San Pedro Lions Inter-Community Hospital's future discussed

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 23            June 14, 2001

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Last Wednesday, a very important meeting regarding the future of the San Pedro Lions Inter-Community Hospital was held at Ramon's Village. Present for the meeting were "Friends of the Hospital" which included Cynthia Ringhold and Brad Ringhold representing Mr. Larry Addington of Caye Chapel, Harry E. Ringler of the First United Church of Nashville, Tennessee, Pastor Bob Kurtz of St. John's Evangelical Protestant Church of Cullman, Alabama and Bob Whitebread of Arlington, Texas. Representing the local sector for the hospital were San Pedro Lion President Flora Ancona, Hospital Committee Chairman Edilberto Marin, Chief Fundraiser Ramon Nuñez, Lion Treasurer Abel Guerrero, Immediate Past President Severo Guerrero, Hospital Committee Member Francisco Verde, Hospital Contractor Darrel Cloud, Incoming Lion Secretary Felix Ayuso and Lion Members Eileen and Dan Jamison. Also present were Area Representative Patty Arceo, Architect Philip Thurton, Mr. Corry McDermott and the local media.

    During the meeting it was unanimously agreed by both parties that the main goal was the completion of the hospital. Nevertheless, there was some concern as to how this could be accomplished. To start off, Mr. Marin presented a financial report for the period of August 9th, 2000 to June 6th, 2001. Pastor Kurtz then expressed his appreciation to the San Pedro Lions Club by saying that it had been a privilege to be given the opportunity to participate in this project. He mentioned four main points that were his concern at this time. The first being the amount of funds required for the completion of the hospital, the time frame, how it will be operated and the final layout of the hospital.

    Speaking on behalf of Mr. Larry Addington of Caye Chapel, who has already contributed a substantial amount of money to this project, Mrs. Ringhold stated that Mr. Addington would be willing to match at a minimum any funds given by the Government of Belize. She mentioned that Mr. Addington would be willing to pay Mr. Michael Fox of Fox Business Services to manage the accounting of the hospital and also suggested that the club provide an accurate assessment of the building and the plans. Other concerns of the "Friends of the Hospital" were the administration of the hospital and whether there was a business plan. In response, Mr. Marin replied that presently the club's primary concern was the completion of the building and that certainly there had to be a plan of action, which they would start working on. 

    It was mentioned by the Lion members that although much funding has been received and has been pledged by outside organizations, it must be clear to everyone that the Lions would remain in charge of this project. Adding to this the Area Representative Patty Arceo assured the congregation that the Government of Belize is only assisting financially with this project and in no way wishes to assume control. This feeling was agreed to by the "Friends of the Hospital." Ms. Arceo also offered the services of Mr. Philip Thurton, a private architect, to work along with Mr. Darrel Cloud for the detailed set of specifications and plans that is being required by many who wish to donate. A time frame of two weeks was set for this to be completed, at which time the donations will be forthcoming. After all was said and done the group agreed that the vital points to work on were 1) funding, 2) staffing and administration, 3) physical completion of the building and 4) acquisitions.

    With plans on the table and transparency and accountability established, it appears that the much-needed San Pedro Lions Inter-Community Hospital will soon be a reality.
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