Dr. Jerry F. Brown, CEO of John F. Kennedy (JFK) Memorial Hospital, has promised to make the medical center a place of choice under his administration, to improve the country’s health system and attract patients from neighboring countries as it was in the past.
Dr. Brown spoke at the hospital‘s 47th anniversary and dedication of President George M. Weah’s 150-day projects held on July 27, 2018.
He said his administration will ensure that Liberians feel comfortable in recommending the JFK medical health center to others for quality treatment, because it is the biggest and major referral hospital in the country.
Dr. Brown said to make JFK a place of choice, they will work on the staffs, teaching them to value patients and give them more attention, adding that the patients must also value those nurses that are providing services and risking their lives to build a healthy environment.
Dr. Brown said the hospital is losing most of its customers because of the lack of a decent environment and structure, which is why his administration has decided to add value and give the institution a facelift, in order to make it a better place for every Liberian.
“Come let’s make JFK a better place, and not just invest in the others and forget our own,” Dr. Brown told Liberians who graced the occasion.
Dr. Brown said they are working to reduce the waiting time, because that is one reason why people are leaving JFK hospital to seek quick medical attention at other private hospitals, adding that they will ensure people get the laboratory result and medicine the same day without delay.
He said: “Once you have chosen JFK and you come here, we will make sure you get every necessary attention and medicine that same day, not to wait two to three days because the bacterial infections are not waiting. We had a situation where we were not doing chemistry at night, but we are now engaging our lab technicians, to ensure that it is done throughout. This is some of the reasons why our people die; we need to rescue them.”
Dr. Brown said his goal is to take people around them out of business, adding that one of the reasons why people are building hospitals, laboratories and pharmacy around JFK is because they feel the hospital lacks competency (skill, expertise).
He said they will reduce the prices of investigation at the hospital, to make it pro-poor so that all Liberians can gain access, indicating that they will come with a new price list on August 1, 2018.
In brief remarks, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Minister of Health, said the dream that Dr. Brown and his team have undertaken is her dream as well, adding that when she came back to Liberia and started working at JFK, she wanted a quality healthcare delivery system provided to patients, but the lack of it made her time spent at the hospital very difficult.
Dr. Jallah said the administration at that time asked her to choose between the hospital administration and patients, but she always stood with those she took an oath to protect.
She said with her passion of providing a quality healthcare system for Liberians, God in his wisdom has brought her to a place where she can make a difference for the betterment of the health sector in Liberia.
Dr. Jallah said the new administration of JFK shares the same passion and vision that she has for the institution.
“Notwithstanding, we want JFK to provide equality, effectiveness, efficiency and a quick response to patients,” she said.
She urged healthcare workers to work on their behavior towards patients.
President George M. Weah cut the ribbon, dedicated and toured his 150-day deliverable projects.
The 150-day projects dedicated by the President are a 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.
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 (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 included 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).