Restoration works done on the Adina Donovan Home for the Elderly (ADH) and the Virgin Gorda Elderly Home are now complete.
During the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the buildings housing most vulnerable seniors and older persons in the community sustained significant damages. The construction works were financed by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) as part of their $1.3 million (USD) contribution to support health response.
To mark these milestones, restoration handover ceremonies were held at both facilities on May 30 and 31.
Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton said, “The elderly in our society are very important to me….. So I believe that the seniors and older people that reside in the home have made their contribution to society and it is for us who are able and competent to provide the facilities and the programmes so that they can live out the balance of the years in a dignified manner.”
Minister Skelton commended the construction and management teams for their roles and contributions on the improvements. The Minister also accepted a cheque from the contractor of the Adina Donovan Home, Mr. Roy Garraway of Quality Construction Ltd. as his contribution to the continued upkeep of the Adina Donovan Home.
Director of the Department of Disaster Management, Ms. Sharleen DaBreo, in her remarks stated that the Adina Donovan Home is the first government building with a photovoltaic (PV) solar system installed by Alternative Energy Solutions (AES).
PV solar systems convert sunlight directly into electricity which when installed, offsets the energy consumption. Ms. DaBreo indicated that this is part of the ‘SMART’ Healthcare Facilities standards, also guided by PAHO. She continued by stating that works for the elderly homes in this first stage are complete but there are plans to further improve the facilities with more components to meet the ‘SMART’ standards.
Senior Advisor and Disaster Preparedness and Response for PAHO, Dr. Dana Van Alphen commended the local support for adapting the ‘SMART’ approach which “provides the standards needed to ensure that health care facilities are able to withstand the impacts of hazards and can operate efficiently in an environment that is becoming very expensive to maintain and operate critical health facilities.”
She further said, “The elderly homes have been retrofitted with modern and efficient systems to serve the needs of the residents. It is important to note that all the supplies and material as well as the technical skills and labour came from the experts and vendors within the Territory. We were committed to ensuring that the project impacts on the wider rebuilding initiatives of the Government.”
Manager for the Adina Donovan Home for the Elderly, Mrs. Marilyn Malone-Bass expressed gratitude on behalf of the residents and staff of the homes for all contributions made to improve the home.
The restoration ceremonies were also addressed by other officials including Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Mrs. Petrona Davies; Director of Alternative Energy Systems, Mr. David Penn; Social Worker and Head of Social Development Department Virgin Gorda Branch, Ms. Lorraine Williams; Manager of the Virgin Gorda Elderly Home, Ms. Alicia Harrigan; and Mr. Roy Garraway of Quality Construction who made a monetary contribution to the ADH for on-going needed improvements.
The repairs to both buildings include new roofing, interior and exteriors doors, windows, light fixtures, energy saving ceiling fans and air conditioners, fencing, PV solar system, cabinetry, shelving, water efficient toilets, plumbing fixtures and faucets, appliances, emergency signage, beds, furniture, medical carts and supplies, remodeling of the kitchen areas and interior and exterior painting.
PAHO’s commitment was made in October 2017 and included the purchasing of new vehicles for the Environmental Health Unit, medical consumables specifically for hospitals, clinics and elderly homes, and pharmaceuticals.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates the recovery of human development and quality of life in the British Virgin Islands.