Doctors Hospital Team Honours Cayman’s Rich Nursing History – National Nursing Week 2024

Doctors Hospital Team Honours Cayman’s Rich Nursing History – National Nursing Week 2024

In a heartfelt display of gratitude and respect to the nursing pioneers of the Cayman Islands, the Nursing and Midwifery team at Doctors Hospital proudly announced a community partnership with the National Trust for The Cayman Islands (NTCI) in support of preservation of Nurse Leila’s House in West Bay.

Beloved by the community, Irskie Leila Yates (1899-1996), also known lovingly as ‘Nurse Leila’, was a healthcare pioneer in Cayman. Walking from West Bay to George Town to attend lectures for her training, her career as a midwife spanned from 1917 until 1971, during which she delivered and/or supported the delivery of over 1000 babies.

Her home, located on West Church Street, just off the four-way junction in West Bay, was acquired by the National Trust in 2006, however has desperately needed some repairs to ensure its preservation.

Jennifer Williams, Chief Nurse and Director of Operations at Doctors Hospital shared more insight into her team’s interest in the site: “Although simply another historic landmark to some, Nurse Leila’s house represents so much more to those of us in the Nursing and Midwifery fields in Cayman. It represents tenacity and courage in the face of difficulty, dedication to the advancement of women in healthcare, integrity and ethics in work, unwavering commitment to patient advocacy, and above all a commitment to care. Our team at Doctors Hospital is proud to provide a donation of $5000 to support the restoration of a symbol of the principles so closely aligned with our own.”

Ms. Alice Mae Coe, Chair of the West Bay District Committee expressed excitement at the partnership, “We are grateful and touched that this wattle and daub house with such a rich history is being supported with this donation. It is the only home of its kind in the National Trust portfolio and a fixture for West Bay that is truly a symbol of the pioneers of healthcare in Cayman”.

The Doctors Hospital team acknowledges that the West Bay District Committee of the National Trust is actively engaged in ongoing research and communication with individuals who were born under the compassionate care of Nurse Leila. This effort aims to capture their stories as part of the oral history of the Island.

In addition to this initiative, the Doctors Hospital team displayed continued commitment to the advancement of this field with sponsorship of UCCI’s Nursing and Midwifery Research Symposium last month. At this event, Helen Kirk (DH Quality Improvement Nurse) spoke on the topic of Nursing Leadership Priorities, and Kristen Rankin (DH Registered Nurse), discussed the impact of her research surrounding the impact of video games on children in the Cayman Islands.

“At Doctors Hospital, we understand that honouring our healthcare history is just as important as fostering innovation and advancement in our local community. We are proud to have been a sponsor for an event that showcases both,” shared Margo McCrae, Director of Strategic Services, Doctors Hospital.

As Doctors Hospital continues its mission to provide exceptional care to the Cayman community, we invite everyone to discover the unparalleled quality and compassion available at our facility. During Nurses Week (May 6-12), we extend our deepest gratitude to our nursing team for their unwavering dedication and service.

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