A central pillar of the Sister Islands community for 40 years, Faith Hospital celebrates a milestone in its history this year after having served the communities of both Cayman Brac and Little Cayman for four decades.
Forty years ago, the late Captain Charles Kirkconnell, a local pioneering icon, made the generous donation of his land to the Cayman Islands government in order for a hospital to be constructed that would provide healthcare facilities for the residents of Grand Cayman’s two Sister Islands. In addition, Captain Kirkconnell was a driving force in raising the money required to realise his vision, having served as chairman of the committee of Cayman Brac residents that raised funds and constructed the original hospital.
Captain Kirkconnell had a close affinity to healthcare, as he was the first Caymanian medical technologist.
It was a gesture that signalled an unparalleled coordinated effort by local residents who came together to construct the hospital, which first opened its doors 21 April, 1973. The hospital could only be named “Faith Hospital” after the tremendous efforts the local community went to for the project to be realised.
A test of faith
Unfortunately, the people of the Sister Islands were tested when Hurricane Paloma hit Cayman Brac in 2008 and badly damaged Faith Hospital and many other buildings on the island. Seizing the opportunity to recreate an even better facility, the Health Services Authority and the people of the Sister Islands were able to make several state-of-the-art improvements that incorporated a wide range services, designed not only to meet current needs but to provide ongoing facilities. The renovated facility was re-opened in 2010.
The dedication and hard work of those involved in the reconstruction of Faith Hospital should not be under-estimated. Those who worked on the reconstruction project, along with the hospital staff themselves, undertook a project of incredible magnitude without compromising patient care or closing any hospital services.
The successful planning process of the reconstruction played a critical role in relocating various sections of the hospital to different areas in a controlled and phased manner, so as to minimise the adverse impacts on patients and staff, an impressive achievement.
In particular, the HSA received invaluable assistance and support from the Friends of Faith Hospital, a group of community leaders including the district commissioner, who helped maintain critical communication links between the hospital and the community during the project.
Since reconstruction, Faith Hospital now enjoys improved building infrastructure, as well as an enhanced pharmacy, lab and birthing area. In addition, the hospital recently received a new digital imaging facility, which enables medical staff to make more informed and timely decisions, and save on costs of inter-island transfers.
Nowadays, Faith Hospital is a dynamic community hospital with 18 beds and provides services in general medicine, internal medicine, surgery, anaesthesia, obstetrics, gynaecology and paediatrics. It also provides renal dialysis services and it has the capacity to treat dive accidents using a decompression chamber.
Recognising that medical needs and requirements of its patients are continuous, HSA senior management and Faith Hospital have been working closely with frontline healthcare workers to establish a long-term plan to improve the way healthcare is offered in the Sister Islands. Many more improvements are planned for the future to meet population growth projections.
To celebrate the historic occasion of the 40th anniversary of this Sister Islands icon, the HSA has organised a series of events throughout the year, which began with a customer appreciation day that was held in April.
Faith Hospital holds a special place in the Cayman Brac community’s hearts – it is a place that was born from the generosity of spirit and the ingenuity, hard work and persistence of all who live and work there. Today, it serves as a fine example of forward-thinking healthcare that will serve the needs of its community now and for many years to come.