LONDON – A nurse, who graduated from Siliman University, became the very first Filipino to receive the prestigious Mary Seacole Development Award from the UK government.
“To be given that prestigious award, I feel that I've actually done something to make us all Filipinos proud,” said Mylene Freires, an advance nurse practitioner for venous access at Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London.
Freires was awarded for her project on the nurse-led Port-a-Cath insertion service for patients with sickle cell disease. She received the award at a ceremony held at the Royal College of Nursing headquarters in London.
“They are looking for individuals with projects that they are going to undertake for a year that will potentially impact black and minority people,” she said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the coveted award recognizes nurses, midwives, and health visitors around the UK who make an outstanding contribution to patient care through development and leadership.
"The positive contribution of Filipino nurses and health care workers in the United Kingdom is highly appreciated by the British Government. Their care and compassion are sought after by patients. Our nurses are truly ambassadors of goodwill of the Philippines," Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo said in his report to the DFA.
Manalo said there are 60,000 Filipino health care workers in the UK, including 30,000 Filipino nurses.
Freires’ colleagues and former students have nothing but praises for the industrious nurse.
“Mylene is very hard working. Even when she is not well, she comes to work and she is very supportive,” said Senior Sister Minnie Salvador of the Cancer Day Unit.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Elizabeth Crowther said, “I'm very proud and she deserves it thoroughly, absolutely.”
Freires is from Panabo, Davao der Norte and is a graduate of the Siliman University. She was also a cancer research grant awardee in the UK in 2008.
“I should carry the ethics of Mary Seacole in terms of how I deal with people, how I work, in terms of my vision,” she said.
The awards are in honor of Mary Seacole, who was born in 1805 to a Jamaican mother and Scottish father. Seacole was known for her visionary approach to diversity and her outstanding contribution to nursing. - Report from Rose Eclarinal ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau