The tertiary referral hospital for Vanuatu recognized its hardworking staff with an end of year ball last month.

Hosted at the spacious Warwick Le Lagon and Spa resort in Port Vila, the Vila Central Hospital (VCH) management team handed Medical Superintendent awards to its most deserving staff of 2019 in acknowledgement of their outstanding contribution to patient care services.

Emergency physician and Chair of the local organizing committee, Dr Vincent Atua, praised the contribution of VCH’s support staff, in particular the nurse aides, porters and cleaners.

“These hospital support staff are responsible for services like infection control in the hospital and moving sick patients around the hospital,” explained Dr Vincent.

“They are often overlooked at events such as this, but we want them to know that we appreciate their commitment and service.”

This Ball was the first time that hospital support staff have ever been recognized in this formal manner.

“It has taken us a while but we feel delighted to share their achievements and recognize our support staffs tonight,” said Dr Atua.

The list of VCH Medical Superintendent awardees included support services staff from throughout the hospital’s various departments: Mrs Hellen Peter (Cleaner), Mr Thompson (Porter), Mrs Helen Tari (Catering), Mr Sylvester Vaki (Laundry), Mrs Pauline Shem (Revenue Clerk), Mrs Kerina Daniel (Dental), Mr Colin Yoan (Workshop), Mrs Marian Takau (Radiology), Mrs Kathy Vuhu ( Pathology), Mrs Jennifer Timothy (Nutrition), Mr Horie Nixon (Pharmacy) and Mr Daniel Frank (Physiotherapy).

“These staff are more than deserving for the hard work they put into their duties each day and we want to thank them for their remarkable service to hospital services and most importantly, to patient care,” remarked Dr Tony Harry, the Acting Medical Superintendent of VCH.

A special mention in the VCH awards also went to two officers in the Ministry of Health’s national office for their contribution to ensuring sick patients travel to VCH safely and arrive at their destination without delays.

“We want to acknowledge the amazing contribution of Mrs Margaret Solomon (DG’s office) and Mr Augustine Aru (MoH Finance) for their amazing support in ensuring patient travel is coordinated in timely fashion,” explained Dr Basil Leodoro, the national coordinator for Emergency Medical Teams.

“Safe and timely medical evacuations for sick patients and coordination of emergency teams is due to the logistical assistance of these two incredible officers,” he said.

Medical doctors were also awarded certificates for high performance in the national Medical Internship Training Program. The awards for best performing interns in 2019 went to Dr Shem Joel, Dr Lidency Valele, Dr Jennette Jeantino, Dr Geraldine Nimissa and Dr Terina Bangalini.

The award for the best performing senior medical officer went to Dr Sereana Natuman who is the Senior Consultant and Head of Department for Internal Medicine at VCH.

In handing out the awards, VCH Medical Superintendent, Dr Tony Harry thanked the awardees and the guest of honor, President Obed Moses Tallis, who attended the occasion and spoke words of encouragement to health workers and VCH support staff.

“You are healers and hope dealers, and you should deliver your care to the best of your abilities,” said the Head of State to over 100 health workers and their families who were present on the night.

The VCH Ball also raised funds to support the emergency department with wheelchairs and other essential equipment.

“In the years to come, we hope that we can continue this tradition of recognizing the officers of each hospital department, who play such an essential role in the delivery of patient care at VCH,” commented Dr Atua.

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