CHASE Builds New Building for Wakefield Primary and Infant School

03 Sep, 2020

The Wakefield Primary and Infant School in Wakefield, St. Catherine, has been transformed into a model school with the addition of a three-classroom block, staff room, kitchen and sick bay complete with perimeter fencing for its Infant department.  The construction of the building and provision of classroom furniture, kitchen appliances and play equipment were accomplished with financial assistance in the amount of $33.8M from the CHASE Fund. The handing over ceremony of the new building, took place on Thursday August 20, 2020.

The Wakefield Primary and Infant School which was established in 1922 and has been catering to students from Wakefield, Savanna, Buxon Town, Cool Shade, Banya Gully, Heathfield and other communities.

Public Relations and Administrative Manager at the CHASE Fund, Hilary Coulton, indicated that the CHASE Fund had approved $288M for projects related to Early Childhood Education for the 2019-2020 financial year.  “The value in project approvals translated to over 52,000 square feet of infrastructure development through the construction, renovation and expansion of 17 infant schools and departments and minor renovation and equipment for seven infant schools,” she disclosed.  Ms. Coulton also noted that $50M had been directed to help 77 early childhood institutions attain certification status, through a partnership with the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).

In addition, the Fund provided scholarship support to 118 recipients enrolled at a variety of institutions including the University of the West Indies, Northern Caribbean University, University of Technology, colleges across the island and overseas colleges and universities for programmes not offered in Jamaica.

Other schools in St. Catherine which received help from the Fund are the: Marlie Hill Primary and Infant School, Cedar Valley Primary and Infant School, Waterford Infant School and the Bonnett Primary and Infant School to name a few.

To date the CHASE Fund has spent $5.315B in critical areas of the early childhood education sector.


Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre Gets Portable Ultrasound Machine

07 Jul, 2020

The Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre has been boosted with the gift of a portable ultrasound machine valued at $1.5 million.  The equipment and maintenance agreement – facilitated by the CHASE Fund, the Rotary Club of St. Andrew North and PROVEN Investment limited – is expected to significantly enhance the efficiency with which patients with spinal cord injuries are diagnosed and assessed.


Chief Medical Officer at the Centre, Dr. Rory Dixon, advised that approximately 4,400 patients are treated at the Centre annually, some with spinal cord injury. “These machines prevent patients from having to go externally to hospitals, pay for transportation with two nurses to accompany them. The portable ultrasound machine improves the health of the kidneys of patients with spinal cord injury,” he said.


The Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre provides rehabilitative health care for patients with physically altering body function.  It offers services such as: Physiotherapy, Prosthetics and Orthodontic manufacturing, speech therapy, counselling and social support and medical care.


Project Manager of the CHASE Fund, Latoya Aquart-Foster, pointed out that CHASE was pleased to partner with both the Rotary Club of St. Andrew North and PROVEN to provide the much-needed equipment to the Sir John Golding Rehhabilitation Centre.  “It will improve services to patients and that is the drive behind much of the Fund’s initiatives.”  Under its Health portfolio, the Fund supports the improvement of health facilities and the acquisition of vital equipment among other initiatives.


Lori Chuck, Past President of the Rotary Club of St. Andrew North explained that the Rotary club had supplied a portable suction machine and wheelchairs with support from C&WJ Cooperative Credit Union to the rehabilitation centre in 2019.  “We are happy to be able to return to Sir John Golding and do yet another meaningful project to the benefit of present and future patients,” she said.  Kecia Taylor, Past Director of Service Projects added that this partnership allows us to execute our Rotary vision of Service Above Self.


Commenting on PROVEN’s coverage of the cost for the five year warranty, CEO of Proven Wealth Limited, Johann Heaven said  “This forms a part of our Corporate Social response to back community development through meaningful partnership and support; and this goes towards enabling securing a vital piece of equipment that impacts and changes lives with ripple effects”.

CHASE Hands Over Book on Kingston to the Jamaica Library Service

30 Jun, 2020

The CHASE Fund has handed over 1,400 copies of its publication, Kingston: A Treasure of the Caribbean to the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) for distribution to libraries islandwide.

The book, written by David Buckley with photographs by Kent Reid, details the rich and colourful history of Kingston presented through a tour of significant landmarks and sites of architectural, historical, political and social significance.

During the presentation at the CHASE Fund on June 10, 2020, CHASE CEO, W. Billy Heaven, noted that the book was produced under the Fund’s Arts and Culture portfolio.  “Since inception, CHASE has sponsored the publication of books that enhance the collection of outstanding historic and cultural works by Jamaican authors about Jamaica and the Caribbean.  It is our hope that this book will educate and foster a renewed perspective on Jamaica’s capital,” he said.  Mr. Heaven disclosed that CHASE has so far supported 96 publications.  “The publications which have received CHASE Fund support document Jamaica’s historical and cultural experience, academic and sports achievements and feature our poetry and other creative writings,” he said.

Director General of the JLS, Maureen Thompson, in acknowledging the donation said, “This publication provides an enchanting tour of the rich history of Kingston & St. Andrew colourfully photographed with a compelling narrative.” Miss Thompson commended CHASE Fund for recognizing libraries as focal points to make the publication available to citizens.

The book will be made available in the JLS islandwide network of school libraries and select public libraries. In addition to distribution by the JLS, copies will be made available to the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation, the Ministry of Tourism and the Office of the Prime Minister.



Testing at National Influenza Centre to be Boosted by CHASE Funding of Equipment

15 Apr, 2020

The CHASE Fund is providing funding to acquire additional testing equipment and supplies for the National Influenza Centre (NIC) at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).


Jamaica’s NIC, located in the Department of Microbiology, UHWI, is Jamaica’s only Virus Laboratory with the capacity to diagnose and isolate highly infectious viruses. The equipment, valued at $35M, is expected to enhance the capability of the Centre enabling it to test more samples quickly and accurately.  


The NIC is part of a global network of national institutions designated by Ministries of Health and recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) which participate in the work of the WHO Global Influenza Programme.  The Centre now handles testing for the novel Coronavirus.


The NIC at UWI/UHWI submits results of testing to WHO on a weekly basis on the diagnosis of circulating and emerging influenza types and subtypes. Testing for Coronavirus has been established on that relationship with the WHO. Training of UWI staff to perform the newly developed test for the SARS CoV 2 virus was provided by WHO.


Dr. Alison Nicholson, Consultant Microbiologist and Chair of the Infection Control and Prevention Committee at the UHWI, indicated that the CHASE intervention would connect the technical expertise available in the Department, with the much-needed resources required to meet the challenges of this pandemic.


Medical Chief of Staff and Consultant Neurosurgeon at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Dr. Carl Bruce, noted that increased testing was key to determining accurate number of cases and will also help to determine the need for isolation of patients, where the patients are isolated and how the patients are managed.


“This will allow for the efficient utilization of the isolation and holding areas allowing for the rapid transfer of patients from the emergency division and Intensive Care negative pressure isolation rooms to the COVID-19 wards,” Dr. Bruce said.  “It will also allow for stable positive patients to be managed at convalescent facilities or at home under supervision,” he added


The CHASE Fund, which commits 20 per cent of available resources to the Health sector annually, has also been assisting with the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ public education for COVID-19.  “The Fund has been approached for funding by several public entities since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Billy Heaven, CEO of the CHASE Fund. “We have had extensive discussions with Ministry of Health and Wellness to align our assistance with the national objectives…the commitment to the NIC is in keeping with this general thrust”.

Cardiology Unit Opened at Kingston Public Hospital

21 Nov, 2019

With the generous support of the CHASE Fund, the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) is now able to provide various types of non-invasive echocardiography testing for cardiac patients at its new Cardiology Unit. The Unit was officially opened on Wednesday, Novemmber 20, 2019.

Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness, said that the $64 million investment made by CHASE increases the accessibility and standard of care to cardiac patients by increasing echocardiography services from 10 patients per week to 15 per day with the provision of additional services.

The establishment of the Unit is critical to KPH operations, as more than 25% of Jamaica’s adult population have at least one major risk factor of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). This condition is now the leading cause of deaths and disability in Jamaica.

Additional services such as 24-48 hour ECH monitoring and stress echocardiography are now provided.  On average, 160 echocardiogram requests are received at the KPH monthly.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, helps unveil the plaque for the new Cardiology Unit along with (L-R): Acting CEO, KPH, Mrs. Cooper Brown; Head of the Cardiology Unit, Dr. Camille Christian; and CHASE CEO, W. Billy Heaven.



CHASE Builds New Building for Unity Primary and Infant School, Trelawny


A new building for the infant department at the Unity Primary and Infant School, was officially opened on November 14, 2019.  The renovation and expansion of the school, located in Bunkers Hill, Trelawny, was undertaken with a $28.4 million grant from the CHASE Fund.  The project included the renovation of the existing building into three classrooms; the construction of a kitchenette, sickbay, bathroom facility, storeroom, perimeter fence and administrative office; and the provision of kitchenequipment, classroom furniture, sickbay furniture and play equipment.

Infant building before CHASE intervention


This Infant department was once a stand-alone basic school formally known as the Unity Basic School. However, in September 2015, under the Ministry of Education’s Rationalization programme, this basic school was converted into an infant department.  The Infant Department now caters to 60 students from the communities of Wakefield, Adelphi, Drumilley, Deeside and Bunkers Hill.

CHASE CEO, W. Billy Heaven, cuts the ribbon to open the new school building on November 14, 2019. With him are from left: Member of Parliament, Victor Thomas; Principal, Pauline White-Anderson; and Veneisha Morgridge, Education Officer Region 3; and Unity Primary and Infant School students.


29 Aug, 2019

The CHASE Fund has approved $60 million in scholarship support to tertiary-level students for the 2019/20 academic year. The commitments are a continuation of awards made for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The scholarships provide students pursuing degrees in education, the medical sciences and the visual and performing arts, with tuition.  The recipients are enrolled at a variety of institutions including the University of the West Indies, Northern Caribbean University, the Edna Manley College, teachers’ colleges across the island and overseas colleges and universities for programmes not offered in Jamaica.


10 of the 153 scholarships are for post-graduate study.


CEO of the CHASE Fund, W. Billy Heaven, noted that approximately 10% of CHASE’s annual project funding goes towards scholarships.


“We are deliberately supporting students pursuing degrees in early childhood curriculum and instruction, special education in the early childhood education sector, radiation oncology and biomedical engineering in the health sector because we have invested heavily in the education and health sectors in terms of facilities and equipment and trained personnel are needed.”  Heaven clarified that the objective is to increase capacity in specific areas.  “The scholarships are intended to help defray the cost of studies in priority areas consistent with national policy,” he said.


“All scholarship recipients are bonded, must maintain a minimum ‘B’ average, and those abroad are expected to return to the island to impart their new learning,” Heaven disclosed.


To date, the Fund has spent approximately $1.42 billion on scholarships and training.


CHASE Salutes the Success of “Flight”

03 Jul, 2019

Since 2016 the CHASE Fund has been supporting the JAFTA Propella Initiative to identify and promote the talent of Jamaican filmmakers through the creation of short films. The objective is to support emerging film writers and producers with the long-term goal of building a strong and diverse film community

Established in 2016, JAFTA Propella has been selecting up to five budding film-makers through a film competition.  The production of the short films is funded by the CHASE Fund.  In this its third year, those selected, were granted J$850,000 and a trip to premiere their films at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival.

Flight” was one of the four films produced for 2018.  The film follows Kemar, a youth from the inner-city who dreams of flying to the moon. The inspirational 13-minute film is aimed at inspiring youth to dream big irrespective of their circumstances.

Screenwriter and Director, Kia Moses and members of her production team, visited the CHASE Fund on June 28, 2019 to screen the film and discuss its success with members of the CHASE Board of Directors.   Moses outlined the production journey and highlighted the many awards the film had received including the BWFN (Black Women in Film Network) awards for: Best Screenplay, Audience Award, and Best in Festival; two awards (Best Short Film and Audience Award) at the Nouveaux Regards Film Festival in Guadeloupe; and the prize for the Best Short Film at the Festival International du Film Pan African de Cannes in France.


Since inception in 2003, the CHASE Fund has played a supportive role in the funding of film and video production and has also provided scholarships for students pursuing training in film production.

CHASE Builds New Classrooms for Cambridge Infant School


The Cambridge Infant School in St. James has been transformed with the construction of a new classroom block with funding from the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education Fund, (CHASE).  The handing over ceremony of the new building, took place on Thursday, June 20, 2019.   Included in the $38 million construction is a new kitchen, lunchroom and sanitary facilities.

Mrs. Latoya Aquart-Foster, Project Manager of CHASE, in her address to the appreciative audience made up of parents, teachers and community members, noted that modern infrastructure and age appropriate facilities, highly trained teachers and well-resourced programmes are essential elements of a quality and comprehensive learning environment for basic school students.  “These students are at a crucial stage of life in terms of their physical, intellectual, emotional, social and creative development and must be provided with positive learning experiences,” she said.

The school, which has been operating since 1951, has 115 students enrolled.


Project Manager of the CHASE Fund Latoya Aquart-Foster (left) presents keys to the new classroom block at Cambridge Infant School to Principal Ophelia Watson-Haughton (2nd right) at the official opening on Thursday, June 20, 2019. Looking on are Faith Lyle of the Early Childhood Commission (2nd left), Dr. Walton Small, Principal Wolmer’s Boys’ School (centre) and Mayor of Montego Bay, Homer Davis (right).

Boianani: A Taino Girl’s First Adventure


The children’s book, “Boianani: A Taino Girl’s First Adventure,” was launched at the Multi-Function Room, Main Library, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus on May 30, 2019.

Boianani” is a beautifully illustrated children’s book which presents Taino life in a brilliantly written and captivating story. The book, authored by archaeologist and educator, Dr. Lesley-Gail Atkinson-Swaby, benefitted from a $750,000 CHASE grant.

The CHASE Fund has contributed to the publication of more than 90 books that enhance the collection of outstanding historic and literary works about Jamaica and the Caribbean, written by Jamaican authors, or compiled by Jamaican institutions.