The St Ann Health Department celebrated staff and retirees from across the parish last Tuesday at the Almond Tree Hotel in Ocho Rios.
The event was split in two sessions with retirees honoured in the morning session and employees celebrated in the afternoon.
Five retirees from various departments were presented with citations at the awards ceremony. Those honoured were Lavern McNish, who served for 25 years as a clinic attendant; Rudolph Jones, who served as a psychiatric nursing aide for 15 years; Leroy Johnson, who served as psychiatric nursing aid for 14 years; former entomological assistant Trevor Lothian, who served for 34 years; and Eulalee Sanders who served as an administrative assistant for nine years.
“It’s an honour for me to be getting this award for the hard work I have done for the St Ann Health Department over the last 25 years,” McNish told the Jamaica Observer North & East.
McNish, who retired last year, had always ensured that the St Ann’s Bay Health Department was in pristine condition and ready to accommodate staff and customers.
She said she had no regrets for undertaking her job and would do it all over if she had the chance.
Lothian was also excited to have been awarded.
“Whoever planned this, it was thoughtful. I want to say thanks to all the people who made it possible,” Lothian, who worked in the Vector Control Unit, said.
Lothian, who started his early years teaching, said he too has no regrets working as an entomological assistant for the last 34 years.
Later that day, staff members were awarded for the hard work they have been doing over the years.
Employees were recognised for their contribution in various areas and categories. Some employees have gone above and beyond the call of duty, giving exceptional service in their respective areas.
Some have been innovative, putting forward ideas to help solve issues in the organisations; some have great team spirit, inspiring colleagues to work together; while others have displayed exceptional leadership skills and commitment to their job.
Regional Director of the North East Regional Health Authority Fabia Lamm said the initiative taken by the St Ann Health Department to honour its current staff and retirees is commendable.
“This is a very good initiative; we should not wait until someone leaves for us to say, well done!” Lamm said.
Parish Manager for the St Ann Health Department Nadia Nunes said the awards function will be an annual event recognising the hard work of staff members. Nunes said awardees were nominated by their colleagues.
As such, the employees were elated to be recognised for the work they have been doing.
“It’s a great feeling to know that you work with people who recognise the importance of your input into the organisation and their welfare and to the clients that we serve, “ Howard McKenzie, psychiatric nursing aid, said.
McKenzie, who received the most nominations among the awardees, was recognised for going above his duty to ensure both patients and colleagues are satisfied.
“It was a great honour; I work hard for it. I appreciate it,” Tyrone Dixon, another psychiatric aid, said.
Nurse practitioner Ingrid Baker Hinds was also elated to have been awarded.
“I’m indeed honoured to be awarded; I didn’t realise how much I have been contributing. I’m happy that my colleagues have seen it fit to nominate me for this prestigious award. I will continue; it has motivated me to work even harder and to do more to serve my community and my parish at large,” Baker Hinds, from the Brown’s Town Health Department, stated.
One of the big awards of the day was the Customer Service Excellence Award which was presented to the health department which provided the best service to its customers. The St Ann Health Department used a mystery client to go into all health centres to observe the customer service; at the end of that assessment the Claremont Health Centre won the award.
By: Renae Dixon