Contrary to the Act repealing Chapter 60 of the Executive Law creating the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, and replacing it with a new Chapter 60 Act of 2013, approved August 26, 2014, giving the Board of Directors of the Center the full authority to make appointments within; appointments to the Medical Center have been made to the institution due to some reported misinterpretations of the law.
According to the Act which created the JFKMC, the Center shall be under the authority of the Board ‘Which shall have perpetual succession of members, the President of Liberia shall be the Grad Councilor of the Board. The Board shall be composed of not more than thirteen (13) members, eight (8) of whom shall be permanent members, five (5) non-permanent members to be appointed by the President of Liberia as follows: the Minister of Health who shall serve as Chairman of the Board, other members as: Minister of Finance, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education, Chief Executive Officer of the JFKMC Secretary, the Dean of the Medical School, President of the Liberia Nurses Association and the President of the Liberia Medical & Dental Association,
The John F. Kennedy Memorial Center (JFKMC), named in memory of the 35th President of the United States of America, John Fitzgerald Kennedy is Liberia’s largest referral hospital. Opened 1971 with the support from the United States Government, and was formally established by the Liberian Legislature as an autonomous agency of the Liberian Government in 1972, and later assumed full operation rights from the Government of America in 1978.
The Medical Center is composed of four institutions: The John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Maternity Hospital, Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (A Nursing and Paramedical School), Catherine Mills Rehabilitation Hospital (A Psychiatric Care Facility).
The hospital during the Liberian civil war was badly hit, with all of its infrastructure in virtual ruins. The arrival of Dr. Wvannie Scott-McDonald from the United States, upon the request by the then Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, heralded a new day and hopeful future for the institution. Dr. McDonald made the difficult decision of leaving her husband, children, grandchildren and lucrative assignment in the United States in order to render service to the People of Liberia. In consideration of the state of the hospital in 2006 Dr. McDonld has clearly made a significant contribution to the transformation of the institution.
Since assuming her role as Chief Executive Officer; Dr. Scott-McDonald’s professional pedigree, with the support of her team, has resulted in an endless wave of improvements to the services, systems and infrastructure of the JFKMC. Of note was her oversight of the renovation and equipping of the West-wing of the Hospital through, funding from Mrs. Anne Gloage.
Dr. Scott-McDonald is a recipient of countless number of achievements in the medical arena including at Indiana University where she was awarded the degrees of Ph.D, DNS., MSN, PNP. However, her journey started at the Cuttington University College in Liberia where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing.
Her quest to see the nation’s referral hospital regaining its pre-war status was her major concern when she took up the helm of CEO. Her achievements as head o the institution include the extensive renovation of the hospital after 2008 which refurbished the 2nd & 3rd floor inpatient wards and the 4th floor surgical suite. She also led efforts to equip the J F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital with two hundred and fifty (250) beds, an initiative that drastically increased the capacity of the hospital allowing it to cater to the healthcare needs of hundred thousands of Liberians on a yearly basis.
An independent survey conducted by a team of reporters to ascertain the level of work been done by the Scott-McDonald led administration, which included doctors, nurses and administration, discovered that during the reign of her administration and in the face of financial difficulties, the nation’s medical hospital has been indeed transformed.
The rapid transformation of the JFKMC by the Wvannie Scott-McDonald team over the last twelve years has overwhelmed many Liberians who spoke to this reporter. These former patients expressed their heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Scott-McDonald and her professional team for the job well done over the years; brining renewed developmental spirit to the medical center.
It is without a doubt that Dr. Wvannie Scott-McDonald, in spite of the huge sacrifices made to commit to Liberia, has holistically contributed to building a strong, viable and healthy nation.