Three of Trinidad and Tobago’s most prominent sportsmen, who have received international recognition for their prowess, have decided to give back to their country and their people, by way of health through the Altus Health Services.
Footballers Russell Latapy (retired), Stern John and Dwight Yorke (retired) have joined together to form the Stern John Sports Medicine and Dwight Yorke/Russell Latapy Cardiac Foundation.
The foundation was launched last Thursday, and is being housed, at the Carlton Savannah, St Ann’s.
They are following in the footsteps of the “Prince of Port-of-Spain”, Brian Lara, world class cricketer and the pride of TT, to enter this realm of health.
Lara established the Brian Lara Cancer Treatment Centre after his mother, Pearl, died of cancer in 2002.
Altus, which was established in 2010, offers specialised services in the areas of advanced therapy and rehabilitation with professional neurological, sports, cardiac, hand/upper limb therapeutic services and executive wellness programmes.
It was Altus’ vision to provide cardiac patients with a structured and managed post surgery rehabilitation programme.
After extensive research and dialogue with experts and Baptist Health in the United States, it was found that there was a need for upper extremity and neurological rehabilitation, chronic pain management and provision of athletic performance for post and rehab patients and elite athletes.
Hence this new facility was created, with the hope that athletes, or even the man on the street, would be able to access the help that they needed.
While the sportsmen were not on hand for the official opening because of other duties, Latapy’s brother, Justin, spoke on behalf of the sports stars.
Justin said his brother always had a vision for wanting to “fall into this type of charity.
“Once he identified one and found it to fit his heart, and this is where he essentially went, I jumped on board with him,” he said.
Justin said his position was at the foundation was “yet to be determined and was just freelancing.”
He explained that the sportsmen felt that they had to give back to the people who had and have been supporting them throughout the years.
“Ultimately these guys have done very well for themselves both health wise and otherwise, and what their goals have always been, and I’m speaking not only for Russell, but all the other guys mentioned, there needs to be some sort of social responsibility giving back to where you are from, Trinidad and Tobago being first, the region and then you want to look internationally,” he explained
Justin explained that the foundation was about affording people who may be lacking information, or not being able to access these services the opportunity to “get there, to get well, to keep good health.”
“I need to mention that it is not so much the post care, but the pre care. Altus has gone into what is considered athlete development which consists of strength and conditioning and also goes into rehabilitation. So when you marry the two it’s an automatic thing not just for athletes from youngsters all the way up to professional level, but also the general public,” Justin said.