Thu | Dec 7, 2023

Health mission arrives in Ja from New York this week

Published:Monday | September 4, 2023 | 12:06 AMLester Hinds/Gleaner Writer

A 25-member health mission drawn from New York and New Jersey will arrive in the island on September 6 for a nine-day visit.

Headed by Dr Robert Clarke, chief medical adviser for the Northeast Diaspora, the health mission is under the auspices of Health Jamaica Medical Mission, which has been doing healthcare missions in Jamaica since 2010.

Clarke pointed out that the organisation has been conducting missions to Jamaica and has provided medical assistance to approximately 462,000 patients over the past decade.

Clarke, with the assistance of Dr Rudolph Willis, founded the Help Jamaica Medical Mission with the aim of providing healthcare services to Jamaicans in need.

He emphasised that the team comprises volunteer specialist doctors and nurses from the Tri-e areas of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.

Clarke said the mission has been dedicated to providing free, high-quality healthcare services to those in desperate need, having served thousands of Jamaicans over the years.

Health personnel on the mission will screen patients for diabetes, high blood pressure, infectious diseases, health problems, all medical issues and gynaecological issues.

The mission will comprise seven doctors, drawn from a number of specialists, as well as other health practitioners, including nurses, dental hygienists among others.

Parishes to be visited include Manchester, Clarendon, St Catherine, Kingston and St Thomas.

Visiting communities

Visits will be made twice to some locations.

“We will go to the people to provide medical assistance instead of their having to travel many miles to see us. We find that visiting local communities ensures that more people will receive service instead of their having to come to where we are in one central location,” he told The Gleaner.

Clarke, who previously served as the president of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations (NAJASO), estimated that the New York/New Jersey Medical Mission has invested as much as $3 million in delivering medical services to under-served communities in Jamaica.

The recent boat ride fundraiser on June 24 successfully raised over US$77,000, which will contribute to the upcoming medical mission.

Clarke serves as the medical director at Silver Lake Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. Additionally, he holds the position of physician adviser at three other hospitals in New

Jersey and serves as an attending physician at two nursing homes in the state. He also operates a private medical practice at East Orange Medical.