News Release

UHWI receives donation from LDS Charities

Handover ceremony held at UHWI on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at the Eye Clinic, Ward 18


The hospital received an Iridex Laser 577 patent scanning Micropulse Laser & Slit Lamp and a Scan Optics Ophthalmic Microscope with a teaching video Monitor from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The need for these machines was identified a few years ago when Dr. Jesse Hansaker of the Latter Day Saints Charities,  Dr. Lue  and Lizette Mowatt eye specialists at the Kingston Public Hospital met in Jamaica.  During their meeting Dr. Lue highlighted the need for this equipment at UHWI and invited Dr. Hansaker to visit the hopital.

During his speech at the handover ceremony Dr. Lue said that it was divine intervention that resulted in this donation of eye screening machines.

The ceremony was chaired by Dr. Carl Bruce, Senior Director of Clinical Services at UHWI, other noted guests present were Rev. Melvin Carey, UHWI chaplin, Mr Kevin Allen, CEO UHWI, Professor Horace Fletcher, Faculty of Medical Sciences and Mr. Royce Britton, Jamaica Kingston Stake, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dr. Hansaker is an ophthalmologist and a humanitarian volunteer for LDS Charities for over 30 years, he has worked in various countries. He was accompanied by his wife,  Dianne Hansaker along with Dr. John Gunther and Lisa Gunther. This charity organization is an arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' humanitarian efforts to relieve suffering for families of all nationalities and religions.

Through the significant cumulative efforts of donations from church members,  eye care equipment  costing over US$60,000.00 was donated to provide treatment to patients with glaucoma and retinal disease.  Mr. Royce Britton who represented the Kingston Stake in the church, during his speech reflected on Christ’s admonition to help others, emphasizing that the LDS Charities were formed to provide assistance to others. He also encouraged the beneficiaries to participate in fulfilling these needs and to follow Jesus Christ example of charity.

Prof. Horace Fletcher, Dean of Faculty of Medical Science, UWI, explained that these equipment will help to prevent retinal disease,  which is the cause of painful loss of sight for patients in our country. He also mentioned that this is the best equipment currently available in the world and he is so pleased to have it at UHWI.

Dr. Lizette Mowatt, Consultant Ophthalmologist, University Hospital of the West Indies highlighted the timely arrival of these equipment, especially for treating diabetes patients. She noted that this will be the only state of the art laser in the Caribbean. The equipment will afford the hospital the capacity to treat more patients in one day.  Additionally, the equipment will also help with the training of residents as procedures can now be viewed on the LCD monitor so that trainees can see the surgery being performed. She also thanked divine intervention, as these equipment will be utilised to screen, treat and do better surgeries, thereby providing excellent eye care at the UHWI.

Claudette James, Director of Nursing, UHWI mentioned that this equipment will put Jamaica in the realm of providing effective treatment and training. She hopes that this partnership with LDS Charities  will continue.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.