2021 Nurse of the Year credits God for successSaturday, July 24, 2021
BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON
LILLIAN Lewis McDonald was yesterday named 2021 Nurse of the Year, while Alicia Vickers was crowned Student Nurse of the Year.
“I am just giving God thanks. I rely on him just to be that example, that teacher, and voice. God has given me the opportunity to serve people. Going on, I will continue to depend on him to help me to do my best,” Lewis McDonald told the Jamaica Observer after the awards ceremony at Jamaica Pegasus in St Andrew.
Lewis McDonald, who has been serving as an infection prevention control nurse at Victoria Jubilee Hospital for 21 years, received the LASCO/NAJ Nurse of the Year trophy, a cash prize of $200,000, amongst a host of other prizes.
The event was hosted by the Nurses' Association of Jamaica (NAJ), in partnership with Lasco Affiliated Companies. It ended Nurses Week 2021, which started on July 18 under the theme 'Nurses: A voice to lead – A vision for future health care'.
Lewis McDonald yesterday encouraged her colleagues to “be caring; stand up and nurse our patients the way we were taught”, as health-care workers grapple with crises of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Student Nurse of the Year Alicia Vickers said the award meant the world to her, especially since she also celebrated her 36th birthday yesterday.
“It is just a beautiful experience for me. To be awarded this title on my birthday, I am just giving God thanks. I feel fantastic,” an overjoyed Vickers said.
Vickers, who is a third-year student at Brown's Town Community College School of Nursing, said her biggest motivation throughout her career was her mother who passed away two years ago. “If she was here today, she would ask 'What's next?'. I hear her voice every day telling me that there is nothing I can't do,” she said.
Vickers received the LASCO/NAJ Nursing Student of the Year trophy, a cash prize of $100,000, among other prizes.
NAJ President Patsy Edwards-Henry, in commending the sponsors, said it was important to highlight and award nurses, especially since they have worked selflessly throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We have gone through a year and a half of immense stress. There were days when the hospitals were in red zones. We had our primary-care practitioners doing surveillance in communities and they worked from Sunday to Sunday. To have our nurses let their hair down is extremely important to the NAJ,” she said.
Noting that the year of activities for the nurse and nursing student of the year include choosing and implentiing a project, she said, “Once they identify their project they will be able to follow through on it”.
Other sponsors for the event included Industrial Gases Limited, Bert's Auto Parts, and Jamaica National Bank.
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