At the Turks and Caicos National Museum we had a very specific strategic initiative to use news and information to raise the profile of the institution. We had a specific agenda of maximizing the coverage of even small projects that we completed. I am including a news item here about a project we completed in July. This article ran in the local newspaper. When it appeared online I copied it and put it on our museum blog at:
Today, I found the same article on another blog where someone else had posted it.
I am posting it again here. It took a while to get off the ground. But the strategic plan is now working and it is widening our audience and building viability.
Restored Photos Featured at Cockburn Medical Centre Grand Turk
Article below was issued by The Free Press Newspaper, written by FP Staff, in the August 19, 2010 Edition.
Soon an air of nostalgia will fill the empty walls of Cockburn Medical Centre in Grand Turk.
Pioneered by the National Museum through its intern Shalomar Forbes, new life will be added to the hospital as it features restored old photos of the capital’s first formal facilities which date back to the early 1960s.
Shalomar, who will be completing a degree in graphic design this year at Barry University in Miami, spent many hours restoring 14 old black-and-white prints of the Grand Turk medical facility.
She scanned the historic images, which are part of the permanent collection at the National Museum, and cleaned them up using special software.
“The original pictures were so small, about 2 inches square, and enlarging them proved very difficult,” Shalomar said. “They are over 50 years old, and every small scratch or spot became huge once we scanned them in.”
However, her hard work was not in vain, and the photos were enlarged more than five times their original size. Some of the restored images show the Grand Turk hospital, nurse Bailey and images of the probationary nurses’ class which were all photographed by Allan Bishop in the early 1960s.
Brian Hogan, NHIB’s chief executive officer, said it was an appropriate way to pay tribute to medical pioneers that laid the foundation of the modern medical system.
“We felt that incorporating a bit of TCI’s healthcare history was the best way to demonstrate our appreciation to healthcare professionals and remind people how TCI’s healthcare system has evolved.”
National Museum Director Neal Hitch said medicine has come a long way since the first facilities.
“Medical facilities were at a minimum in the Turks and Caicos during 1960s with a 16 bed hospital on Grand Turk, a small operating theatre, an X-ray machine with limited capacity and a rudimentary laboratory,” Hitch said.
“Medical staff included two medical officers, one on Grand Turk and one in South Caicos. The staff at the Grand Turk hospital consisted of a matron, four staff nurses, three probationary nurses and one nurse working as a midwife.”
During 1960, eight women from the Caicos Islands were recruited and trained in Grand Turk to be midwives, he said. They were considered settlement nurses and were provided with a nurse’s bag, dressing, scissors, and a stretcher on which to evacuate very ill patients.
Prior to that, many local settlements were without any trained medical help. By 1967 the Grand Turk hospital was aided by four medical clinics in the islands, in Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South Caicos and Bottle Creek on North Caicos. Much changed by 1970 when medical staff included two doctors, one dentist, one matron, seven staff nurses, nine settlement nurses, nine probationary nurses and two public health inspectors.
Hogan said they showed current staff members the historic prints before they were taken for framing, and one recognized a family member.
“We hope that persons visiting our offices will take time out to look at the amazing prints; who knows, you might see yourself, a family member or a friend,” Hogan said.
Anyone who owns black-and-white prints showcasing the health sector, hospitality or utility sector is encouraged to contact the museum.