Governor General Dame Sandra Mason today made her annual visit to the Pediatric Ward of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) to spread Christmas cheer.
Dame Sandra presented gifts to the young patients and took time out to chat with them and to give them a gentle touch and smile.
Dame Sandra was accompanied by recently appointed Executive Chairman of the QEH Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland; Acting Chief Executive Officer Louise Bobb; and Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Anton Best, amongst other officials.
Speaking to members of the media following the Governor General’s visit, which she described as a special occasion, Sutherland-Bynoe commented that this time of the year was usually difficult for some patients, particularly the elderly receiving long term care, who do not see or hear family or friends.
As a result, the Executive Chairman encouraged churches, volunteers and people who are civic-minded to play a role in supporting these patients.
“It may not seem like a lot, but take the time to spend it with someone, to read with them, to pray with them, to hold their hands and to show care is really important. At this time of the year, this kind of activity is particularly meaningful, but it is needed throughout the year,’ she said.
The Executive Chairman announced that come 2020, QEH would be expanding its philanthropy and volunteer programme, which she said would go a long way in assisting the hospital staff to help meet the needs of all patients.
“We are going to need a very strong volunteer effort. We are going to support and encourage volunteers much more actively than we have been, giving them rewards and recognition for their contributions. There are organisations [such as ] the League of Friends, Barbados Cancer Society, Cancer Support Services who every day in this hospital lend support to people,” she said. (AH)