Keeping the Faith on the Brac

The small but vital Faith Hospital is the beating heart of the Health Services Authority in Cayman Brac.

The hospital opened in 1972 and was built and paid for by the people of Cayman Brac, without any government support or funding, because the local population recognised the need for a hospital on their Island.

The late Captain Charles Kirkconnell donated the land and local builders and volunteers constructed the building, which still carries the legend “Faith Hospital, by the People, for the People”.

A major revamp of the building began in mid-2008 to address the need of the Brac’s growing population and upgrade the aging facility.

Before the work could be completed, however, disaster struck in the form of Hurricane Paloma in November 2008, which caused extensive damage to the building. The storm turned the hospital’s renovation project into a repair and recovery mission.

Many months of construction, refurbishment work and $1.26 million later, the hospital reopened on 26 February, 2010, boasts an improved infrastructure, as well as an enhanced pharmacy, lab and birthing area.

A new digital imaging facility was also installed, which enables medical staff to make faster diagnoses, without the added cost and delay of transferring patients off island.

The revamp included a new hospital wing for in-patients, which was named after the Captain Charles. He died just days before the hospital was re-opened.

The Health Services Authority’s current CEO Lizzette Yearwood, who hails from the Brac, began her career in healthcare at Faith Hospital, where she worked as a nurse’s aide. At its re-opening ceremony, she told the assembled dignitaries and members of the local community, “Faith Hospital is once again a source of pride for the Sister Islands.”

The 18-bed community hospital offers primary, secondary and emergency care for the people of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. It has a staff of 70, which includes doctors, nurses, support services, administrative and clerical personnel.

Its four doctors supply general and internal medicine, anaesthesia, obstetrics and gynaecology and specialists make regular visits from the Cayman Islands Hospital on Grand Cayman to supplement paediatric, orthopaedic, ophthalmology, urology, mental health, dentistry, nutritional and ear, nose and throat services.

Faith Hospital’s nurses provides acute care nursing services and its midwives have delivered many of the Brac’s newborns. The operating room nurses teach and reassure pre- and post-operative surgical patients and assist the surgeon during operative procedures, while the outpatient nurses run up to three outpatient departments clinics simultaneously from 9am to 1pm.

The hospital has five Emergency Medical Technicians, one paramedic/instructor and one medical director.

Its Accident and Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Faith’s clinical laboratory deals with haematology, clinical chemistry, microbiology, blood bank and electrocardiogram services and is open from 8.30am to 5pm Monday through Friday to help diagnose diseases.

There are two laboratory technologists who provide 24-hour on-call emergency services.

The hospital’s pharmacy stays busy, filling approximately 25,000 prescriptions a year for the population on the Sister Islands.

Faith also has a dental clinic, which is staffed by two full-time staff, a dental auxiliary nurse and a dental surgery assistant/receptionist, and a visiting dentist practises at the clinic two days per week. Clinic hours are from 8.30am to 5pm Monday through Friday.