Oct. 9, 2007 — Members of the St. Croix Seventh Day Adventist Church Foundation Tuesday donated $25,168 toward the V.I. Cardiac Center. Accepting the check for VICC was Gregory Calliste, chief executive officer at Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center.
"This very large gift is accepted with pride and sincerity," Calliste said. "The Seventh Day Adventist name will go on one of the recovery rooms so the community will recognize true friendship with this donation."
The gift marked the first donation in the "With a Heart" initiative to raise funds for the cardiac center. The center will provide state-of-the-art cardiac services and interventions to the residents of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. The donation will be used to purchase equipment or to furnish rehabilitation or examination rooms.
The church's donation to VICC is truly a community project," said Dr. Kendall Griffith, head cardiologist at the hospital.
The VICC consists of three levels totaling 25,000 square feet. The lower level, which will have an open-air atrium at the entrance, is a venue for community education. It will house conference rooms and a dining area. The two upper levels will be dedicated to patient care. They will connect to the main hospital building by an enclosed walkway.
The new facility will offer total cardiovascular care, from diagnostic to intervention to cardiac surgery and post-treatment services.
Maurice Andrews is the district pastor of St. Croix Seventh Day Adventists. "Members of the church are very health conscious, physically and spiritually," he said "They willingly sacrifice for a cause such as this."
Andrews said members of eight St. Croix churches were asked more than two months ago for contributions. Money was also donated from church budgets. "This isn't the final contribution, he said. We are hoping to give more.
Rashidi Clenance was recently appointed public relations officer for JFL Hospital. He learned today from Clive Dottin, director of Health and Youth for the North Caribbean Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Trinidad, that Dottin's church plans to make a matching donation to VICC.
"It is our hope that this donation will serve as a catalyst for other churches to come forward and donate," Clenance said. He said he hopes the contribution will encourage others, such as musicians or athletes, to make contributions. The initiative is to collect between $5 and $6 million. Clenance plans to raise funds by partnering with musicians and WTJX, Channel 12, in future events.
The project, located adjacent to the JFL Hospital, broke ground in May 2006. Calliste said the center will open in the spring of 2008 instead of the projected date of fall 2007, due to rain and electrical issues.
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