From left: Maria Henry on behalf of Nirmala Vlaun, Mae Grace Zurita, Orris Jack Bell, winner Frank Bannis, Suzette De Cuba and Nancy Flanders.
COLE BAY–St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) staffer Frank Bannis was presented with the fifth annual Nurse Orris Jack Bell Award during a luncheon ceremony held at Little Well Oasis in Cole Bay on Saturday, May 11.
Bannis was one of five nominees for the award. Other nominees were Mae Grace Zurita (SMMC), Nancy Flanders (St. Martin’s Home), Suzette De Cuba (District Nursing) and Nirmala Vlaun (Department of Public Health).
The Orris Jack Bell award recognises a nurse who serves as the perfect example of what it means to be a nurse – one who is dedicated, selfless and who willingly goes above and beyond to be the caregiver the community needs, as Nurse Orris Jack Bell has done for nursing in the years she served in the field.
SMMC said on Monday that each nominee embodied the spirit of the award within the various institutions on the island. Nurse Orris Jack Bell herself presented the award to Bannis, who became the fifth recipient. Past winners include Bell, Daphne St. Rose (St. Martin’s Home) Rafael Antione (SMMC) and Marisol Wilson (Pointe Blanche prison).
Bernadette Gumbs of SMMC was the only newly-inducted nursing legend during the ceremony. She was presented an award for her continued passion and dedication to her job. In addition, a “pleasantly surprised” former lab technician at St. Maarten Laboratory Services (SLS)Viola Sing was presented the Supportive Legend Award. A supportive legend is a retiree who has worked closely with nurses throughout his or her career. Last year’s recipient was former Supervisor of Radiology at SMMC Geraldine Eerland.
A moment of silence was held for all nurses who had passed away within the past year (2018-2019) honouring their memories. Nurses remembered included Graciela Virginia, Truus Schaminee, Rudmila Ipcedencia and Sheryl York.
The event was attended by legends (retirees), award nominees and their friends and families. The event was themed “Nurses Who Paved the Way” through honouring nurses of past and present who have been role models within nursing on the island.
A pre-celebration lagoon cruise was enjoyed by more than 60 legends (retired nurses) prior to the award ceremony.
The celebration of Nursing Legends and the Nurse Orris Jack Bell Award were created by SMMC’s Patient Care/Education Manager Antonio Pantophlet and SMMC Education Department official Brunilda Illidge.
“This event is always a wonderful time for our nurses and our legends to come together in celebration of all nurses. We will continue to give thanks to all nurses who have paved the way for our nurses today,” Pantophlet said in sharing his thoughts on the importance of such an event.
Illidge hosted the event this year. Pantophlet delivered an opening speech. Fellow organisers include Vitalia Richardson and Magriet Priest of SMMC’s Education Department.
SMMC said the observance was festive, as guests enjoyed good food and the musical talents of DJ Ruby.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/87669-smmc-s-frank-bannis-wins-fifth-orris-jack-bell-award