A gala fundraiser party attracted 144 people to the Henry Morgan Hotel Theatre on the evening of November 5, raising $10,218 for the Hospital de Roatan, the public hospital in Coxen Hole that has been helping the Roatan population since 1991.
According to Jacquie Woods, Roatan Hospital director, demand for services typically increases by 30% per year, though this year’s demand exceeded the norm and the hospital’s government funds were prematurely exhausted in 2009. “We’re working on figuring out exactly what happened,” said Dr. Indira Sanchez, coordinator of the hospital’s internal consultative committee and a surgeon at the hospital. “This could be because the people who used to pay for medical attention do not have much money, or it could be problems with administration.”
To address these issues and promote the hospital, administration created the Comite de Ayuda Externa (Committee for External Help) for Roatan Hospital. The Gala was the first project of the Committee, who will also handle all collected funds from the event. The Committee is comprised of the following members: Manuel Martinez, Robert Hin, Elias Lizardo, Cesar Gonzales, Kandy Hyde, Raymond Scherrington, and Paul Gale. “What we are trying to do is to create a better administration of the resources,” said Sanchez, who helped to set up the Committee.
The event was held to raise money to help alleviate pressing infrastructure problems such as a lack of running water, antibiotics, pain killers, antihypertensive medications, IV fluids, blood bank, as well as eroding equipment and short staff. According to the Committee, until October 2009 the ER had received 25,599 patients (30% from construction companies and hotels), 10,778 outpatient (most who couldn’t afford the medications which the hospital had to ask them to provide privately), 752 delivered babies (including 113 C-sections), 458 elective surgeries and 891 emergency surgeries.
More than 400 solicitations and invites were sent out to island businesses, politicians, and off-island businesses for the event. Minimum contributions were $50 per person for the affair which included presentations, a raffle, dinner, and entertainment. Supporting the event were Half Moon Bay Resort, Coconut Tree Divers, Mariposa Lodge, Pepsi, Cerveceria, Industria Itsmania, Mayan Princess Resort, TACA, Municipality of Roatan, Karaoke Dance, chef Dino Silvestri, musician ‘Camilo Corea and Altamar’, Los Fulanos, and Henry Morgan Resort. [/private]