The University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) on Monday, July 15, 2019 launched its annual celebration in recognition of Nurses’ Week in the Hospitality Hall.

The week which runs from July 14th – 20th was observed nationally under the theme: ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead Health for All’.

Senior Director, Nursing, UHWI, Mrs. Helena Thomson charged the nurses to take the time and celebrate themselves.

“We have to honour our nurses for the outstanding work that they do and educate the public about the roles that they play in health care. Nurses, you are an important part of our society, and I encourage you to take some time for yourselves during the course of the week of celebrations to ensure that your health is taken care of and celebrate you.”

While, the Chief Executive Officer, UHWI, Mr. Kevin Allen, thanked them for their hard work and dedication to the hospital and patients they care for.

“Nurses you have held up the banner for the hospital, beaming with pride and excellence. You are the face of this institution and we continue to rely on you, we continue to fight with you, we continue to work with you. The money ‘mawga’ but yet you persevere. The management and staff thank you. We appreciate all that you do for us, the hospital and the people of Jamaica, in spite of the challenges.”

President of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, Ms. Carmen L. Johnson, was too in attendance and she reminded the nurses to take proper care of themselves.

“I encourage you to shop better, include healthier choices and remember it is not the quantity but the quality. And may I say it is now classy to walk with your own prepared meal or snacks and it is satisfying to make your own fruit or vegetable juices because this is the only time you are certain that there are no hidden additives in them. I beg of you to stop slowly hurting yourself by not eating when you are at work sometimes for eight or sixteen hours, because you want to complete your duties and care for all your patients before end of shift(s). Take at least fifteen minutes to refresh yourself; we are all guilty but we must change in our own best interest.”

The Nurse of Excellence for 2019 - 2020 was also selected from a total of seven nominees, one nurse from each of the seven programmes. Ms. Kemesha McCalla, Registered Nurse, Surgery Two, walked away as the winner. First and second runners up were Ms. Codeen Smith, Registered Nurse, Mental Health Programme and Ms. Shailendra Murdock, Registered Nurse, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, respectively.

The celebrations followed into Tuesday, July 16 with an exhibition in Churchill Square where the nurses showcased what happens in their respective Programmes.