#TurksandCaicos, May 17, 2021 – “As Chief Nursing Officer for the Turks and Caicos Islands, I salute all nurses in their respective roles and place of work within the country. I do not have to remind you that we are living in unprecedented times; with the continued challenges of COVID-19, a disease that threatens our healthcare system, the health and wellbeing of our community and our local economy here in these islands and by extension the rest of the world.
Scientists, and medical professionals continue to grapple with strategies and research to determine best practices for fighting this global threat, to find a cure, or at least a preventative method which is effective in “freeing our smiles” from the daily restraints of the face masks, and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which have become necessary measures to protect and preserve life in your field of work and at home. Increased demands have been brought about by the need for: continued contact tracing, clinical management of hospitalized patients, the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccination programme and community testing for COVID-19 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In spite of these increased challenges, you, the nurses of the TCI, continue to persevere, with a heart of love, care, commitment and dedication; working collaboratively with your medical colleagues, to provide quality care to residents and visitors to these Islands. I am extremely proud of you, and express my profound thanks for your outstanding and continued service. Most certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic increased the spotlight on our health care system and the need for nurses to become more involved in the critical role of planning for the future of healthcare in our country. May God continue to bless and protect you and your families, as you continue in your work for the future of our healthcare system, and may God continue to bless our beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands. Happy Nurses Day.”
Chief Nursing Officer, Mrs. Jackurlyn Sutton
“I congratulate the Nurses of the TCI on the sterling work they have been doing and most notably their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme chosen for this year is just as fitting as the theme for last year, “Nurses A Voice to Lead: A vision for Future Healthcare”.
You are without question the backbone of the healthcare system, and without you, we would not be able to offer Universal Health Care or Universal Access to health for our TCI population. Nurses make up the largest cadre of health care personnel in the TCI, and I would like to reassure them that as their Minister of Health, I will make every effort to ensure that policies and strategies are implemented to strengthen nursing education in the TCI, thereby creating opportunities for our young people who wish to pursue their first degree in nursing and to be able to accomplish that success in the comfort of their home. I would also seek to advocate for continuous improvement in the working environments and remunerations for nursing professionals.
I empathize with those countries in the region and around the world who have lost members of the nursing workforce during this pandemic, but we are so grateful to God that none of you have been severely affected by this disease. I sincerely appreciate the commitment and dedication you have demonstrated particularly during the pandemic and wish you a blessed and meaningful Nurses Day.
The Hon Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Human Services, Hon. E. Jay Saunders
“It is with much gratitude that I salute nurses globally, regionally and especially those serving this great nation. For many nurses in the TCI, it is our first pandemic and for others, it is certainly our longest. In my address to nurses last December, I charged all of us to be thankful to God for his divine protection over the past months. We have since completed a year and we are still under His cover; we have not lost any of our colleagues to this awful and selfish disease, we are all still here. I thank each of you for your passion and drive, and I especially thank those of you who have suffered personal losses during this most difficult time, for staying the course.”
“Giving up was easy, but you didn’t. I am truly thankful for your resilience. To my nurses in Primary Health Care, you know that my heart belongs to you. I love and appreciate you. It is impossible for me to thank this small team for all that they do. You have been stretched beyond measures, but you have persevered. Thank you for being Nightingales and Seacoles. I thank the families of these unsung heroes for giving them to this country to achieve what many great nations were unable to, with more resources. We reflect on those that have gone on before, for allowing us to stand on their shoulders. I charge all of us to use this week to reflect on the past year; use the time to give thanks and to search ourselves to see how we can be better at doing what God has called us to do. Happy International Nurses Day to you all!”
Alrisa Gardiner, Primary Health Care Manager