Almost three years ago, then San Pedro Lions President Milo Paz Jr., met Dr. Frank Whipps, a practicing orthodontist from Centralia, Illinois, U.S.A., and asked the dentist for his assistance in obtaining medical equipment and supplies for the San Pedro Polyclinic II. This weekend, Dr. Whipps delivered on his promise to help the island’s hospital, as $1.5 million worth of equipment and supplies arrived in San Pedro for the Polyclinic, a donation made possible by Project C.U.R.E. and facilitated by the lobbying efforts of Dr. Frank Whipps and Lion Milo Paz Jr.
It was last year in October that a group of Directors from Project C.U.R.E. visited the island to conduct a tour of the Polyclinic and determine its needs. Five months later, the containers filled with the equipment and supplies for the clinic arrived at Belize and were quickly transported to San Pedro. With the help of the San Pedro Lions Club members and Caribbean Depot’s forklift, the heavy equipment and boxes of supplies were transported to the Polyclinic, where the rooms were quickly filled up with the donations from the U.S.A.
SuppliesBefore delivering medical relief, Project C.U.R.E. requires an in-depth, on-sight Needs Assessment study of the recipient organization, hospital or clinic by a representative of Project C.U.R.E. The Needs Assessment study includes meetings with hospital personnel and a site visit to each location requesting assistance. Project C.U.R.E. performs a thorough written analysis and compiles photo documentation detailing the ailments facing the region, the current level of treatment provided by the existing hospitals or clinics, and the expertise of healthcare professionals in the area.
In addition, Project C.U.R.E. meets with the appropriate governmental officials to secure a waiver of tariffs and duty and a guaranty of safe and timely delivery of the medical donations. All governmental arrangements for international customs clearance must be made during the Needs Assessment. If the government of the recipient country fails or refuses to provide the requested guaranties, Project C.U.R.E. will not proceed.
The donation from Project C.U.R.E. meets almost 80% of the of the San Pedro Polyclinic’s needs, including important equipment such as an Incubator for the Maternity Room, an X-Ray machine, examination tables, and laboratory equipment. According to Dr. Giovanni Solorzano, Clinical Director for the San Pedro Polyclinic II, Belize’s Ministry of Health will now be responsible for the setting up and proper placement of the donated equipment and supplies. It is hoped that this will be done as soon as possible. It is also hoped that the Ministry assists with the proper staffing of the clinic, as the health facility has been operating under-staffed since its inauguration.
History of Project C.U.R.E.
During a business consulting trip to Brazil, Project C.U.R.E. Founder, Dr. James Jackson, observed long lines of sick people waiting to enter a small clinic. Once inside, he learned that the children, parents and grandparents were often turned away due to the lack of basic medical supplies and equipment. Jackson decided to make a difference to the doctor running that small clinic. His promise that day would change the course of his life.
Returning to his home in Evergreen, Colorado, Jackson collected approximately $250,000 worth of donated medical surplus in one month’s time. Personally paying the cost of shipping, Project C.U. R.E.’s founder, sent an ocean going cargo container to Brazil. Since that first shipment in 1987, Project C.U.R.E. has grown exponentially.
The first several loads were collected in James Jackson’s garage in Evergreen, Colorado. But, it soon became apparent that this was not enough space. Local neighbors were recruited to assist in collecting, inventorying and storing the supplies and equipment.
In a matter of months, this too proved to be unworkable, so Jackson located some space in the warehouse of an inner-city food distribution warehouse. Success followed, as more shipments were sent to developing countries, even more supplies were received. In Denver, Project C.U.R.E. currently has two collection center facilities, and a 100,000 sq. ft. storage warehouse in Brighton, Colorado.
The excitement of Project C.U.R.E. soon spread to other cities as well. Other C.U.R.E. Communities were soon opened in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Nashville, Houston, Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and London, England. By the year 2012, Project C.U.R.E. will operate collection centers in 25 cities in the United States.
By sending an average of one outgoing 40-foot cargo container per week, each week of the year to nearly every continent on the globe, Project C.U.R.E. currently sends millions of dollars in lifesaving medical supplies all over the world.
Project C.U.R.E. now ships into almost 100 different countries including North Korea, Cuba, China, Russia, Vietnam, numerous countries in Africa and South America, nearly every nation in Central Asia, and now, Belize. One day, one hospital, one patient at a time, Project C.U.R.E. is changing the world! Source Project C.U.R.E.
Lion members work arduously to unload the large container with supplies and equipment donated to the Polyclinic by Project C.U.R.E.