Community Hospital, a health-care institution operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Caribbean Union, recently expanded its medical services in Trinidad and Tobago. The hospital, which first began as a clinic in 1948, continues to model the healing ministry of Jesus through an outstanding team of health-care workers, Kern Tobias, Caribbean Union president and chair of the hospital board, said recently.
“I know it’s not been easy during the years here, but thank you, Community Hospital, for providing quality services for so many at the national level and beyond,” Tobias said. “The hospital for many here symbolizes more than just a structure, more than a place to receive medication or another lab result; it represents hope and life to patients, partners, and visitors.”
The hospital upgraded with twelve new high-tech dialysis chairs to replace its outdated models, due to the growing number of dialysis patients, CEO Stephen S. Carryl said. Carryl was appointed CEO of Community Hospital in mid-2022 after serving as chair of surgery, chief of perioperative services, and director of bariatric surgery at Harlem Hospital Center in New York, United States.
Two and a half years after health fairs were halted due to the pandemic, Community Hospital began offering free health screenings and health education and served more than 600 people in Trinidad in October.
Carryl said the hospital had confronted challenges but is working to enhance its facility services not only within the hospital grounds but in the surrounding communities. “We are implementing a new program where we are going to be the first and only hospital in the English-speaking Caribbean to have an inpatient rehab facility,” he said during a constituency meeting.
To facilitate the new rehabilitation services, a behavioral health unit has been integrated into the hospital’s wellness services headed by Joann Williams, Carryl said. “Every patient that comes to Community Hospital gets a psycho-social evaluation to determine what else is happening in their lives.” There is no other private hospital in Trinidad with such a department, Carryl added.
In addition, the hospital signed a memorandum of understanding this year with the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC), an Adventist educational institution in Trinidad, and is offering a medical clinic that operates daily on the campus. “The clinic is not just for students but soon will include an urgent-care facility that caters to the community,” Carryl said.
The 45-bed hospital opened in 1962 and has occupied a prominent place in health ministry on the island, church leaders said. National leaders at the time paid tribute to the Adventist Church for its commitment to medical ministry and the public with its critical care specialists. The institution has supplemented the government’s medical services offered at the Port of Spain and San Fernando general hospitals.
“Sixty years has been quite a journey, but with God’s help, [the hospital] will continue to deliver quality care to the community, for we are the best in quality care,” Carryl said. The Adventist hospital also facilitates support groups available to patients, their families, and the community in Trinidad and Tobago thanks to chaplaincy services.