The first PHA Unsung Heroes Award is presented to Patricia Laing on Wednesday. From left, Vernon Davis, PHA patient representative; Elizabeth Dupuch Carron; Patrica Laing, Patient Relations Supervisor in the Accident and Emergency department at Princess Margaret Hospital; Herbert Brown, Managing Director of the Public Hospitals Authority; Denise Sherman, PHA patient representative; and Robert Carron, president of the Tribune Media Group. Photos: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff
AN AWARDS programme to recognise and reward excellence, care and compassion in the Bahamas health care system launched on Wednesday as part of a ground breaking public-private partnership between the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) and the Tribune Media Group.
The Unsung Heroes Awards will identify and publicly honour those PHA employees who have gone “beyond the call of duty” in providing levels of care and compassion throughout the islands, in the authority’s two hospitals (Princess Margaret and Rand Memorial), Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre and its 108 clinics and agencies.
Nominations of employees for the monthly award will be made by co-workers and by patients and visitors. The winner each month will receive a cash prize, dinner for two, a framed certificate and a bespoke recognition pin. An annual winner, selected from the monthly champions, will be announced and honoured at a gala dinner at the end of the year. The January winner is Nurse Patricia Laing, Patient Relations Supervisor in the Accident and Emergency department at Princess Margaret Hospital, and nominations are open for February.
The prestigious awards programme is part of a partnership between the PHA and The Tribune announced last month to advance the fight against paediatric diseases in the Bahamas, an alliance local health officials said will have a “significant impact” on the delivery of paediatric care throughout the public healthcare system. Its aim is to raise awareness about and subsequently battle various diseases, such as Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), Leukaemia, Diabetes and Cancer.
Herbert Brown, Managing Director of the Public Hospitals Authority, welcomed the awards programme. “The PHA Unsung Heroes Awards is a magnificent opportunity to celebrate and reward, on a national platform, those persons who on a daily basis perform their duties in the most unselfish and professional manner,” he said. “Even more, it is an opportunity to engage the public’s critique at every level of stewardship in healthcare across our country, the end result of which can only further serve to embolden those of us in healthcare to provide excellent service.
“At the heart of what we do across our public institutions and clinics and agencies is the common thread ‘Working Together for Best Quality Healthcare’. In fact, it is our mantra and it promotes the tenets of teamwork and service excellence. What this award does is elevate that to the national level. It also endorses the abundant qualities of public-private partnerships in nation building. The Public Hospitals Authority is happy to join its brand with The Tribune Media Group and the Aidan Roger Carron Foundation in highlighting those who may often go unnoticed in their daily service to our nation.”
The partnership is the brainchild of Robert Dupuch Carron, president of the Tribune Media Group, and his wife, Elizabeth, whose infant son Aidan has fought successfully against HLH, a deadly auto-immune disease. In July, the seven-month-old contracted a high fever following vaccinations and had to be medically evacuated to Florida for specialist treatment.
Though recovering well after five months in the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, Aidan’s plight prompted the Dupuch Carrons to establish the Aidan Roger Carron Foundation and forge a partnership with the PHA to ensure that what happened to their son does not happen to other familes.
According to Mr Dupuch Carron, the aim of the partnership with the PHA is to create “compelling, engaging multi-platform educational campaigns that inform, educate and empower our parents and citizens”; diagnose, track and treat auto-immune diseases with “state-of-the-art equipment and treatment protocols” and “access to leading health professionals from around the world”; and to establish “global partnerships with world-class institutions,” such as Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in South Florida.
Key to the effectiveness of the partnership, officials said, was the Dupuch Carron family’s “historic” consensual release of Aidan’s confidential medical records, which senior health officials called an “unprecedented and generous act which undoubtedly will help to achieve positive health outcomes for other families in the years to come”.
As well as the release of Aidan Carron’s records, Frank Smith, the PHA Chairman, announced the initiatives, including releasing information on the top ten diseases afflicting children and pregnant women nationally, fund raising campaigns for tele-health (accessing expertise abroad) and for equipment, and publicly recognising those individuals who have gone “beyond the call of duty” in providing levels of care and compassion through the islands via the PHA Unsung Heroes Awards.
Mr Dupuch Carron said the initiative “is about bringing together partners from all walks of life with a common goal of transforming our approach to paediatric healthcare, so that no child is left behind. It is also about recognising and saluting all those who, without their extraordinary efforts, many other children would not be here.”
The criteria for nominees for the monthly PHA Unsung Heroes Awards encompass exceptional success in an area or aspect of work including consistent and outstanding performance; demonstrating initiative for personal development and professional knowledge while maintaining the highest standards of relationships with patients, staff and the community; consistent and outstanding leadership, actively promoting and encouraging colleagues to deliver a high standard of service; consistently high standard of service delivery to internal and external customers; achievement in promoting links with the community or enhancing the reputation of the PHA in it; and noted participation in community health activities at various levels.
The attributes which make an employee suitable for nomination include attitude, drive to succeed, overall work quality, an exceptional act of service and willingness to go the extra mile.
Nomination forms and full criteria for eligibility and selection can be found on the PHA website (phabahamas.org) or submitted via email to or obtained from Human Resources. They will also be available to patients and visitors at all facilities. Nominations must be submitted by the last day of the month and an independent selection committee will judge the entries. Employees can only win one monthly award per calendar year.