Takeaway from Gabriel J. Christian, President of Rebuild Dominica Inc.

This is a teachable moment which surrounds Dr. Sam Christian’s injury and the noble efforts made by many at home and abroad to save his life. 

 

Dr. Christian’s accident was a tragedy. However, it presents us with a unique opportunity. What is that opportunity?

 

Well, the opportunity resides in our people hereafter commitment ourselves to building an institutional framework focused on meritocracy and a process which exalts collaboration between Dominican health care professionals at home and abroad. We saw in the care Dr. Sam Christian received input from the Dominican doctors at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) and those overseas like Dr. Dale Dangleben of Pennsylvannia, Dr. Karen Robinson of Seattle Washington, exchanging ideas and making recommendations for the best management of Dr. Sam Christian’s injuries. The overseas doctors exchanged ideas with Dr. Thomas, Dr. George, Dr. Pascal, Dr. Shillingford-Ricketts and others to craft the best approach for Dr. Sam Christian. We must strive to make this extraordinary effort of shared competence something which is normative not simply a one of type experience to benefit one man. I think I speak for Dr. Sam Christian when I say this would be his sentiment.

 

That mutual respect and collaborative ethic is what spurred us to form the Dominica Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2000. The co-founder of the Dominica Academy Raglan Riviere was the former PMH hospital administrator. Indeed, Raglan may have been the first Dominican trained overseas in hospital administration. Be that as it may, we sought to unite the respective competences of Dominican health professionals at home and abroad into a coherent framework without regard to political allegiance or personal affinity. Such a professional approach affords Dominicans the best opportunity in medical care as it focuses on meritocracy – the essence of which is to select and advance those who are most competent to do the job.

 

The lessons that I take from Dr. Sam Christian’s treatment and his record of service in trying to promote health care and collaboration between our health professionals at home and abroad are:

 

  1. Together we do better. Government and Opposition, Dominicans at home and abroad showed a unity of purpose in securing the best available health care for Dr. Sam Christian. We want to work toward a day when all Dominicans who need care can benefit from such unity of purpose and a more efficient and effective healthcare dispensation.

 

  1. We can utilize our skills in health care from wherever it is located on the globe by working through a robust telemedicine protocol via which competences are exchanged and brought to bear on any given medical issue.

 

  1. Let meritocracy drive the medical services process – by all means limit partisanship.  When one is fighting to save a life that must always be the laser-like focus.

 

  1. Organization of an annual Dominica Diaspora Medical Collaborative. Instead of simply doing an annual Creole festival focused on the musical arts, let us broaden our approach to development. Let us organize that annual medical services event where the hundreds of skilled health care professionals of Dominican heritage can conference with their local counterparts to exchange best practices. By such an effort Dominica can   become a model for health care services.

 

We have every respect and the most profound gratitude for those who aided Dr. Sam Christian or who offered prayers and support from all sides. We desire that all Dominicans, not just Dr. Sam Christian, benefit from such a culture of caring for each other.

 

It is with that in mind Dr. Sam Christian wrote this article in 2002 stating his vision for Dominica’s healthcare system and efforts toward that beneficial end – https://www.thedominican.net/articles/medical.htm.

 

Dr. Sam Christian was of modest means because he took payment in cucumbers or yams when his patients could not pay.  In his practice he placed patient care above and beyond a fee. That approach of “patient care first” endeared him to the masses and they returned that love to him over the weekend of December 1st through 2nd (2018) when his injuries laid him low. For that we give thanks

 

We can only ask God to bless his professional colleagues, the PMH health care workers, the many overseas Dominica health professionals and Government and Opposition folk for acting in a fashion which points a positive way forward.

 

May we proceed then to build that organizational capacity which we sought to effect with the Dominica Academy of Arts & Sciences. See here –  http://ragriv.powweb.com/healthpage.html

 

In taking such a reasoned approach, we can turn a negative into a positive which benefits the national family.

GoFundMe Fundraiser by Friends of Dr. Sam Christian

Rebuild Dominica Inc keeps our beloved Dr. Sam Christian — our Director of Medical Operations in Dominica — in prayer. Please consider clicking the “DONATE” button above to contribute to The Christian family’s fundraiser. Every bit of support helps to ensure his medical care in Martinique is covered.

Dr. Sam Christian

The following is a note from the fundraiser:

“On Saturday, December 1,  our dear friend, brother, care giver,  &  Director of Medical Operations for Rebuild Dominica, Inc — Dr. Sam Christian — was involved in a terrible car accident that left him in critical condition at the Princess Margaret Hospital on the island of Dominica. In  a most unfortunate turn of events, a car rolled over Dr. Sam, resulting in a broken pelvis along with other major organ damage.  We are still trying to wrap our heads around the enormous extent of his injuries. Yet we thank God that he is still alive!

While many were fleeing the island after the devastating hurricane in 2018,  as a trained surgeon,  Dr. Sam Christian  chose to remain on the island,  treating the Dominican people for everything from cuts and fractures to post-traumatic stress disorder.  In fact, he was one of the first on the scene to help immediately following the hurricane, while his family overseas worried about his own safety.

In a 2002 article posted on the dominican.net, Sam prophetically wrote:-
“Dominicans are most often transferred overseas for diagnosis, radiation and complex orthopedic and burn surgery. Even in the United States, it makes sense to transfer certain critically ill patients to large University Hospitals.”

He also wrote in that same article:
“Dominican overseas Doctors (D.O.D.) shall commit to return home every 3 to 5 years to relieve and augment the pressing medical manpower situation in Dominica. This lends itself to our sense of tithing in the universe.
It would not be construed as an imposition. While people hate to be made to feel obligated, commitment is therapeutic.”

Now, more than 15 years later, he finds himself desperately needing the very care that he described as lacking in Dominica.  He finds himself needing to be flown by Med Evacuation to nearby Martinique  immediately, as the first step in what will be a long journey to save and restore his life.

Dr. Sam spent all of his life caring for others. His work as a doctor has  always been focused on helping the least fortunate in our communities, knowing very well that it meant that he would sacrifice a “comfortable” life by world standards,  in exchange for deeply caring for others with the medical skills that God has given him.

Our prayers are with Dr. Christian and his family during these trying times. Let us also pray  that he will recover from these incredibly traumatic injuries. And let us show our love  and support for Dr. Christian and his family by giving  generously towards his medical expenses.

No amount is to little or too large. Thank you so very much for your support.

Sincerely,

Friends of Dr. Sam Christian”

Nature Island Shines at Virginia Carnival and CaribFest 2018

by Gabriel J. Christian, President at Rebuild Dominica Inc.

As the summer ran its course, Rebuild Dominica stalwarts LaDàna Drigo, Joan Christian, Ta’Tyani “Anyé ” Young, and Tarnia Green, worked diligently alongside Sabiena George Mingo, Don Mingo and other members of “Know Your Culture Dance Group” to prepare costumes for the Virginia Carnival Norfolk CaribFest.

The Know Your Culture Dance Group was founded in 2008 to promote Dominica’s traditional dance and music among young and old in the United States by former Dominica Girl Guide and Junior Carnival Queen from the 1970s Sabiena George Mingo. With the solid support of her US Navy veteran husband, New Jersey born Don Mingo, Know Your Culture has distinguished itself by training US born children of the Dominica Diaspora and others in various traditional Dominica dance forms like the bèlè and quadrille. In then words of Mingo, “when our US born kids have a solid grasp of Dominica culture they will have the pride and confidence to make better contributions to where they live, while remembering to support their ancestral home. We even train those with out roots in Dominica and that way we promote tourism.”

On August 18th 2018, Dominica was given pride of place and led the parade which flowed through Norfolk’s canyon of high rise commercial buildings, with hundreds of ecstatic spectators cheering on the Dominica contingent bearing the national flag and gaily colored madras patterned costumes. The women in the Dominica Diaspora contingent were beautiful and their red sash wearing male companions were a delight to watch as they danced to lively calypso music in this major U.S. Navy town.

Dominica was in the house, and the home town crowd gave a warm welcome to the representatives of the Nature Isle whose plucky folk had survived the horrors of Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Our faith and united efforts, despite the hurdles of that natural disaster and man-made obstacles, showed that we were alive as a people and determined to make Dominica smile again. Our unique Creole jing-ping music, sensay costumes, and wob dwiyets were a unique and spectacular component of the carnival with none to compare. In the glow of our determination and faith to survive and thrive we brought smiles to all who partook of the awesome 2018 Norfolk Caribbean Festival.

Rebuild Dominica was happy to partner with an ace organization dedicated to the patriotic ethic and the promotion of the best of our culture and tourism product. Tourism brochures from the Discover Dominica Authority were distributed to attendees at a booth erected in the park which hosted the festival. We say, “Well done Sabiena George Mingo and Know Your Culture! You rock out!”

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PRESS RELEASE: INAUGURAL NATURE ISLAND FUTURES CONFERENCE

by Irving “Eipigh” Pascal

 For Immediate Release:

INAUGURAL NATURE ISLAND FUTURES CONFERENCE: An Independence 2018 Activity

  THE FUTURE OF THE NATURE ISLAND CONFERENCE: WHEN SEWO ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH

Roseau, Dominica (October 29, 2018) — Reunions provide people with an opportunity to make new strides from consolidated gains. As the people of Dominica reflect on the past 40 years, from 1978 to 2018, it is clear that we have achieved much. There has been growth in music and other cultural arts, sports and agriculture; generally, the Nature Island citizens have achieved and excelled. Amidst the celebration of the food, music and Creole culture, ‘WE’ presents another dimension – Dominica – 40 Years After, through the ‘Future of the Nature Isle Conference.’

WE’ signifies the unity of purpose behind the initiative. The conference is convened as a collaborative effort and will be held at the Public Service Union Conference Center on Wednesday October 31, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. under the theme: ‘The Big Idea: Nature Island of the World in word and DEED.’

This inaugural ‘Future of the Nature Isle Conference’ will add value to the 2018 reunion activities. ‘WE’ believes that the emphasis on ‘sewo’ during the 2018 reunion celebrations and the absence of intellectual balance/content create a void that the conference will fill. The ‘Big Idea’ of the conference is to reinforce Dominica’s position as the Nature Island of the World.

Dr. Irving ‘Eipigh’ Pascal leads the initiative and is seeking to promote an intellectual assessment of the Nature Island brand. “The Future of the Nature Island Conference provides balance to an otherwise sewo-heavy Independence program. One of the myths of independence is that once it is obtained it becomes a fait accompli – we have nothing more to do as we are the masters of our own destiny in a globalist world.

“This is a non-partisan call for the people of the Dominica at home and abroad to engage in a discussion on where we were in 1978, where we are in 2018 and where we should be in 2058. Come ye forward son and daughters. Sound the call!” Dr. Pascal stated.

Another presenter at the conference is Albert “BO” Bannis who will deliberate on the topic: ‘Techno-politics of the Nature Isle of the World.’ There will also be group sessions on agriculture in the Nature Isle of the World, Tourism in the Nature Island of the World, Education in the Nature Island of the World, Migration-Implications for the Nature Island of the World, Political Governance in the Nature Island of the World, Healthcare in the Nature Island of the World and Formulae for a Return to Isle of Beauty, Isle of splendor/Cleaning the Nature Isle.

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The Launching of The Caribbean Space Society

Please join us in supporting the Institute of Caribbean Studies to mark WORLD SPACE WEEK with an online Forum “Why the Caribbean Needs a Space Agenda”, on Monday, October 8th and the launching of the Caribbean Space Society

This forum will be moderated by Rebuild Dominica Inc. President, Mr. Gabriel Christian, Esq., and hosted by Courtney McFarlane and Dr. Claire Nelson. Streaming live from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 pm EDT. To attend and participate please RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/smart-caribbean-online-forum-tickets-51053926669.

How We Share Space is one of the 30 issues being addressed by ICS’ SMART CARIBBEAN initiative launched earlier this year, which promotes the concept of entangled sustainable systems, meaningful metrics, agile and adaptable agency, robust resilience and transformative use of technology as the DNA of the paradigm shift required for the Caribbean to successfully navigate the shoals of the emerging future.

The formation of a Caribbean Space Society is an outcome of a scenario study developed and first performed by ICS President, Leading Futurist and Sustainability Engineer, Dr. Nelson under the theme “Moon Runnings” at the Emerge Festival of the Future, organized at Arizona State University.

“The need for a Caribbean Space Agency is critical, and it is my hope that the Caribbean Space Society, we co-create with all like-minded peers, to ensure that the Caribbean is not left behind in the race for space”, states Gabriel Christian, Esq. — Co-Convenor of the ICS’ Caribbean Space Society.

Monday’s online forum will feature CARAH Honorees — Sir Edward Cheung, NASA Scientist and inventor of ARUBA Satellite; Robert Rashford, CEO of Genesis Engineering Systems and designer of Hubble Telescope payload; and Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyne, NASA Scientist and first Caribbean woman to be successful in astronaut training.

Founded in 2015 in the wake of the devastation wrought by Tropical Storm Erika, we are now organising relief from the direct hit by category five Hurricane Maria: the worst natural disaster in our nation's history.