RURAL EXPRESS - Mandeville Hospital honours its stalwarts
Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer
There are several chosen professions the world over that cause significant drain on the human body. Workers are susceptible to life-changing situations and, most often than not, are required to go beyond the call of duty. One such profession is that of health-care workers.
From doctors, nurses, administrative personnel to customer service agents and drivers, the management of the Mandeville Regional Hospital (MRH), on Monday, acknowledged the efforts of all, and established its continued efforts to making the institution the health-care facility of choice.
"Certainly, we know there are challenges. It is no secret," said chief executive officer (CEO) at MRH Alwyn Miller.
"It has been a period of misfortune in which events of the latter part of this year may change perceptions of the fact that there have been positives. The hospital, over the years, has sought to build capacity to serve the public by improving some of the basic pillars that are critical to health-care delivery ... focusing largely on infrastructure and equipment."
Having seen a three per cent increase in major surgeries, a 39 per cent increase in minor surgeries, 11 per cent increase in X-rays and a contention with the rise in bed occupancy from the norm of 80/84 per cent to 95 per cent, Miller says the hospital, amid its financial constraints, will need a redevelopment of its technological equipment and a retooling of facilities to avoid minor and major glitches in the hospital's operations, and maintain the efficiency it is known for.
Meanwhile, director of human resource at Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA), Nicolette Thomas- Edwards charged the workers, especially the nurses, to continue to be brave in the face of adversity and strive for excellence.
"Excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical and expect more than others think is possible ... ."
It was only fitting after such a charge that the director of nursing services at the hospital, Angela Thomas, launched a new initiative set to commence on January 2, 2015 called 'Pathway to Excellence'. This initiative will see nurses holistically developed and services at specific sectors, such as accident and emergency, medical floors and surgical floors being vastly improved.
Among the persons awarded were long-serving nurses giving 22 years of service, retirees, nurses who have gone above and beyond and have upgraded studies, departmental heads and members of management for leadership and organisation.
The awards ceremony was coupled with a march under the directorship of Red Cross and the National Aids Committee at the Manchester Health Department, signalling 'World Aids Day' and a health expo.
Regional technical director at the SRHA, Dr Michael Coombs expressed that with the assistance of relevant authorities and entities, more will be done in the coming years for AIDS awareness and prevention.
"... There's a 90/90/90 strategy that seeks to step up the testing, the use of antiretro-viral drugs and the suppression of viral load in patients by the year 2020, and this allows other interventions all aimed at achieving an AIDS-free generation."
He mentioned also that unlike the lack of respect shown at times to health professionals, the programme will need a collaborative effort from the public to move forward.
With the tendency for one to lose focus after having experienced success, guest speaker, retired attorney-at-law Carol Vogle from Indiana, USA, urged all the members of staff present not to measure excellence by the destination but rather by the journey, and keep finding ways to reinvent one self.