CHASE Fund partners with HFJ to reduce cardiovascular disease
LIKE THE Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ), the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund is concerned about the high number of Jamaicans who are ailing from cardiovascular disease.
Each year, thousands of citizens become incapacitated by the malady and some even die, largely because of late diagnosis.
Hence, both organisations are working endlessly to give those who are suffering from various heart conditions, a better chance of survival.
Their collaborative efforts involve the HFJ’s promotion of healthy lifestyles, aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease. This is done mainly through health education along with the provision of accessible and affordable screening and treatment.
As for CHASE, the funding agency is keen on supporting the non-profit organisation with the necessary equipment it needs to better serve Jamaicans.
Executive director of the HFJ, Deborah Chen, emphasised that “CHASE is contributing significantly” to the entity’s operations.
“We have a very strong partnership. Without places like the CHASE Fund, we would not be able to continue the model that we have now. Our rates are subsidised because of [their] donations,” she added.
As a result of the synergy, as many as 16,000 patients can depend on the HFJ for echocardiogram (ECG) tests annually and about 33,000 for blood pressure checks and other services.
“We are very grateful that [CHASE] has been able to assist us … so thanks. Thanks on behalf of the patients who would otherwise not be in a position to afford these tests,” Chen said, in expressing her gratitude for the fund’s assistance.
Over the years, CHASE has added to the HFJ’s capacity in many ways. These include the establishment of the National Heart Health Care Centre at 28 Beechwood Avenue in Kingston, and the procurement of ECG machines, a stress test system, an emergency cart and supplies, and a Holter monitor.
“The Heart Foundation plays an important role in the healthcare landscape in terms of screening for hypertension, diabetes, and heart-related illnesses, as well as public education in these areas. CHASE’s focus on primary healthcare in Jamaica is deliberate and in keeping with the national direction and policy; and so our support of these activities is important,” Chief Executive Officer W Billy Heaven said.
Just last month, Heaven recommitted the CHASE Fund’s support to the HFJ, after the organisation footed the bill for an ECG machine valued $9 million.
The device is expected to reduce the number of patients awaiting the HFJ’s services.
Along with this, it will greatly allow the entity to screen for various heart conditions.
“I would like to thank and encourage the foundation for the meaningful work [it] has been doing and continues to do. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the foundation in the future,” Heaven said.
He emphasised that the ECG machine’s acquisition comes as CHASE considers more ways to make a more lasting impact on Jamaica’s health sector.
It aims to focus on increasing awareness of non-communicable diseases and being proactive by choosing healthier options, in addition to providing equipment to health facilities.
The sector benefits from 20 per cent of the CHASE Fund’s resources. Since its establishment, the entity has focused on promoting healthy lifestyles; building, upgrading, restoring, and equipping health facilities; and training health personnel in critical and highly specialised areas, such as nephrology, forensic science, and oncology, among others.