Outstanding nurses, midwives get honours at awards ceremony

Two nurses at the Georgetown Public Hospital were among the recipients of prestigious awards in nursing and midwifery from the Guyana Nurses Association (GNA) at its recently held Annual Awards Ceremony.

Shaunette Waterman received the Gloria Noel Award 2013 for Quality Nursing Care and Nicole Major was given the Gail Teixeira Award 2013 for the Most Outstanding Midwife Practising at a Public Hospital, at a ceremony held on Saturday August 31, a press release from Nurses Association said. Both women are employed at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.

Recipients of the GNA awards, from left, Michelle Lewis, Ruth Hinds, Dawn Dunn, and Rhonda Mingo, Shaunette Waterman, Cedina Forde and Renee Hutson flank Chief Nursing Officer Tarramattie Barker and GNA President Joan Stewart (fourth and fifth from left) as they display their tokens.
Recipients of the GNA awards, from left, Michelle Lewis, Ruth Hinds, Dawn Dunn, and Rhonda Mingo, Shaunette Waterman, Cedina Forde and Renee Hutson flank Chief Nursing Officer Tarramattie Barker and GNA President Joan Stewart (fourth and fifth from left) as they display their tokens.

The Gillian Butts-Garnett Award 2013 for the Most Outstanding Active Member of the Guyana Nurses Association was given to Keith Pellew and the Gillian Butts-Garnett Award 2013 for the Most Active Student Member of the Guyana Nurses Association was awarded to Michelle Lewis.

The Guyana Nurses Association Award 2013 for Outstanding Performance in Nursing Care was awarded to Ruth Hinds, midwife at the Suddie Hospital, Region Two; Cedina Forde, midwife and Georgina Jones, staff nurse, both of the West Demerara Regional Hospital in Region Three; Rhonda Mingo, midwife at the Mahaicony Diagnostic Centre in Region Five; Waveney Mentore, nursing assistant at the Charity Hospital in Region Two; Heather Edwards, staff nurse/midwife at the Sophia Health Centre in Region Four; Renee Hutson, nursing assistant at the Fort Wellington Hospital in Region Five and Dawn Dunn, midwife at the Mahdia District Hospital in Region Eight.

According to the press release, the Gloria Noel Award was established by Gloria Noel, the first Principal Nursing Officer in Guyana. It is open to any graduate professional nurse, midwife or nursing assistant and is awarded to a recipient who has consistently demonstrated care and concern for patients/clients and maintains professional standards and technical excellence in nursing care. This award was initiated in 1994.

The Gail Teixeira Award was established in 1996 by former Health Minister Gail Teixeira who sought to reduce the incidence of maternal mortality at the public hospitals.

2013 is the commencement year for the Gillian Butts-Garnett Award.  It comprises two awards and is named in honour of Butts-Garnett, a former president of the GNA who is now employed by the United Nations as a midwife advisor in South Sudan.

The Guyana Nurses Association Award ceremony started in the 1980s to recognise outstanding contributions of nurses and their commitment to the GNA. The award is given to any ordinary member of the association who has made a significant contribution to the promotion and activities of the association; any executive member who has made a significant contribution in coordinating any of the activities of the Association; any retired nurse/member of the Evergreen Club who has made a significant contribution to the activities of the Evergreen Club and the Association in general. All awardees are given certificates for their outstanding efforts.

Owen John, Deputy Director of Nursing Services presents a bursary to Lisa Douglas (right) for her excellent performance at the NGSA as her mother, Veronica Douglas,  senior Health Visitor at the Ministry of Health looks on.
Owen John, Deputy Director of Nursing Services presents a bursary to Lisa Douglas (right) for her excellent performance at the NGSA as her mother, Veronica Douglas, senior Health Visitor at the Ministry of Health looks on.

There had been some gaps in the hosting of the Awards Ceremony until the advent of the University of Guyana’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. Since the first group of nurses graduated in 2004, the GNA sought to ensure that the awards ceremony became an annual feature with the graduates being the focus of the event.

From 2004 to 2007, the awards ceremony was held in November or December. In 2008, a decision was taken to host it on the fourth Saturday of January and this had been done until 2011. In 2012 the GNA did not host the awards ceremony and the BSc Nursing degree graduates had their prize giving ceremony at another venue for 2012 to 2013. Last year, the GNA took a decision to once again host the ceremony in August as part of its anniversary celebrations and this 2013 observance marks the first return to this schedule.

The GNA also presented two bursaries to the children of two of its members who were successful at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA). Plans are in train to make this an annual feature of its programme.

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