Victor Taryor presents to Liberia Summit about Ganta United Methodist Hospital
The hospital, founded by Dr. George Way Harley in 1926, has been a constant presence of the love of Jesus Christ in northern Liberia.
Director Victor Taryor reminded the gathering of the many ministries of GUMH. Compared to hospitals in the States or elsewhere Ganta UMH is “a small place, but for the service options available in Liberia, it is a big place.”
During last year’s discussion at the Summit the Ganta Hospital focus group established goals of finalizing the new hospital plan and budget composed of a business plan, a sustainability plan along with planned continuous operations during hospital construction period. A project manager was to be hired financed by UMCOR. Fundraising with a total of 5.1 million dollars through three phases. A fundraising manager was planned to be hired for both Liberia and the US.
Achievements of 2013
The employment of Donald Kokeh as project manager of Ganta Hospital.
The business plan and budget were developed and a core team convened in Ganta September 18-19, 2013.
The core team recommended setting up an organizational structure to assist in the construction project.
- Construction Coordinating Department
- Building Committee as a subcommittee of Governance Committee
- Bidding Committee
A new strategic plan has arisen from the core team meeting:
- refurbish the existing hospital
- support for Department of Health to acquire personnel to handle technical issues and coordinate partnerships
- pursue public/private partnerships with Government of Liberia
- modernize existing facilities
- create and environment to address middle class and expatriate expectations
- utilize facility at airfield by the Winifred J. Harley School of Health Sciences for training allied health workers.
Brother Rudolph Merab spoke directly to the commitment of Illinois Great Rivers Conference in supporting the construction efforts of GUMH. Thanking the faithful efforts of the IGRC, Brother Merab explained the shift in plans for the hospital as a realization of the realities of fund-raising and government support.
The emphasis is really the continuation of service to the people of the area. The ministries of the church in the nation of Guinea is a direct result of the ministries of the Ganta Hospital. “What has happened in spreading the Good News of Jesus in this part of West Africa is a reflection of the United Methodist Church and her commitment to ministry.”
Emmanuel Bailey, president of United Methodist University of Liberia spoke and asked the attendees to assist the church in providing needed facilities.The facility at the hospital right now will be used for allied health. Ganta UMH is now and will continue to be a teaching hospital. The Associate of Science degree in Nursing has 150 current students with a waiting list of 450. Additional ongoing training needing space is: dental technician school and midwifery training. These three of the expanded training program of UMU are examples of facility expansion needs.
Shannon Trilli, Director of Global Health Initiatives of UMCOR spoke to the group and frankly stated, “The first design didn’t work. We say openly that it didn’t work, we come here and say that publicly.” The second hospital is beyond the funding capacity of the LAC and partners. This is a very open and supported process compared to many hospital development plans across the world
Bishop Innis stated that all we are doing with the hospital is “to the Glory of God.” The good hearts of the IGRC partners are fully appreciated and honored. All we are trying to do here is be good servants of the Living Christ. We apologize to our partners and friends as we simply seek to be faithful stewards of the Great Commission. We are very sorry if we have let any one down. We thank you for all you have done. Now, we will move forward in the name of Jesus Christ. We support education and the health of our people and health education. These are central to our United Methodist ministries and who we are as the people called Methodist.
“This is a good family meeting,” is Bishop Innis’ final statement reflecting on the discussion of the change in plans.