The Mustique Charitable Foundation supports healthcare, humanitarian, economic, educational and vocational initiatives in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Mustique Charitable Foundation is newly active and has started two projects: vocational training scholarships and pediatric scoliosis surgery. We have funded 24 scholarships for students at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, Division of Technical and Vocational Education. Through the Walking Tall program, we will bring two eight-person teams to St. Vincent to operate on children with scoliosis.
Shenika Samuel, Top Performer of the Business Studies: Accounting programme also received the DTVE Divisional Award for Excellence, graduating with the highest Grade Point Average in the Division. She also delivered the Valedictorian Address at the Graduation Ceremony, sharing her story as an inspiration to others to aspire to achieve in spite of life's challenging circumstances.
The scholarship recipients performed commendably, with six of them emerging as Top Performers in their programmes:
Kevron Abraham - Architecture and Building Construction Technology
Alexey Gibson - Electrical Engineering Technology
Debra Dopwell - Information and Communication Technology
Maxwell Pompey - Business Studies: Sales and Marketing
Shenika Samuel - Business Studies: Accounting
Kaynella Nicholls - Agricultural Science and Entrepreneurship
Also graduating were:
Kemelius Boyea Jr
The SVGCC: DTVE extends heartfelt thanks to the Mustique Charitable Foundation for partnering with the Division to provide such timely assistance in the form of partial scholarships to aid in these students' academic and personal success.
Walking Tall Surgical Team
Pediatric Scoliosis Surgery Mission Team
- 21 children receiving diagnostic evaluations (14 SVG, 5 St. Lucia, 2 Grenada)
- 9 surgeries ( 1 child, 8 teenagers)
- 3 SVG children received surgeries. (others anticipated for surgery in May did not due to school exams) These children will be prioritized for the next two missions.
Lynessa, 15 years
Jarussa, 18 years
Sue-nique, 12 years
Velanie, 14 years
Carlos, 6 years
Noel, 16 years
Kimesha, 17 years
Ronnie, 18 years
Drew-Ann, 16 years
Rollister, 16 years
Shennelia, 15 years
Jonique, 16 years
Roniqueka, 16 years
Andrea, 12 years
First Team in new WPP – Dedicated Operating Room
Of special note this year, is the debut use of the newly dedicated WPP Operating Theatre. The specialized orthopedic table, bright lights and other amenities made each surgery more comfortable for the team and efficienct.
A special high-tech “Jackson Table” designed specifically for spine surgeries allowing optimal positioning of the patient for surgery
Dr. Swartz checking the settings on the new anesthesiology machine
the Yag Laser will allow WPP ophthalmologists to perform congenital cataract surgeries
Dr. Steve Hwang
Pediatric Scoliosis Surgery Mission Team
“I was so pleased to have the honor of being the first surgeon to use the new World Pediatric Project Operating Theatre at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. The spacious OR and specialized equipment assured that our patients received the best care possible in a safe, professional environment.”
- Dr. Steve Hwang
Velanie, age 14 from Georgetown, SVG , has six brothers and loves to hang out with friends. She can’t wait to get better and walk with her friends to get French fries! She is feeling more confident than ever now with her surgery completed and has returned to school which makes her very, very happy.
"I can walk around now feeling happy that the problem is solved... I stand in front of the mirror and smile… After everything is over I'll stand in front of the mirror and say, it was all worth it ."
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
Text message to WPP team leader after Velanie returned home.
15-year-old Shenniella from Richland Park, St. Vincent, was the last surgery for the week and 57th patient receiving spine repair surgery since WPP first began this surgery in-country 6 years ago.
She definitely won the sweetest smile award! Dr. Hwang, was amazed how brave she and all of the kids were.
For 12-year-old Sue-Nique from St. David, SVG, getting her surgery now was so important as she would soon be going through a growth spurt and her scoliosis could have gotten much, much worse over the next year.
She is oldest of four children in her family and loves to read.
She told the team she can’t wait to get back to playing her favorite sports of netball, soccer, basketball and volleyball!
Dr. Hwang with a grateful mom!
Parents of the children helped
Dr. Hwang greeting and reassuring patient prior to her surgery
Clinic evaluation observing patient’s spine when extended
checking the x-rays
The WPP team was welcomed for an evening reception at the Prime Minister’s home.
Medtronic representative Caitlyn Mabry prepares the needed hardware selection for a patient
Senior Program Director, Kate Corbett coordinated Walking Tall mission with Dr. Hwang and team and secured spine implant hardware contribution valued at $270k from Medtronic.
Dr. Hwang taught two continuing medical education (CME’s) sessions for local physicians and medical students.
Senior Program Director, Kate Corbett
6-year-old Carlos, who had spine implant surgery last fall, returned for a rod lengthening procedure.
The Mustique Charitable Foundation funded a World Pediatric Project scoiiosis/spinal repair team to St. Vincent in November 2016.
Scoliosis-specific team mobilization is rare given the complexity of this type of surgery and the costs associated with the necessary spine hardware implants, typically $50-$60k in cost per patient.
65 children received diagnostic evaluations
Junelle was so happy when she learned World Pediatric Project’s spine repair team was scheduled to travel to St. Vincent and that she had been accepted for surgery. A slender 14-year-old teenager, Junelle’s severe 78-degree spine curvature was not only physically detrimental, but also socially devastating. For Junelle, this surgery meant the end of an era of being teased and ashamed that she did not look like everyone else.
While Junelle was all smiles the day she was admitted to MCMH, her mother felt the normal nervous emotions of family members prior to surgery. Her fears were relieved upon hearing the happy news of the successful surgery and her “baby girl” was doing great.
Junelle was upright and walking the next day, and her mother could not wait to have a photo of the fabulous doctors that took such good care of her cherished daughter.
Being there without a parent, he clung to WPP Country Director, Jackie King as a mother figure to him during the week.
After his successful spine repair surgery, everyone, in- cluding family members of other patients, helped look after him.
He was exuberant with his gratitude and relief that the surgery was over and pain was manageable.
WPP Surgical Team
Chris Pinney, Medtronic Spine rep., explaining the spine system hardware to Lavinia Gunn & Simon Carey
Linda Harrier and mother looking at the VEPTR rod system that is in Carlos’ back
Linda Harrier with patient Carlos
The extreme spine curvature of a WPP patient, typical of the severity of scoliosis
The WPP's Walking Tall Project initiative addresses this condition for more than a dozen patients each year
Some of the beautiful children helped during the week
On Tuesday, 4th October we had the official launch for The Mustique Charitable Foundation at The New York Yacht Club, New York. It was a wonderful evening with a fantastic turnout of friends and supporters, who enjoyed the evening and were entertained by the wonderful talents of Blues Musician, Gabriel Aldort. Photography by Roman Dean.
Chair of the Awards Ceremony and Associate Dean, Ms. Janelle Allen
Chairman, Mr. Roger Pritchard
Dean, Mr. Osborne Bowen
The Mustique Charitable Foundation has funded scholarships for 24 students at the SVG Community College, Division of Technical and Vocational Education. Each scholarship covers 80% of the tuition, course fees, travel and meal costs of a second year student in the following Associate Degree programs:
- Culinary Arts
- Hospitality Studies
- Agricultural Science and Engineering
- Sales and Marketing
- Electrical Engineering Technology
- Information and Communication Technology
- Architecture and Building Construction Technology
The Mustique Charitable Foundation will fund scholarships covering travel and meal costs for five students in the second semester of the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology Certificate Program.
The SVG Community College, Division of Technical and Vocational Education.
Untreated scoliosis (curvature of the spine) can devastate both the child and his or her family. The physical devastation is progressive and, if untreated, debilitates movement and often the proper functioning of the child’s heart, lungs, and other vital organs. The lifetime impact of an untreated child can also create a heavy burden for the community to bear.
The Mustique Charitable Foundation is working with the well-established World Pediatric Project (WPP) to bring two eight-person orthopedic teams to St. Vincent. Each team will operate on 6-8 children with scoliosis at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. The teams volunteer their time and services and the Mustique Charitable Foundation contributes the cost of their related travel and administrative expenses.
The first team will be in St. Vincent in October with the second team planned for May 2017. While the primary focus will naturally be on children from St. Vincent, WPP may also select candidates in critical need of surgery from other Eastern Caribbean countries.