Meet the 2019 Healthcare Provider Champions - Jamaica
Troy Henry nominated Ramona Williams for:
Her caring disposition as a person. I have known Miss Williams for the past four years with the help of another man who has sex with men. I remember that Thursday like it was yesterday. Miss Williams, the lady who loves red and a hair full of curls with a jovial personality, isn’t just a mentor or a community educator, she is like a sister, a mother, a cousin to us. She nurtures us with words of wisdom. When we feel like there is no hope she encourage us to never give up. She is there for us to the end.
I am a high school dropout. I did not get to complete high school. I have tried to get jobs but was always turned down because I have no qualification, neither any working experience. On that Thursday when I met Miss Ramona Williams, she introduced herself to me and so forth. She even did an HIV test which came back negative. Then she asked me what my interest was. I told her that I want to go back to school because I cannot get a job. Right there and then she enrolled me on the Jamaican Foundation For Lifelong Learning (JFLL) course to get a remedial education. The organisation she worked for paid for my schooling from 2016 to date. I did not know I would have such an opportunity as I was ready to give up because it seemed as if nobody cared, but right then Miss Williams came. And believe me, I could not let her down. In 2017, I did my first 3 CXC examinations. In 2018, the results came out and I was successful in 2 out of the 3 subjects. I later sat for two exams and was successful in both. Now I am preparing for two more. She has put in the effort and likewise I should put in all my effort to make her proud. And that is why I am here nominating her; she deserves everything that is good. Amazing people deserve amazing things.
Ramona Williams: I am #DoingTheRightThing because:
Naturally, I love working with young people. I find that many of the men who have sex with men I interact with in my line of work are young and may not have the support systems they need to support them as they deal with HIV, especially at the time of a positive diagnosis. It is extremely difficult for young people living with HIV within key populations to access care and so I believe that one of my major tasks as a health care provider is to help make their environment safe and comforting before they even proceed to the administering of treatment. I am also a firm believer in the fact that they should be empowered with information that allows them to make decisions from an informed perspective. Lastly, I believe the general health care providers (nurses, doctors) need to understand how to improve their relationship with men who have sex with men. They should provide the best care. So because of this need to be an in-between person to bring care and support to men who have sex with men, I feel encouraged to continue this work.
Jordan nominated Junior Blair for:
He has provided insightful and vital information that the nominator didn’t know before in regards to looking after my health. The provision of the information was in my best interest. He also encourages me to be more involved in learning and to further my education. I have been impressed by Mr Blair’s positive attitude and warm welcome gestures. He reaches out to people and tries to get them involved in being further educated about their human rights. I am confident that Mr Blair will continue to establish productive relationships with other men who have sex with men because he’s a pleasant person you can walk up to and share any issues with. He has introduced me to the Jamaican Network of Seropositives (JN+) and some capacity building workshop sessions, which I am grateful to be a part of, and for that I am a better person. I feel Mr Blair does play a significant role in displaying good customer services, and because of this I can say that I appreciate speaking to him on my doctor visits or when I am just passing through the clinic.
Junior Blair: I am #DoingTheRightThing because…
I want to make sure persons are getting fair and right treatment. This encourages me to get up every morning and work hard. It helps my clients from key population groups to know they have a friend or a peer in the health setting, and I am glad to be that person for them. The person that makes a health centre visit that much better.
Michael T'Angel Henry nominated Michelle Getten for:
Being a favourite person to talk to because she is very welcoming and open-minded, understanding and very empathetic towards her clients. I appreciate everything that she has done for me thus far. There are not enough words to describe her but all I know is that she is an amazing person.
Michelle Getten: I am #DoingTheRightThing because…
Of how I see how people treat key populations in other health institutions. I think people come to me because of my recognition of the need for privacy and confidentiality. The privacy and confidentiality of each of my clients is paramount. I will continue to provide services to key populations.
Tony Lawes nominated Courtney Harris for:
He respects my gender identity. I was introduced to him by another transperson, who had an awesome experience with him. I am sure any person who goes to him will feel comfortable and his customer service will be excellent. I would recommend him to anyone if you need a non-discrimination space. I have had discrimination before so when I went to him for the first time I felt comfortable. I felt like I could express myself freely and this is important to me and I know it's also important to a lot of persons. Most transgender persons like myself don't like to be misidentified and not once has he misidentified my gender. And if others would also do so I would love that. The service overall was excellent. We need more doctors like him in Jamaica. We have transgender persons who are afraid to get healthcare because of discrimination and because of this a lot of persons go untreated and their health become poor and this is not good.