The John F. Kennedy (JFK) Memorial Hospital, the country’s biggest and major referral hospital, is celebrating its 47 years of existence today, July 27.
Activities the administration marked for today’s ceremony will include delegation of new projects the hospital’s management has embarked on to seek funds that would help to renovate and upgrade the hospital’s existing infrastructure, including utilities.
Some of those projects that are expected to be delegated today are the Setup Management and Governance structure for service delivery and operations; renovate/rehabilitate, equip and furnish basic utility facilities to improve patient care environment, renovation and equipping of the Surgical Theater and the construction of an oxygen producing plant established at the center.
Others include interior renovation and furnishing of Memorial Emergency Room and Out-Patient Department, renovation and furnishing of ES Grant Mental Health Hospital, interior renovation and equipping of 4th floor East Wing, relocation and rehabilitation of laboratory, rehabilitation of two warehouses and purchase of a brand new 350Kva generator to support constant power supply at the hospital.
President George Weah will make a special remark, while Montserrado County District #13 Representative Saah H. Joseph, who chairs the House’s Committee on Health, will also make remarks.
JFK Medical Center was built at the request of former Liberian President William V.S. Tubman, whose 1961 visit with U.S. President John F. Kennedy laid the groundwork for United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) funding for a national medical center in Liberia. The project was funded with a US$6.8 million loan and US$9.2 million in grants from USAID as well as a US$1 million contribution from the Liberian government. Construction began in 1965, and the facility opened on July 27, 1971.
When dedicated, the JFK was composed of four institutions that include John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Maternity Hospital, Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (a paramedical and nursing school) and Catherine Mills Rehabilitation Hospital (a psychiatric care facility).
The maternity hospital was rebuilt in 1981, with funding from the Japanese government. This project was named the Liberian-Japanese Friendship Maternity Hospital.
The facility sustained heavy damage over a 23-year period of civil unrest that began with the 1980 coup led by Samuel K. Doe, and lasted until 2003.
The General Administrators in charge of all the component organizations that make up the Medical Center and appointed by the President of Liberia are Dr. Moses Kronyanh Weefur (1971–1980), Dr. Wvannie Mae Scott-McDonald (2007-2017) and Dr. Jerry F. Brown (2018-present).