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Carnival Corporation & plcsigned a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with The Bahamas to fund and support flood damage repairs and basic restoration efforts at Rand Memorial Hospital, the primary hospital in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, which sustained significant damage in September from Hurricane Dorian.
The MOU agreement formalizes a collaborative partnership between The Bahamas and Carnival Corporation designed to provide hurricane relief funds for the joint mission of rapidly restoring Rand Memorial Hospital, with a collective goal of returning the facility to a safe and healthy environment for patients and medical professionals by the end of March 2020.
The Rand Memorial Hospital project comprises two critical restoration initiatives: remediation and basic repairs for the facility, and replacing damaged medical equipment.
Additionally, the hospital's existing kitchen suffered damage, so the restoration project is expected to include the completion of a new kitchen that was partially constructed prior to the storm, which will be able to provide meals for patients and staff once the hospital officially reopens.
Carnival Corporation and the Government of The Bahamas will coordinate with collaborative partners in support of the restoration efforts, including Direct Relief, an international relief organization that provides critical medications and supplies during emergencies; World Central Kitchen, a food relief organization that serves meals to local communities following a crisis; the Grand Bahama Shipyard based in Freeport and the University of Miami, among others.
Also, during the restoration process, Carnival Corporation will support World Central Kitchen's continued provisioning of daily meals for patients and staff as part of an ongoing partnership following the storm.
"We are extremely pleased to immediately begin remediation efforts at Rand Memorial, which serves as Grand Bahama Island's primary medical facility and represents a critical step in our ability to recover and once again serve our community," said Sharon Williams, administrator for Grand Bahama Health Services, the local healthcare system that includes Rand Memorial Hospital. "We are grateful to the Bahamian emergency response team from Carnival Corporation, Direct Relief, Grand Bahama Shipyard, University of Miami and its partners for working together to restore our facility as quickly as possible to a safe, secure and healthy environment for medical care."
"In support of overall recovery efforts in The Bahamas, we have worked with government and community leaders to determine meaningful ways we can help that will deliver a lasting impact, and our shared mission to support the restoration of Rand Memorial Hospital exemplifies that commitment," said Marie McKenzie, vice president of global ports and Caribbean government relations for Carnival Corporation. "This restoration project is crucial for the health needs of residents, while also supporting the longer-term vitality of the community and is indicative of the rebuilding progress on the island. Along with our partners, we look forward to supporting the government's efforts to reopen Rand Memorial Hospital as an important step in the overall recovery of Grand Bahama Island."
Photo credit: Andrew MacCalla/Direct Relief