Founded in 2008, the Heart Institute of the Caribbean Foundation was established on the principle that quality medical and cardiovascular services should be available to everyone in the Caribbean, regardless of their ability to pay. Recognizing information asymmetry and financial constraints as two of the main barriers to accessing quality medical and cardiovascular care in the Jamaican landscape, the Foundation has sponsored a number of landmark initiatives focused on health promotion, and on making the services of the Heart Institute of the Caribbean financially accessible to all Jamaicans.
The HIC Foundation undertakes many community service initiatives, such as:
- The Heart Station Network
- Expands accessibility to HIC services island-wide via a network of small shops in communities where patients can get their heart checked at subsidized prices. HIC has one ECG shop active in Duhaney Park, and are in the process of opening two more in the New Year.
- The Free Emergency Angiogram Programme
- Eliminates the need for patients having an acute cardiac event to pay for this crucial diagnostic procedure. They would be able to get the angiogram at HIC for the cost of the angiokit only.
According to our founder, Dr. Ernest Madu, “With acute cardiovascular complaints in an emergency, the most important thing is to make a quick diagnosis, so that a proper treatment recommendation can be made. This means getting the patient to the right location, with the right clinical team at the right time without consideration of financial ability. Solving the problem of access must therefore solve the problem of affordability in tandem.”
“This is not a business; this is a social movement.”
– Dr. Edwin Tulloch Reid, Director and Interventional Cardiologist
- The Annual Public Health Forums
- Physicians are available to patients for free advice and knowledge on the given theme for the specific year’s forum. This event is educational to patients that are in need of health information.
- Cardiac Screening for Athletes
“Exercise, track and field, and sports in general are of great public interest in Jamaica where we have an excellent sports tradition and our athletes are world class. The perception is that our athletes are physically fit and the picture of health. This misconception has fuelled a carefree attitude to health of athletes and unfortunately diseases of athletes have received scant attention until the sudden death of [some of our athletes]. These cases brought home to all of us that sudden death of young athletes during competition is tragic but avoidable with proper screening. It is, therefore, our duty and responsibility to determine, with a reasonable degree of reliability, whether students who are participating in sports are free from cardiovascular abnormalities that could increase the risk of death during athletic training and competition. It is shocking when a young, gifted college student who is asymptomatic, dies suddenly during competition. These deaths are not flukes.”
– Dr. Basil Waine Kong, President of the HIC Foundation
- HIC offers JMD 10 million worth of cardiac screening services to national athletes over a 4 year period (2014-2018)
- HIC has been the title sponsor for the Wesley Powell Heart Institute of the Caribbean Track and Field Meet for the past 3 years and offers JMD 5 million worth of cardiac screening services to the participating high school athletes for the purpose of reducing sudden deaths among young athletes, and the prevention of future cardiac issues.
- ECG Day
- Every February HIC provides patients the opportunity to receive low cost ECGs for Heart Month. ECG Day takes place in Kingston.
The HIC Foundation also funds care for patients who are incapable of paying for the services they require. Through the work of the HIC Foundation, HIC has been recognized for outstanding corporate social responsibility 2 years in a row by the American Chamber of Commerce in Jamaica at their annual AMCHAM Business and Civic Leadership Awards for Excellence.