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Rihanna, along with grandfather Lionel Brathwaite and other family members, unveils the new sign of the radiotherapy department which bears the name of her deceased grandmother Clara Brathwaite.


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Rihanna gives back


International star honours late grandmother with donation to QEH

The Clara Lionel Foundation, a humanitarian foundation formed this year in honour of Barbadian international superstar Rihanna, has donated in excess of $3.5 million in equipment to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) for its radiotherapy department, which now bears the name of the late Clara Brathwaite.

At the renaming ceremony yesterday morning for the department, Chief Executive Officer of the QEH, Dr. Dexter James, said that the renaming of the department as ‘The Clara Brathwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine’, demonstrates the significant role that philanthropy plays in the financing arrangement of health systems.

The Chief Executive Office revealed that negotiations began with the Clara Lionel Foundation in early July, when the Foundation approached the management of the hospital requesting ways in which they could support the health facility and it was determined that a donation of equipment in support of patients who require treatment for various forms of cancer was most prudent.

Dr. James told those gathered that at the end of that meeting it was agreed that the Foundation would donate three major pieces of equipment – an Equinox External Beam Therapy System and related equipment at a cost of US $905 767; a Brachytherapy Treatment Planning System and related equipment valued at US $638 000 and a Gamma Camera valued at approximately US $350 000 to assist in the care of such patients.

“The donation of this oncology equipment is very timely for it was only about two weeks ago that we launched our equipment prospectus [for] 2012. The prospectus presents a list of equipment of the highest priority that would have the greatest impact on patient care and improvement to quality and good outcomes,” he said.

The CEO reported to those gathered, including the family of the late Clara Brathwaite, that the already-purchased Equinox External Beam Therapy System, is expected to be shipped by mid-January 2013, and it is anticipated that it would be in operation by early March. The remaining equipment to be delivered within one year after that installation.

Once the equipment is in use, it will allow for faster turnaround times for setup of treatment. As a result, patients can expect that the backlogs will be reduced.
Moreover, he gave those present the assurance that the necessary preventative maintenance contracts would be implemented on each installation and that the hospital would uphold the terms of the grant agreement with the Foundation in its entirety.

Speaking on behalf of the Foundation, Rihanna said that the donation was her way of giving back to the country of her birth and to assist the QEH in its continued modernisation efforts.

“I believe that this will have a huge impact on the people of Barbados. This was all done in effort to save lives or at least extend it and I thank you all for being a part of it,” she said. (JRT)

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