliss Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.