Our History

1955: The Jamaica Cancer Society was founded on December 6th, by the Honourable Dr Ken McNeill.

1963: The Society erected the Hope Institute, a 32-bed hospital on lands in the vicinity of the University Hospital. The function of the Institute is to provide cancer treatment in close conjunction with the Oncology Department of the Kingston Public Hospital and the University Hospital.

1972: A special wing was added to the University Hospital for the treatment and rehabilitation of cases of recurrent and advanced cancer.

1972: The Society’s first cancer screening clinic was opened in Kingston and another at the Mandeville Hospital in March of the same year. The work of the Jamaica Cancer Society is now carried out from its headquarters in Kingston and five branches island wide.

1974: The Society handed over the Hope Institute to the Government of Jamaica.

1977: Jamaica Reach to Recovery is a breast cancer support group that was first started in 1977 and is closely affiliated with the Jamaica Cancer Society. Its members are made up entirely of women who have had a diagnosis of breast cancer and have had surgery (mastectomies and lumpectomies). The function of the organization is to provide empathetic counseling and social support to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

2000: Implementation of Mobile Mammography and Pap Smear Screening Programmes.

2001: Recipient of The Gleaner Honour Award – Certificate of Merit

2003: The Society launched Relay For Life, a team event to raise funds to fight cancer, bring recognition that with early detection, cancer can be beaten, honour survivors and remember those who lost the battle.

2006: Launch of ACS FreshStart Programme.

2008: Recipient of The Gleaner Honour Award for Voluntary Service

2010: Recipient of the Lions Club of Mona Award for outstanding and dedicated service to National Health Care

2010: Inaugural Dr. Joseph St. Elmo Hall Lecture Series in dedication to Dr. Hall for his years of voluntary service to the Jamaica Cancer Society.