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First Caribbean Bank Adopts KHMH’s Pediatric Ward Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 02 September 2010 00:00

Dr. Longsworth with Members of the Adopt a Cause CommitteeOver the weekend, employees of First Caribbean International Bank took off their formal wear and suited up in work clothes as part of their commitment to community service. They were not crunching numbers or counting money; instead, they were painting walls and putting up curtains in the pediatric ward of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Rosanna Villanueva, Business Support Officer for First Caribbean Bank, says that the project was a result of the bank’s ‘Adopt a Cause’ program which challenges employees to survey their community and develop a project that would contribute to positive development. Each branch is given a budget for the program annually. She says that this year the Belize City branches pooled their resources and decided to support KHMH’s Adopt a Ward program. First Caribbean Bank purchased paint, curtains, TV’s, light fixtures and fans for renovation of the right wing of the pediatric ward, and transforming the children’s play room and the general recreation area of the ward to a more comfortable and modern ambience.

Chief Executive Officer of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, Dr. Gary Longsworth, says that there are many needs at the hospital and “just like any physical plant it deteriorates and needs to be maintained and upgraded from time to time.” Since financial resources are limited, management decided to go out and seek corporate partners to meet its needs. Thus, the Adopt a Ward program was formed. The Adopt a Ward program encourages individuals, organizations, and corporate citizens to adopt and develop areas of the hospital. Dr. Longsworth says that when they were approached, First Caribbean International Bank enthusiastically supported this opportunity to give back to Belize’s largest, busiest, and the national referral hospital. 

He said that other organizations have been supportive as well. Belize Natural Energy Trust is adopting the A and E Department; the Lifeline Foundation will provide finance for a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Belize Telemedia Limited will be refurbishing the lobby of the hospital.

Dr. Longsworth says that the corporate organizations have slowly been taking up a bigger role in the development of the institution.