By Felicity Darville
Three service technicians, all with impeccable records of servicing the machines that save our lives, are being lauded by their company, which is considered a leader in health and innovation in the Bahamas.
Brenton Major, Byron Jamaal Bain and Khalil Curry quietly work behind the scenes making sure that machines critical to protecting, diagnosing and preserving our health are always up and running. Basil and Margot Barnett, directors of Bahamas Medical and Surgical Supplies, recently opened a brand new corporate complex in celebration of its 20th anniversary. The company, which services the Bahamas as well as Bermuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands, wanted the public to know that their success is squarely based on a highly knowledgeable and competent staff committed to improving the standard of healthcare in the country. Staff members, in turn, pointed out that they love BMSS because the Barnetts show they care and treat them like family.
The three service department staff members have a myriad of responsibilities and skills, and without them, many healthcare facilities such as hospitals, diagnostic centres and doctors' offices would not be able to function effectively.
Brenton Major serves as senior manager of Equipment Sales and Service at BMSS. Byron Jamaal Bain serves as a long-standing field service engineer/healthcare consultant, and Khalil Curry has recently joined the company in the same capacity and is already receiving training and gaining skills critical to the job.
Their responsibilities include installation, service, troubleshooting and repair of all healthcare equipment, specialising in GE imaging and critical equipment: CAT scans, ultrasounds, nuclear medicine, X-Rays, mammographies, MRIs, anaesthesia, cardiac monitors, stress tests, incubators, infant warmers, and infusion pumps, among others. They also generate and provide service contract proposals for various clinics, hospitals, dental offices, and veterinarians.
In the Princess Margaret Hospital, BMSS has outfitted the critical care block, inclusive of incubators in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and PMH is the only hospital in the country with such a unit. BMSS is responsible for over 200 patient monitors in PMH, as well as other vital machines. Almost every public and private clinic in the Bahamas has been touched by the services of Bahamas Medical and Surgical Supplies. Fourth Terrace Diagnostic - the only stand-alone imaging centre in The Bahamas - offers GE Healthcare modalities purchased from and serviced by BMSS, inclusive of CAT Scans, X-ray equipment, mammogram machines, ultra-sound machines, and CR readers.
Interhealth Canada’s facilities in Turks and Caicos have MRI machines thanks to BMSS. The Bahamas Heart Centre has a critical nuclear camera that allows professionals to provide accurate diagnoses. Oaktree Medical has BMD - bone mineral density machines - which were installed by BMSS’ team of service professionals. Doctors Hospital, the MediCenter, Life Medical Center, Rand Memorial Hospital, Sandyport Medical Center, Abaco Medical Center and Cable Beach Pediatrics are just some of the companies which rely on the BMSS team to be on call at any time to ensure their machines are always performing at top efficiency for their clients.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, their services have become even more critical.
Mr Major recalled when one of our local hospital machines went down, and due to the pandemic, travel restrictions made it impossible to get a service technician from abroad to come in quickly to repair it.
“We were able to go in, troubleshoot the system, order the part and get system up and running,” said Mr Major.
“To me it was one of those things where we have the local expertise right here in our country and we need to start using what it is we have and keep the money circulating in the country, especially during these uncertain times with COVID.”
Mr Major and Mr Bain have travelled to Wisconsin on numerous occasions for the latest training to make sure that the machines that save lives are never down for a critical period of time. Mr Major has also trained in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Solon, Ohio. He said every with single machine they have required long hours of training in theory and practical work before they are commissioned to BMSS clients. GE Healthcare’s facility in Wisconsin provides the base for service engineers like them from around the world, with very intense ,hands-on theory, labs, and practicals - taking machines down putting them back together, along with troubleshooting. Since the pandemic, GE Healthcare has found ways of providing that vital continuing education with virtual lessons and live demonstrations.
T'Shera Gaitor, who is now the manager of New Business Development at BMSS, is also trained in a myriad of healthcare equipment and is also on hand in the event of an emergency.
“In this field it is critical that we provide excellent quality service and consistency,” said Mr Bain.
“My purpose for providing excellent quality service for equipment sold or serviced is that it is in the best possible condition to perform the task it was intended for. Imagine one day that the same equipment you provided poor quality service to is the same machine that may need to make an accurate diagnosis of your condition or administer critical medication to save your life or a loved one. I’ve been there and know exactly how important it is to do what I do to the best of my ability.”
Mr Curry added: “My purpose here at Bahamas Medical is to be that front line worker who wakes up every morning proud to put that logo on his chest because I know today, I will be responsible for saving a family members’ life - be it mine or yours.”
“We may have different problems we face, but we always find a solution and never give up,” Mr Major noted.
“We don’t see problems in the service department… we only see solutions - and we are the solution.”