Ground broken for multi-million dollars pediatric center
A major investment in the health sector was launched today with the groundbreaking of a pediatrics healthcare centre next to Belize Healthcare Partners that donated the land for the first of its kind clinic. The state of the art multi-million dollar project is linked to the Sanford Children’s Clinic based in South Dakota and is its first international clinic. The new Sanford Children’s Clinic is being made possible as a result of a two million dollar donation from The Hayward Charitable Belize Trust, the former majority owner of Belize Telemedia Limited. The Hayward Trust’s donation was procured by the Belize Healthcare Charitable Trust, which is the part owner of Belize Healthcare Partners. The Belize Healthcare Charitable Trust is collaborating in this venture with Sanford Health and Belize Healthcare Partners. The project will take about a year to come to fruition and will provide pediatrics care to the growing young population. The new clinic will be designed in a castle theme similar to other Sanford clinics. A team of individuals representing The Belize Healthcare Charitable Trust, Sanford and Belize Healthcare Partners, as well as the US Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally, symbolically dug into the soil to pave the way for construction of the international clinic. News Five’s Marion Ali was on hand for the historic event.
Marion Ali, Reporting
The symbolic breaking of ground on the compound of the Belize Health Care Partners this morning marked the official start of what will be advance high quality paediatric care in Belize. Renowned for its presence all over the US, Sanford Clinics and hospitals have been providing valuable medical services to children. But now this acclaimed medical institution is expanding its wings to open its first international paediatric clinic thousands of miles away – and in Belize. President of Sanford Clinics, Dr. Dan Blue says the new initiative was made possible through old linkages.
Dr Dan Blue, President, Sanford Clinic
dr. dan blue
“Dr. Vinney has practiced in South Dakota so there was a connection. Denny Sanford is an individual who is a philanthropist who gave Sanford Health four hundred million dollars back in 2007 and part of that gift—we came up with a list of initiatives that we’re gonna carry out and one of the initiatives is to establish paediatric clinics globally in the United States as well as internationally. So we put out a request and Dr. Vinney knew about that, contacted us and that’s how we got introduced. And the more we learned about Belize and how this could work, the more we were really very excited.”
“I’m sure you have many countries that also put up a bid for this possibility, can you tell us what was the determining factor behind deciding on Belize?”
Dr. Dan Blue
“Well, there’s a number of things and we’re looking to build twenty of these over the next ten years both in the United States and internationally. So we’re working with other countries right now too.”
While Sanford is working with other countries, the US, which is home to the foundation, is convinced that it is an investment well-placed.
Vinai Thummalapally, US Ambassador
“Investment in the wellbeing of children is literally an investment in the future. A healthy start in life means greater health as a young adult and improved production and longevity. Those of you who are involved in this, in the planning and the construction of this clinic, should be proud to be making such a great contribution to Belize.”
Expected to be completed by summer of 2011, the nine thousand square foot institution will offer services never before administered in Belize and will be able to accommodate up to seventy children with ages up to eighteen years. Dr. Wendy Rios will head the operations.
Dr. Wendy Rios, Paediatrician, Belize Healthcare Partners
dr. wendy rios
“We’re going to provide all the specialist like endocrinologist, oncologist, cardiologist, a lot of specialists that we don’t have here in Belize and we want to provide all these kinds of specialists.”
“Just the other day we saw little Janay was hospitalized in the adult hospital right over there. She was in the intensive care unit after being shot in an unfortunate shooting. Will the services that this paediatric clinic offers, be more advanced than what Janay was getting in the adult section?”
Dr. Wendy Rios
“Yes, basically with Janay we try to give her the best service that we have here in Belize. BHPL has everything for child for her age but obviously we need something more specified for kids; a nice ICU specially for kids, a nice operating theatre specially for kids, you know, special nurses, special equipment everything for kids.”
“Paintings on the wall.”
Dr. Wendy Rios
“Exactly, everything will be different.”
dr. muthugounder venugopal
Dr. Muthugounder Venugopal, CEO, Belize Health Care Partners
“I’m delighted to announce today that two million dollars is being provided by the Hayward Charitable Belize Trust enabling this project to move forward more swiftly. I’m grateful to the Hayward Charitable Belize Trust for making this contribution and to Belize Healthcare Charitable Trust for facilitating that effort.”
For the sick child receiving treatment, these custom-made amenities and services will go along way on the road to their recovery. But if as a parent you were wondering the prices that will accompany the service, a Sanford press release says those will be billed according to Belizean guidelines and common practices for healthcare clinics. Marion Ali for News Five.
Also in attendance at the ground-breaking event were Former Prime Minister, Said Musa, Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño, British High Commissioner, Patrick Ashford and other notables from the corporate and health sectors.