Top Notch Clinic
Little Friends Foundation Renovates Yet Another Health Center on Roatan

November 1st, 2007
by Thomas Tomczyk

[private]

The Jared Hynds Community Center and in front of the patient's files: Kandy Hyde (RN)- Little Friends Foundation president, Maria Brooks (LPN), Nancy Valladares (LPN), Dra. Suseth Welcome, Dina Urbina (LPN).

The Jared Hynds Community Center and in front of the patient's files: Kandy Hyde (RN)- Little Friends Foundation president, Maria Brooks (LPN), Nancy Valladares (LPN), Dra. Suseth Welcome, Dina Urbina (LPN).

Little Friends Foundation (LFF) performs another feat and opens a second community clinic on Roatan. After only five months of intense work, fundraising and coordination a French Harbour Health Clinic comes back to life.

One of the main goals of LFF and government satellite Health Clinics is to alleviate the strain placed on Roatan Hospital. With Pandy Town clinic already operating and French Harbour clinic inaugurated on October 19, LFF is certainly doing its share.

Through 11 main sponsors and over 50 smaller ones, over $100,000 was raised for the renovation and expansion of the French Harbour health care clinic. Through the 2007 International Shrimp Festival Coral Cay was able to raise $31,000. With around $25,000 in donations, the Roatan Municipality was the second biggest donor.

While the central government pays for the doctors’ and nurses’ salaries and the water and electric bills of the clinic, Roatan Municipality stepped in to pay for the guard and housekeeper salaries. This could prove key in keeping the clinic going as the lack of maintenance was the main reason why the clinic deteriorated to a state of being barely usable.

Other changes are on the horizon as well. Before the renovation the clinic typically handled one patient at a time, causing long patient queues. Kandy Hyde, LFF president, says that with the new organization of care system, patients will be prepped by nurses before seeing the doctor. “We need to train them [clinic staff] in a new, more efficient way of delivering care,” said Hyde. The 6,800 consultations that took place at the French Harbour Health Center in 2006 could double with the new facility and reorganization of patient care.

LFF, which constructed a Pandy Town Clinic and French Harbour Clinic, plans to focus more on clinic staff training in operations and management. The idea is to use the available resources effectively and not let the new clinics fall into disrepair and mismanagement.

Four nurses, a general practitioner doctor and a dentist will tend to patients 7am to 3pm. After 3pm, and possibly 24 hours a day, the clinic will host visiting volunteer medical specialists from the US. “The idea is to turn the clinic into an urgent care center,” said Hyde.

The new 2,400-sf clinic facility practically doubled the clinic’s size. There are three exam rooms, office, dental office, a pharmacy and direct access for emergency vehicles. The equipment in the dental office alone cost $20,000. The plans and construction quality of the clinic reflect US standards. With much of the labor cost donated through three volunteer groups from Florida Hospitals, the facility was given turn-key at $35 a square foot, quite a feat for a place where construction can easily cost $100 a square foot. [/private]

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