Tufton Commends Adventist Church in Western Jamaica for Contribution to National Health & Wellness

  •   Adiese Jonas-Murphy, Associate Communication Director
  •  Wednesday, July 25, 2018
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Dr. The Honourable Christopher Tufton addresses the audience at the Installation Ceremony of the recently elected and appointed officers of the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists at the Seventh-day Adventist Conference Centre, Mount Salem, Montego Bay on Sabbath, July 21, 2018. | PHOTO CREDITS:  Michael Fletcher

Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton commended the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Western Jamaica, for its relentless spirit of care and volunteerism to the community. This he did, against the backdrop of highlighting the significant contribution the Church has made to National Health and Wellness.


Dr. Tufton brought greetings to an expectant congregation during the Installation Service for Administrators and Directors, held on Saturday, July 21, 2018, at the Noel Fraser Auditorium on the West Jamaica Conference grounds.  The newly elected team was handed the mantle of leadership for the Church, for the next four years.


The poised Minister was delighted as he affirmed the work done by the Church and was quick to express his gratitude to the faith-based organization, for coming to the aid of the Cornwall Regional Hospital, shortly after it spiraled into a national crisis last year.


He gave special recognition to the President of the West Jamaica Conference, Pastor Glen Samuels, for volunteering additional units of space on the Church’s property, to carry out some of the hospital’s primary functions. It continues to be of tremendous assistance today, as the hospital renders primary Health Care to the public five days per week.


“I consider this an important opportunity to express my appreciation on behalf of the government of Jamaica, the thirteen thousand or so persons who work in Public Health, and the people of Jamaica, our sincere appreciation for the support that we have gotten from the Western Jamaica Conference with the Cornwall Regional Hospital,” said the Minister.


“I want to say it upfront” he continued “and I want to say it to the congregation here that your leader, Pastor Samuels, has demonstrated exemplary leadership in this regard, supported by his executive.”


The Health Minister, who had the crowd chuckling periodically, spoke highly of the role the Church plays in not only advancing the spiritual leadership of our society, but also moral leadership.


“You are a strong congregation” said the smiling Minister. “I did my background checks and I am seeing where you have over eighty-six thousand baptized members, over two hundred and forty congregations, six Primary Schools and two High Schools and I believe a politician would die for that kind of a support” said the laughing Tufton, as the congregation also erupted in laughter.


“It says a lot about your purpose and your cause. It says a lot about the role that you have played in the four parishes and the role you will continue to play.”


In January 2017, the news of noxious fumes affecting healthcare practitioners and patients at the hospital, made headlines across the region, launching several investigations into its causes. The eventual closure of parts of the facility was the result.


Recognizing this crisis, the hospital’s closest neighbour, the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, saw it as its duty to assist the hospital in finding possible solutions. Thus, volunteering several units of space. The second half of the Church’s Main Auditorium was offered to accommodate numerous hospital wards, along with the Physiotherapy Unit. The newly built Skills Training Centre at the Conference was also made available to the hospital to accommodate their daily outpatient clinic.


According to the Minister, the Church is doing the work that the Lord wants it to accomplish.

“You provide food for the soul, you also provide guidance for the body and mind and I believe that is what our Supreme Leader wanted for us here on earth and I want to recognize it,” he ended.


Head of the Physiotherapy Department at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, Denise Forsythe, echoes the sentiments of Dr. Tufton, as she too expresses her gratitude to the Church for its ministry to the community.


“Many of the patients that come to us are in wheelchairs,” she said, "not able to walk and so, this space is really very good for them. Our patients are able to come in without any difficulty. We are very appreciative of the space which is helpful to all our patients” she ended.

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