By: Sharell Lockhart
The Rotary Club of Freeport continues to render service above self throughout the Grand Bahama community and on Friday October 9th, 2020 President Othyneil Pinder proudly presented nine state-of-the-art Philips Respironics oxygen concentrators to Grand Bahama Health Services/Rand Memorial Hospital Administrator Sharon A. Williams and Medical Chief of Staff Dr. H. Freeman Lockhart.

With the battle against COVID-19 continuing to rage on globally, both Williams and Dr. Lockhart noted that the donation could not have come at a more opportune time, as medical professionals fight around the clock to help patients, who contract COVID-19 to recover and survive. “Today, we are here with our health partners the Rotary Club of Freeport that are donating to us medical equipment that can assist with healthcare concerns across the spectrum. We are pleased to be the recipient of nine oxygen concentrators and, we thank the Rotary Club for their continued support of the Grand Bahama Health Services and the wider community,” stated Williams.
Patients suffering with respiratory conditions will be able to breathe much easier thanks to the oxygen concentrators as it provides a continuous flow of oxygen to those using the machine and it allows for better mobility in the event patients must be transported from one area of the hospital to another. Furthermore, unlike traditional piped oxygen tanks, the concentrators do not require refilling and maintenance is minimal, which according to Dr. Lockhart is a welcomed benefit for those receiving and delivering respiratory healthcare.

Elated to continue nurturing the rapport developed with the Grand Bahama Health Services/Rand Memorial Hospital and the community at large over the past six decades, Rotary President Pinder noted it is a joy for the organization to do its part in assisting wherever possible for the benefit of all concerned.
“Truthfully, since the passage of Hurricane Dorian last September the Rotary Clubs established on Grand Bahama have been working tirelessly to assist with the rebuilding of our island and its communities.
“We are unwavering in and live by our operational motto, which is to render “service above self” and indeed we are so proud that we have so many friends, partners and philanthropic persons that donate to Rotary International, which allows us to give back to those in need in our communities.
“Today, thanks to the Mayfield Beach, Florida group which provided these oxygen concentrators to the Rotary Club of Freeport, we are able to in turn present them to the Grand Bahama Health Services/Rand Memorial Hospital for the bolstering of the healthcare services provided,” declared Pinder.

Cognizant of the respiratory challenges posed by COVID-19 and the strain placed on the healthcare system as a result, Pinder, who was supported by several members of the organization all believe that the donation is a most fitting one.

Keen on painting a picture in the mind’s eye of the community, as to how impactful the oxygen concentrators will be particularly in this COVID-19 sensitive environment everyone is living in, trying to cope with and survive, Dr. Lockhart revealed, “Nearly, all our COVID-19 patients that require hospitalization require some degree of oxygen assistance and in the event whereby piped oxygen is not available, an oxygen concentrator is a major help in providing necessary assistance.

“If you could imagine an unstable patient requiring high flow oxygen by tank and having to be moved in and out of a room when the tank is empty then, you can get an idea of how rapidly they can run through it.

“Additionally, you would be able to note how many times its has to be replaced, the number of persons put at risk in transferring the oxygen tanks in and out of a room and the strain on the nurses responsible for connecting the tank to the patient.

“The oxygen concentrators donated today will greatly assist in eliminating those issues and truly, in the absence of piped oxygen by tank the next best thing would be the concentrators that would allow a continuous flow of oxygen to the patient for an extended period of time,” revealed Dr. Lockhart.

The oxygen concentrators are expected to be used not only at the Rand Memorial Hospital but according to Williams at least two will be sent to the West End and Eight Mile Rock Community Clinics for the use of asthmatic patients and others managing other respiratory conditions. Presently, the Rand Memorial Hospital is undergoing reconstruction and as such piped oxygen tanks are not readily available hence the donation of the oxygen concentrators is a timely, welcomed necessity, which both Williams and Dr. Lockhart noted is fervently appreciated.
PHOTO: Breathing Easier - The Rotary Club of Freeport donated nine Philips Respironics oxygen concentrators to Grand Bahama Health Services/Rand Memorial Hospital Administrator Sharon A. Williams and Medical Chief of Staff Dr. H. Freeman Lockhart on Friday October 9th, 2020. Pictured in immediate center of photo flanked by Rotarians are from left to right Rotary Club of Freeport President Othyneil Pinder, Hospital Administrator Williams and Dr. Lockhart.