Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has hailed the Samaritan’s Purse International (SPI) for its role in the rebuilding of Liberia, referring to the hospital under construction by SPI as “the kind of investment and commitment that means a lot to the people of Liberia”.
He said the Samaritan’s Purse is one of the most credible international NGOs operating in Liberia and recounted the numerous projects it has undertaken in the country, including the reconditioning of airstrips around the nation, all of which have been touching the lives of the people. Vice President Boakai made the commendation Monday when a three-man Samaritan’s Purse delegation paid him a courtesy call at his Capitol Hill Office. Members of the delegation were Dr. John Fankhauser, Executive Director of the New ELWA Hospital; Mr. Rusty Laird, SPI Construction Manager, and Mr. Gentry Taylor, General Services Manager also at SPI. According to a press release, Vice President Boakai said the construction of the hospital by SPI is a demonstration of commitment that its Chief Executive Officer and President, Dr. Franklin Graham, referred to in 2012 when he said that Liberia was going to be their flagship. Ambassador Boakai thanked the organization for its many undertakings in Liberia during this difficult period of national reconstruction. In remarks earlier, Dr. Fankhauser said he was honoured to meet the Vice President and thanked him for his support to the hospital project as evidenced by his constant show of interest in the progress made at the construction site. Dr. Fankhauser, who is also Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California in Los Angeles, said modalities for the recruitment and training of medical personnel for the new ELWA are being worked out, the release said. In 2012 Vice President Boakai paid a visit to North Carolina, at which time SPI unveiled to him the drawings for the new hospital to be constructed on the grounds of the ELWA. According to Dr. Fankhauser, Samaritan’s Purse wants to provide the quality of care that will bring honour to the patients coming into the facility and serve people at the level they can afford to pay, adding, the hospital is there for the people and not to turn people away for economic reasons. He said funds that will be made available by Samaritan’s Purse and the Government of Liberia to run the hospital will be fully accounted for, and assured that the health facility will have a positive impact on the people. Dr. Fankhauser disclosed that the furniture and equipment for the new hospital will soon arrive in the country. Also speaking during the courtesy visit, the Construction Manager at the ELWA Hospital project, Rusty Laird, said the hospital will be completed by the end of July this year, and that there are plans underway for the official opening of the hospital in mid-October. The SPI delegation was escorted to the Office of the Vice President by Mr. Gentry Taylor of the Samaritan’s Purse, the release from the Office of the Vice President said.