While conventional medical facilities focus on treating diseases and ailments as swiftly as possible with pharmaceutical drugs, the underlying premise at Health City Cayman Islands is that the patient is a person, not an illness. For Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty — internationally renowned heart surgeon, paediatric cardiologist and visionary for Health City Cayman Islands — healing is a team effort that involves the patient and his or her doctors. According to Dr. Shetty, the healing process considers the mind, body and spirit for an optimal balance of both health and overall wellness.
“We feel that a successful healing process means delivering person-centred care,” says Shomari Scott, marketing director at Health City Cayman Islands. “This includes counselling, crisis intervention, family support, prayer and meditation, spiritual care according to the individual beliefs of our patients, emotional support and guidance for coping with individual illnesses, and facilitating contact with local faith communities.”
Hailing from Karnataka, India, Dr. Shetty is the eighth of nine children. In an open letter, he speaks about his childhood and growing up in a home of recurring illness. He fondly recounts a conversation about a surgeon who was offering his services free of cost. He and his mother were so moved by this story and the surgeon’s compassion that he decided on that day to bring happiness to children around the world. He has since opened 26 hospitals within 16 cities in India, as well as Health City in the Cayman Islands, each with the mission to provide quality care to all persons at minimal or no cost, regardless of social or economic background.
Located in East End, Health City Cayman Islands is situated across from the deep blue waters along southeast Grand Cayman, so a refreshing ocean breeze greets you when you arrive. The main facility is designed in a series of T-shaped buildings, enabling natural sunlight to pour into the hospital through the numerous windows that overlook the gardens of Health City, where herbs, fruits and flowering plants grow freely. Oftentimes, medical personnel will accompany patients for a walk through the herb garden for much-needed fresh air and to reconnect with the outside world, which is thought to have an immensely positive impact on a patient’s mental and emotional well-being. In addition, Executive Chef Vidyadhara Shetty, who owns Blue Cilantro restaurant and manages the Health City kitchen, takes great care in incorporating as many of these medicinal herbs, fruits and vegetables in the five-star meals served to both patients and their families.
A sense of warm Caymanian hospitality is evident throughout Health City, from the registration desk attendant to the highly qualified doctors. “Everyone is greeted with warmth and made to feel comfortable; we know this can be a very stressful time for patients and their families,” says Scott. “We have incorporated the Caymankind spirit in our facility as well as the culturally inherent Indian trait of nurturing and respecting others, our patients.”
To stimulate the psyche and bring a welcoming feel to the hospital, pops of colour adorn the painted walls in the spacious guest rooms, and local acrylic and watercolour artwork are hung in public areas.
Health City Cayman Islands was the first medical facility in the Cayman Islands to offer around-the-clock services of a chaplain, as well as access to a chapel. “Our healthcare chaplain offers expertise in theology, world religions and pastoral counselling, and is clinically trained to provide care in a medical setting,” says Scott. The facility supports chaplains from all denominations, and the chapel is available for use at any time.
According to a study conducted in 2014 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, an astounding 80 percent of a patient’s successful outcome is directly related to non-medical factors, such as emotional support, counselling, family support and prayer, meditation, or other forms of spiritual care based on the patient’s belief. These findings directly correlate to the founding principles of Health City whereby, beyond the top-notch medicinal care and lush physical surroundings, there is a great deal of attention given to a patient’s emotional and spiritual well-being as part of the larger healing process.
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Published: Skies Magazine, July 2015