The Caribbean American Medical and Scientific Association (CAMSA) says it is hosting an inaugural golf tournament next month aimed at raising funds to support its medical missions in the region.
Dr. Vincent Hutchinson, the group’s Barbadian-born president, said the tournament will take place on June 18 at the Pelham/Split Rock Golf Course in the Bronx.
“We want to do a lot more in terms of outreach,” the retired pediatrician told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview. “We think the golf tournament will be more profitable.
“We’re trying to get some sponsors as well. We’ve reached out to about a dozen people so far,” added Dr. Hutchinson, a retired director of pediatrics at Harlem Hospital.
“If we get 48 people to participate (in the golf tournament), we can make from $4-5,000 profit,” he continued. “It’s the first year, we’re doing it. Hopefully, in the coming years, we’ll get more people to participate.”
He said proceeds from the golf tournament, will help, among other things, rehabilitation efforts in St. Lucia, which, with St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica, was affected by a freak storm last Christmas.
The group had made monetary contributions to St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the wake of the storm.
“We want to give supplies and to help in the rebuilding of the hospital in St. Lucia,” said Dr. Hutchinson, stating that CAMSA, which is based in New Hyde Park, Nassau County, Long Island and was established in 2002, has, over the years, also made monetary contributions to KindestHearts.org, a group in Haiti.
In addition, he said members travel to Haiti annually in providing medical service to rural patients.
Hutchinson said CAMSA has reached out, for sponsorship for the golf tournament, to a number of area businesses, including restaurants and auto dealerships, as well as the insurance company, Health First.
“Our generous supporters have enabled CAMSA to provide a wide range of programs, including health education, via health fairs, conferences and
workshops, health advocacy, charitable initiatives and clinical outreach, through health missions in New York and in underserved communities in Caribbean countries,” he said.
He said the group provides three scholarships for children of Caribbean parentage to attend U.S. colleges, bringing the total to 15 awards over the last five years.
CAMSA has also participated in three health missions to Jamaica, St. Lucia and Guyana, Hutchinson said.
In August last year, he said CAMSA collaborated with the New York Caribbean Community (CARICOM) consulates and the Brooklyn-based Caribbean Nurses Association (CANA) in hosting a health fair at the Holy Cross Parish School in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.
A month later, CAMSA collaborated with the Barbados Cancer Association U.S.A. (BACA), Inc. in sponsoring a cancer symposium at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, Hutchinson said.
This August, he said CAMSA is again partnering with the CARICOM Consulates in New York, as well as Caribbean American Nurses Association and Caribbean Women’s Health to sponsor a back-to-school fair.
Hutchinson said CAMSA was formed by a group of doctors of Caribbean descent, “who wanted to improve health care for the Caribbean community both locally and in the Caribbean, as well as to give back to the Caribbean countries from which they had derived so much.”
He said the group’s membership is currently composed of both medical and non-medical professionals, and “reflects the rich diversity of the Caribbean Basin with members from the English, French, Spanish and Dutch Caribbean.”
Hutchison said CAMSA was formally incorporated in 2003 as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization (tax ID 16-1673235).
“The success of the association is due to the hardworking and committed members who volunteer their time and resources in the spirit of giving back to the people and governments of our respective home countries,” he said.