The Columbia-based nonprofit Global First Responder is sending a team of eight medical personnel aboard the USNS Comfort to Jamaica later this week.
The ship is headed toward the capital city of Kingston to continue Operation Enduring Promise. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the operation “reflects the United States’ enduring promise of friendship, partnership and solidarity with the Americas.”
Dr. Adam Beckett, an emergency room physician at MU Health Care and the Global First Responder founder, will be leading the group.
Global First Responder’s team, alongside the Navy, will provide medical, dental and surgical care.
The stop in Jamaica is part of a larger tour of the USNS Comfort that began June 14. According to the U.S. Southern Command, the trip’s purpose is to “provide medical assistance to communities ... and to relieve pressure on host nation medical systems in countries hosting Venezuelans who have fled the country’s crisis.”
An additional Global First Responder team, led by clinical care medic and Columbia native Rick Baker, will deploy to Haiti later this fall.
Beckett realized his desire to become a doctor while doing humanitarian work in the Marines. He began Global First Responder to link relief workers wishing to do medical work and agencies that needed teams. The organization aims to provide said medical work as well as education, according to previous reporting by the Missourian.
In the past, Global First Responder has gone to India, Nepal, the Bahamas, Haiti, Peru, Puerto Rico, Bangladesh, refugee camps in France and more.
The group also plans to travel to Thailand and the Bahamas in November.