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Mercy Fire 2010

The May 2010 Fire
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St. Joseph Mercy Hospital is a non-profit organization providing a 24-hour health care service, seven days a week to the people of Guyana. 

We provide:

Statement of Mission Board of Directors Administrative Team Hospital's History Sisters of Mercy

Statement of Mission

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital as a premier health care facility is committed to providing high quality services to all Guyana with a spirit of compassion, commitment and professionalism.

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Board of Directors

  • Mr. Carlton Joao - Chairman
  • Mr. Chris Fernandes, AA- Vice-Chairman
  • Mr. Khalil Alli - Secretary

Other Members

  • Sister Mary Kelly, RSM
  • Mr. Ramsay Ali
  • Ms. Pauline Chase
  • Ms. Angelique De Groot
  • Mr. John Lewis
  • Mr. Gavin Lowe
  • Ms. Sarah Parris
  • Ms. Saska Sertimer
  • Mrs. Sharda Veeren-Chand

Administrative Team

  • Dr. Vivakeanand Bridgemohan - Chief Executive Officer & Medical Director
  • Ms. Helen Browman - Chief Operating Officer
  • Mrs. Mayglen Adams - Chief Finance Officer

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Hospital's History

The St. Joseph Mercy Hospital had its beginnings when a group of Catholic laymen of the "Sword of the Spirit" movement saw the need for another hospital in Georgetown, Guyana. The Sword of the Spirit was an Association of lay people pledged to the love and service of others with no exception. The idea of a Catholic hospital was not a new one and over the years was being considered by different people, but for one reason or the other, had to be put aside. It was at a group discussion of the "Sword of the Spirit" that the idea of a Catholic hospital was once again considered and a challenging decision was taken to build a Catholic hospital. They envisioned that this hospital would have as its philosophy, the commitment to serve the community by making available competent health care to those who sought it, irrespective of race, colour or creed, mindful of the teachings of Jesus Christ, Gospel values and the spiritual/physical nature of humankind endeavors. The dignity and individuality of every person was to be honoured by rendering this care in a compassionate and Christian manner. As a result of this decision, a committee was setup to bring this project into being.

The committee was comprised of doctors, lawyers and businessmen, all members of the "Sword of the Spirit" movement. Thus, in December 1943, with St. Joseph as it patron and a donation of three thousand dollars, the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital had its beginnings. With the war in progress, it seemed an unlikely time to embark on such a project. All medical personnel were being recruited for other fronts and prices of essential commodities were at an all time high. However, the committee persevered with great courage despite all these obstacles. In March 1944, on the Feast of St. Joseph, the committee was successful in getting the Sisters of Mercy to undertake the Administration of the newly founded Hospital, thus solving one major problem for the committee. At the same time, property then known as Colonna House, already run as a private nursing home came into the market for sale. This property was purchased and renovated and expanded and is still the familiar frontage of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital unto the twenty-first century. The procurement of equipment at that time seemed impossible, but through the United States War Time Hospital, then setup here, contact was made with a Medical Buying Organization started by Cardinal Spellman in New York. The staff consisted of three Sisters of Mercy, all of whom were Registered Nurses, eleven fully qualified nurses and midwives and three doctors. Sister Mary Margaret was chosen as the Administrator of the new Hospital. While she was not a Guyanese, she was certainly no stranger to Guyana having previously worked for many years at the Mahaica Hospital for leprosy patients. In 1964, shortly before her death, she was honoured by the Queen of England who gave her the M.B.E. Award.

The School of Nursing was officially opened by Sr. Mary Kateri with two classes of twenty students each. Sr. Kateri returned to the U.S.A. at the end of the first year and was replaced by Sr. Mary Generosa who spent almost two decades in charge of the School of Nursing. Under her training the school had a great many successes. The percentage of passes at the Nurses State Final Examination never being less than ninety percent. The nurses were and still are of every race and creed and have served Guyana and other parts of the world.

The hospital began with sixty-four beds and four years later the building of a new wing brought the number of beds to one hundred and twenty-five beds plus twelve bassinets for newborn infants. Firms and individuals gave unstintedly in the war years. A donation list in a publication of the Catholic Standard in 1944 shows figures of donations running from two hundred and fifty-six dollars to less than a dollar. The total amount collected being one hundred and thirty-one thousand, five hundred and forty three dollars. Without the help of all those generous persons, both here and overseas, the hospital would not have survived. An extract of an unsolicited tribute in the form of a public broadcast from a Methodist Minister, Mr. C. G. Erry is as follows, "The Catholic Hospital was an idea originated in a single mind, translated into action. It promised relief to the suffering. No one is going to quarrel because it is a Catholic Hospital. The Jew did not object because it was a Samaritan that bounded up his wounds. Suffering does not question the source of its relief, it thanks God for those who bring the relief. The Hospital exists for the community. Behind the idea, one hears the Voice that speaks through Eternal Ages – "In as much as you did it unto the least of these, you had done it to me." A human citation generously given.

The hospital was officially opened August 15, 1945, the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady and by coincidence, the first day of peace for nearly six years. Following the opening ceremony, was a visitation of Government Officials, Legislation Council, the Mayor and Town Council of Georgetown and finally, members of the public. The first days of the hospital were trying and anxious days. Routines had to be established and the Sisters and staff were to be complimented on their splendid and untiring efforts, their success in overcoming difficulties and going without any serious mishaps.

Over the years St. Joseph Mercy Hospital has cared for the sick and injured of every race and creed. It was legally incorporated as the Catholic Hospital on September 20, 1944 – a non-profit association. It continues its work as it began, aided by benefactors at home and abroad. Active among these have been the Women’s Auxiliary (now called Mercy Auxiliary) here in Guyana and the Sisters of Mercy both in Guyana and in U.S.A. The majority of employees in the Nursing Service are graduates of the Hospital’s School of Nursing. In 1994 another wing with modern facilities, was added to the building, thus beginning another era of the modernization of the hospital.

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Sisters of Mercy

The Sisters of Mercy were founded in Dublin, Ireland, in 1831 by an Irish heiress, Catherine McAuley. The special charisma of the Sisters is based on the example of their foundress who "served the needy with courage and compassion, with a special concern for women." The Sisters, since 1831, have introduced Catholic education and health care to immigrants and poverty-stricken communities throughout the world. From Ireland, their work spread to England, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, Guam, the Philippines, the Caribbean and South America.  On April 23, 1894, three Sisters of Mercy, Sr. Ursula Green, Sr. Antonia Chambers and Sr. Pauline DeFreitas, at the invitation of Bishop A. Butler, S.J. laid the foundation of Mercy in the then British Guiana. Their work was then mainly in education and visiting the poor and the sick in the Charlestown area where they resided. They served in elementary schools in Georgetown, along the East Coast and in the county of Essequibo. In 1897 St. Joseph’s High School was started in Charlestown. In the 1910’s and 1920’s they moved to the interior in the Rupununi, Santa Rosa, Morawhanna, Hosororo and Mabaruma. In 1944 they were invited by the "Sword of the Spirit" movement and the Diocese of Georgetown to administer a Catholic Hospital, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.  The Sisters continue to run St. John Bosco Orphanage for boys, to work in the parishes and among the poor and sick, carrying out Mother McAuley’s challenge to serve where the need is.

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Thank You

We thank all who supported us in our time of need, on the day of the fire and after.

Your thoughts, prayers and support are deeply appreciated and has helped us onto the road of recovery. We will continue our journey to full recovery with God's help and yours.

May God continue to bless you all.


Monetary donations can be made in the USA, Canada and in Guyana.

To donate items, please contact one of the following persons:

USA

Sri Komandur
Trinity Health International
komandus@trinity-health.org

Mobile:  248 505 7827

 

Guyana

Dr. Vivakeanand Bridgemohan
Chief Executive Officer
ceo@sjmh.org.gy

Mobile:  592 626 7612

 

Our list of items needed will be updated daily.

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Monetary donations in the US can be sent to:

Sisters of Mercy CCASA Community 
8380 Colesville Rd. Suite 300 
Mercy Center Silver Spring, MD 20910 

Please indicate “St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Guyana” on the memo line. Your contribution is tax deductible.

The office will send an official letter stating that St. Joseph Mercy Hospital is a 501 C3 tax exempt organization.

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Donations in Canada can be sent to:

Guyana Christian Charities (Canada) Inc.
St Joseph Mercy Hospital – Recovery Fund
534 Rouge Hills Drive
Toronto
Ontario M1C 2Z8
Canada

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Donations within Guyana can be sent to the:

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Recovery Fund
Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited
38 - 40 Water Street, Georgetown
Guyana, South America
Tel: 592-226-4091

Swift code: RBGLGYGG

Account number: 2254456

Intermediary Banks:

Please indicate: Beneficiary, Catholic Hospital Inc.-Recovery Fund
130-132 Parade Street Kingston
Georgetown Guyana, SA

(1) Bank of America (New York Office)
100 West 33rd Street, New York
NY 10001
Swift code BOFAUS3N
ABA # 026009593 or 066007681

(2) Bank of New York
1 Wall Street, New York
NY 10286USA
Swift code IRVTUS3N

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Email us:

 

Chief Executive Office & Medical Director
Dr. Vivakeanand Bridgemohan
ceo@sjmh.org.gy

 

   

Chief Operating Officer
Helen Browman
coo@sjmh.org.gy

 

   

Chief Finance Officer
Mrs. Mayglen Adams
cfo@sjmh.org.gy

Medical Director
med.director@sjmh.org.gy

   

Director of Nursing Service
Ms. Laurelle Daw,RNRM
nr.director@sjmh.org.gy

Director of the School of Nursing
Ms. Patricia Gravesande
sondir@sjmh.org.gy

   

Accountant
Mrs. Fern Ross
accountant@sjmh.org.gy

Billing Department
sjmhb@sjmh.org.gy
sjmhpac@sjmh.org.gy

   

Human Resource Depatment
sjmhhr@sjmh.org.gy

 

   

Client Services Manager
Ms. Karen Cumberbatch
fodir@sjmh.org.gy

Client Services
Front Desk
sjmhf1@sjmh.org.gy

   
Materials Management Manager
Mrs. Georgina Mentore
materials.manager@sjmh.org.gy
Materials Management
sjmhm@sjmh.org.gy
   

Information Technology Manager
Ms. Jennifer Sweetnam
it.manager@sjmh.org.gy


Webmaster
webmaster@sjmh.org.gy

   
Call us: Visit us at:

Chief Executive Officer - 592 227 8796
Chief Operating Officer - 592 225 3185
Chief Finance Officer - 592 225 0261
Finance Office - 592 227 2077
Pharmacy - 592 227 2078
Switchboard - 592 227 2073-5

Fax - 592 225 0260

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital
130-132 Parade Street
Kingston, Georgetown
Guyana, South America

 

 

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Fire and Recovery

Early on the morning of May 10, 2010 a fire destroyed the oldest wing of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Georgetown, Guyana.  This two-story wooden structure was converted to hospital use by the Sisters of Mercy in 1945.  It housed the Emergency Department, one operating theatre, doctors’ offices, drug and supply storage, medical records, patient finance, reception and admissions.  The losses are significant:  the building is destroyed, valuable equipment is unusable and records and supplies are in ashes.

Thanks to the good work of hospital staff and many others, all patients were safely evacuated.  We are grateful to the Fire Service, the Police, the Ministry of Health, the Red Cross and many volunteers. Presently, the hospital governing board, doctors, administration, staff and Sisters of Mercy are dealing with the most immediate needs of patients, their families and employees.  St. Joseph Mercy Hospital outpatient services are open temporarily at the nearby Red Cross building.  An announcement will be made when inpatient services will be resumed, once those sections of the existing buildings are ready for occupancy.

Many have inquired about how to help.  Donations in the United States can be sent to:
Sisters of Mercy CCASA Community
8380 Colesville Rd.  Suite 300
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Please indicate “St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Guyana” on the memo line.  Your contribution is tax deductible.

Donations in Canada can be sent to:

                      Guyana Christian Charities (Canada) Inc.
                      St Joseph Mercy Hospital – Recovery Fund
                      534 Rouge Hills Drive
                      Toronto
                      Ontario M1C 2Z8
                      Canada

Donations within Guyana can be sent to the:

                      St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Recovery Fund
                      Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited
                      38 - 40 Water Street, Georgetown
                      Guyana, South America
                      Tel: 592-226-4091

                      Swift code:     RBGLGYGG

                      Account number:  2254456

Intermediary Banks:

Please indicate: Beneficiary, Catholic Hospital Inc.-Recovery Fund
                         130-132 Parade Street Kingston
                         Georgetown Guyana, SA

                    (1) Bank of America (New York Office)
                                       100 West 33rd Street, New York
                                        NY 10001
                                        Swift code BOFAUS3N
                                        ABA # 026009593 or 066007681

                     (2) Bank of New York
                                       1 Wall Street, New York
                                        NY 10286USA
                                        Swift code IRVTUS3N

We will continue to update this website with our needs, as assessments are made of the extent of the damages. The recovery of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital will succeed with the overwhelming support offered by so many.  We are grateful for every contribution and for assistance of any kind that you may be able to offer.

Recovery Photos
Fire Tender Leaving What Remains
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

 


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