Oak Foundation Commits $2 Million for Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 25 July 2013 00:00

Dr. Peter Allen (center) with directors of Lifeline FoundationOn Wednesday, July 23rd, Kim Simplis-Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children, announced that the Oak Foundation has committed two million dollars towards the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Project. Barrow says that the donation is a result of over a year of discussion and due diligence. One million dollars will go directly to construction of the structure, while one million dollars is earmarked for the purchase of equipment.

Mrs. Barrow and partners broke ground on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on June 13th, 2011 and construction began in June of this year. The Pediatric ICU will cost over six million dollars. Construction commenced with funds that was raised by the Lifeline Foundation and $500,000 that was provided by the Government of Belize. The donation by Oak Foundation will allow for an increase in activity at the construction site. It is estimated that the project will take 18 months to complete but that timeline is only possible if pledged funds continue to materialize. Alan Gobie of the Gobie Foundation pledged a donation of $1 million, Douglas Jackson of Project C.U.R.E. pledged another million dollars in medical supplies and equipment and other organizations made pledges as well. Mrs. Barrow hopes that the  Oak Foundation’s generous donation will urge others to make good on their pledges. The Pediatric ICU will improve the quality of services currently offered to ill children at the KHMH but most importantly, it will also provide services that are not available in the country.

Mrs. Barrow also briefed the press on the status of the Inspiration Center project. She recently met with the contractors of the project and was assured that construction was on schedule for an October completion. She says a technical team is currently working on an operational plan that will be implemented soon after construction is completed. In the mean time, additional fundraising efforts are scheduled to support the Inspirational Center. The next fundraiser will be held in Los Angeles, California. Mrs. Barrow encourages all Belizeans in the area to attend and support the cause of improving the lives of our most special citizens. She says that even after the opening of the center, there will be need for continued fundraising to keep the center operational. Fundraising events are scheduled later in the year and early next year for the Belizean communities in Texas, Florida and New York.