Rotary Club of Freeport donates nine oxygen machines to GBHS

ROTARY DONATES TO GBHS – On Friday, October 9, the Rotary Club of Freeport made a donation of nine oxygen concentrators to Grand Bahama Health Services. Pictured from left to right are Christina Burrows; Othyneil Pinder, President, Rotary Club of Freeport; Elise Hutcheson; Sharon Williams, Administrator, GBHS; Lorine Miller, Immediate Past President, Rotary Club of Freeport; Dr. Freeman Lockhart, Medical CHief of Staff, GBHS; Betty Van Lew and Roger Pinder. (PHOTO: SHAYNE STUBBS)

Grand Bahama Health Services (GBHS) this past Friday, October 9, received a much-needed donation of nine oxygen concentrators, to assist in treating not only COVID-19 hospitalized patients, but all others in need of that therapy.  The donation was made by the Rotary Club of Freeport, one of the five rotary clubs here in the island of Grand Bahama.

Accepting the donation on behalf of GBHS was Sharon Williams, Administrator, GBHS, who noted that the machines will indeed go a long way in providing optimum healthcare to their patients.

“As usual, the Grand Bahama Health Services is in multiple health observance mode. The month of October is known for much observance, and, in particular, this month we are celebrating cancer month and we are also celebrating the persons and their families who are afflicted with mental health challenges. We look forward to working with the community of Grand Bahama this month on these observances.

“Today, we are here with our health partners, the Rotary Club (Freeport) and we are paying attention to all of these other concerns within our community that have been health challenges for our population, throughout the year and continue to be challenging. They are donating to us medical equipment today that can assist with healthcare concerns across the healthcare spectrum. We are getting today from the rotary nine oxygen concentrators and we do thank the Rotary Club of Freeport for the continued support of the GBHS and our community of Grand Bahama.

Dr. Freeman Lockhart, Medical Chief of Staff, GBHS, explained the importance of the donations, particularly as the Rand Memorial Hospital is undergoing major renovations.

“As some of you may be aware, almost all of our COVID patients who require hospitalization, require some degree of oxygen assistance. In the event where piped oxygen is not available, then an oxygen concentrator is a major help in providing assistance. If you can imagine, an unstable patient requiring high flow oxygen, and, if you can envision that patient requiring tanked oxygen, to be moved in and out of a room, when the tank is empty, then you get an idea of how rapidly they can run through a tank of oxygen.

“Other factors associated with tanked oxygen, include the number of times the tank of oxygen has to be replaced, the numbers of persons who are put at risk in transferring the oxygen tanks in and out of rooms and the number of nurses who are constantly connecting the tanks to the patients. They will all be eliminated with the use of oxygen concentrators” noted Lockhart.

He explained why the concentrators are good options.

“In the absence of piped oxygen to a room, the next best thing are oxygen concentrators which will allow a continuous flow of oxygen to the patient, for an extended period of time, which is needed not only for our unstable COVID patients but for the majority of our COVID patients. As you know, COVID has a major impact on the respiratory system, hence the need for oxygenation and therefore a major help by having oxygen concentrators,” the doctor further informed.

Dr. Lockhart added that the newly donated machines will not only be specifically used for COVID patients however, but any patient who might be in need of oxygen at any given time.

“This does not just apply to our COVID patients. We have a lot of patients who are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for various reasons and a lot of patients who require step down for various reasons; all require some level of oxygen assistance,” said Dr. Lockhart.

He added that as the RMH facility is in the process of rebuilding, at present piped oxygen is not readily available, as is typically the case, therefore the oxygen concentrators are indeed a timely donation.

“These oxygen concentrators will go a long way, in providing the necessary assistance needed,” concluded Lockhart.

Othyneil Pinder, president, Rotary Club of Freeport, noted that it was indeed a pleasure for his club to donate such vital equipment to GBHS at this time.

“As you know, the Rotary Clubs of Grand Bahama have been around for nearly 60 years. As a matter of fact, January will make 60 years for the Rotary Club of Freeport’s existence. Ever since then, we have been donating and helping in our community. As you would know and have seen, since Hurricane Dorian, the efforts from the Rotary Clubs of Grand Bahama (have been continuous), in order to rebuild our community. We live by our motto, ‘Service above Self’ in assisting our community.

“We are here this morning on a different note and we are so proud that we have so many people who donate to Rotary, in order for us to donate to persons within our community. This morning, the Mayfield Beach group donated nine oxygen concentrators to us, and, in turn we are passing them on to the GBHS.

“As Dr. Lockhart said we know that COVID-19 affects persons’ breathing and so we saw it fitting, at this time, to donate these machines to assist the GBHS in their efforts of helping the patients who contract this virus, in nursing them back to health.

“On behalf of the Rotary Club of Freeport and its members, we are proud to donate these oxygen concentrators to the GBHS,” said Pinder.

Williams noted that the oxygen concentrators will be utilized not only at the Rand Memorial Hospital, but also the many community clinics that are located throughout the island of Grand Bahama, to support asthmatics and other patients requiring oxygen therapy. 

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