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HSA Cares provides aid to the most vulnerable

Staff of the Health Services Authority (HSA) have joined civil servants to give back to the community by launching a new initiative, HSA Cares, that has raised funds to help feed some of the most vulnerable groups through the Cayman Islands Meals on Wheels (MOW).

“The HSA has experienced such an outpour of generosity, compassion and gratitude from our community over the course of COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands. We received several meals and other donations by businesses and individuals who wanted to show their appreciation for the essential medical service we provide to the people of these Islands,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Samantha Bennett.

“Adjusting to life amidst a pandemic has been challenging for many of our residents. The HSA Cares initiative is our way of paying forward the support we have received by aiding those most vulnerable during this difficult time,” Mrs Bennett explained.

In a staff survey, HSA employees voted the Cayman Islands Meals on Wheels as the non-profit of choice. MOW provides free, hot, nutritious meals to seniors, the homebound, infirmed and the disabled, Monday to Friday, 52 weeks of the year. This service supplies these vulnerable groups with the assistance needed to retain their self-worth and independence and the ability to remain in their homes.

“I am delighted that our staff have selected Cayman Islands Meals on Wheels to be its charitable organisation of choice,” said HSA’s Chief Executive Officer Lizzette Yearwood. “As healthcare workers we are in a unique and crucial position during this global healthcare crisis. Our staff have been at the forefront of our national COVID-19 response, risking their own health to serve their patients, many of whom are seniors, immunocompromised and infirmed. Our staff know their challenges because they have witnessed them on an intimate level and this is an opportunity for them to go beyond the scope of their professional responsibilities and give back through a more community-driven approach.”

HSA staff raised funds over a four-month period to donate to the charity through optional monthly salary deductions, an optional one-time lump sum or a combination of both.

“We are honoured to have been chosen by the HSA staff for this initiative, and their partnership is greatly appreciated. The funds will be used to provide a daily lunch meal and soup to our clients across Grand Cayman,” noted General Manager of Meals on Wheels Jennifer West.

“Meals on Wheels serves meals in all five districts and COVID-19 has brought an increased demand for service. During the peak of the pandemic up to 525 persons were receiving daily meals which is more than double the MOW 2020 budgeted projection. Meals were being delivered on weekends, public holidays, hard lockdown days and service also extended to providing grocery bags and a “Call-A-Senior” programme to maintain social interaction despite the loss of social interaction,” she further stated.

In 2020 Meals on Wheels team of staff and over 150 volunteers delivered 72,438 hot, nutritious meals and hearty soups to seniors, disabled, infirmed, homebound and persons in need.

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