Business woman and philanthropist Beverly Nichols, OD, through her Push Start Foundation has gifted 74 frontline healthcare workers, across the country, and who are directly involved in the fight against COVID-19, since March 2020, with US $25,000 for their personal use.
Ms. Nichols explained that in April 2020 after the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic started to impact Jamaica, she observed how corporate America was showing their appreciation to frontline workers.
“New York was the epicentre at that time and corporate America showered doctors, nurses, ancillary workers with gifts and cash. I immediately felt overcome with jealousy and wondered who would step up and do something similar for the team of workers in my country’s health sector,” she says, adding, “I decided to do something.”
When the Diaspora decided to collaborate to host a telethon to raise funds to purchase Personal Protective Equipment, Ms. Nichols says she saw an opportunity but she wanted her donation to go directly to doctors, nurses, and all other categories of health care workers who had gone beyond the call of duty in the fight against the virus.
Now that 74 health care workers have received the US$25,000 at a virtual handover ceremony on Friday, February 12, Ms. Nichols says she is feeling good that it came to fruition and invites others who are in a better position than her, to do something similar.
The Clarendon native, who is a resident of New York also made a donation of US 1 million in 2018 for major expansion and upgrade of the Chapelton Community Hospital in Clarendon.
Recipient and Regional Medical Epidemiologist at the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), Dr. Fatoumata Fadji Sylla- Roberts, who delivered remarks on behalf of the recipients from the SRHA, thanked Ms. Nichols for her generous and thoughtful donation.
She pointed out that since the pandemic came to Jamaica in 2020, it has been a learning experience, with much research being done and utilized.
“Despite the increase in cases in our region, we continue to do our best and we have been training staff, targeting communities through sensitizations and going beyond the call of duty. It has been overwhelming but we continue to learn and it is a great pleasure to be recognized by the Push Start Foundation. We stand for quality and we will continue to go beyond the call of duty to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic” Dr. Sylla-Roberts added.
Several dedicated and hardworking healthcare workers were nominated for this award and a final selection made through the National Health Fund and the Push Start Foundation. Two doctors, four nurses and 17 support staff from the SRHA were gifted with the cash donation.