This week I want to tell you about the Eleuthera Community Healthcare Initiative . This is the brainchild of Doctor Arlington Lightbourne a general practice and lifestyle medicine physician currently working and living in Nassau. He is also – and very importantly – an Emergency Room specialist.
His idea is to open a private clinic based in Palmetto Point that serves the needs of the island community. The ECHI – as I will now refer to it – is led by a board of trustees made up of local community leaders who will ensure the development and sustainability of the centre. Dr Lightbourne is drawn to Eleuthera through his family roots and also because he sees it as a place to both work and raise his own family.
The business plan has been built on the idea of being supported by the local island wide community. There will be an annual subscription that funds the running of the clinic – subscribers will then have free appointments to see the Doctor – just paying for any prescribed medicines. The annual cost for local residents is $480 per year + tax – which is going up to 12% on July 1st – so a total of $537 per person. This can be paid annually or monthly. The clinic will also be open of course to visitors to the island – so people who come on vacation will be able to use the facilities.
The first phase of the clinic’s services will be a Monday – Friday 9-5 operation. Phase 2 – with X-ray services will follow when additional funds are raised.
Already there is a great deal of positive support on the island with people signing up.
This is a brave and groundbreaking venture by Dr Lightbourne and his wife Nurse Lori and we feel that it is very important to get the word out there so that more financial support can be encouraged. Dr Lightbourne has already invested $100,000 of his own money to get to the stage that they are at – and several people , including ourselves, have donated a total of another $40,000. Now just another $10,000 is needed to be able to launch the Primary Care and Preventive Phase of the medical centre. Once that budget is met – the clinic could be open by Mid- August – fantastic !
This is a much needed facility here on the island and the future addition of the urgent care unit which will be equipped with a life support resuscitation room, onsite x-rays and stat labs would be a life changing situation for many people. If you are taken ill on this island then flying off to Nassau is often the only option. Anything that improves that is to be supported and encouraged.
If you are interested in making a donation – no matter how small or large then you can contact the head of fundraising – the amazing Michele Johnson on 242 808 0895 – or alternatively Dr Lightbourne himself on 242 376 7601. We all want to have good medical facilities here on Eleuthera and government funding is not a viable option at the moment, so we all need to take a little personal responsibility for both our own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of those less fortunate than ourselves. Please think about this and make a donation….. If lots of people give a little then it will be a great help – but those of you with deeper pockets please remember that this is one of those potential life or death situations……
And now a couple of totally unrelated pictures !
OK one more – here is a shot of the beautiful poinciana – coming into full bloom – gorgeous !