As the Jamaica Nurses Group of New York (JNGNY) celebrates 60 years, the organisation is being hailed for its outstanding legacy of positively impacting healthcare in New York, Jamaica and the wider diaspora.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, in paying tribute to the group, said that “from as far back as the Crimean war, when Mary Jane Seacole established the ‘British Hotel’ behind the lines, giving help to those in need,
Jamaican nurses have migrated to the UK, Canada and the United States, offering their skills as healthcare providers.
“Having traditionally migrated for the purpose of earning a better living to take care of their children and family back home, the hard work and dedication for which Jamaican nurses have become known have often propelled them to become a mainstay of the healthcare system in the countries where they have gone, acquiring a well-earned reputation for their high quality of service delivery,” she noted.
Ambassador Marks said that in their more than 60 years of caring, the JNGNY had blazed a trail of excellence in nursing service in the State of New York. This area boasts the highest population of Jamaicans in the US and for which they have commanded significant recognition.
“For that, we all, as Jamaicans, are especially proud and congratulate the group for their altruistic endeavours over the years, and as the oldest Caribbean nursing organisation in the US has been tirelessly providing services in New York and Jamaica, attaining recognition, respect and visibility,” she noted further.
Northeast Global Diaspora representative, Dr Karen Dunkley, congratulated the JNGNY on its outstanding legacy of positively impacting healthcare in Jamaica and the broader diaspora.
“We especially salute the presidency of Dr Claudette McFarquhar, [who] continues to implement a robust vision of improving Jamaica’s healthcare equity, access and options, and the unwavering commitment of the JNGNY to the diaspora’s collaborative efforts to reignite Jamaica’s greatness,” Dr Dunkley said.
President of the organisation, Dr Claudette V. McFarquhar, paid tribute to the JNGNY’s founder and first president, the late Ivy Albarus.
“Our founder and first president must have heard and understood the phrase “You are the light of the world”; or known that Florence Nightingale was called ‘The lady with the Lamp’ or read Eleanor Roosevelt’s statement ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the dark.
“Because as a new Jamaican immigrant to New York, when she encountered the dark challenges of assimilating into the new culture and her nursing profession, rather than curse the dark, she lit a candle,” she said.
Dr McFarquhar noted that the flaming torch of caring ignited the spirit of other like-minded nurses, and the Jamaica Overseas Professional Club of New York was formed as a means for them to support each other.
The name was changed to The Jamaica Nurses Group of New York Inc., and “Caring at home and abroad” evolved as its mantra.
Dr McFarquhar also saluted the ‘three torch lighters’ honoured, whose work is at the heart of caring and service – Claudette Powell for distinguished leadership and international service, Dr. Pamella Hay Hosang for nursing education and service, and Dr Karren Dunkley’s trailblazing leadership and international service.
She also paid tribute to the two scholarship recipients – nursing students Zonika A. Tracey RN, York College, CUNY, and Rosemarie Dora Gordon at Brown’s Town Community College, Jamaica.
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