Ag. Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Telephone: 468-3701 ext. 852 7742
The Anegada Clinic renamed in a ceremony to honour community stalwart, Nurse Romalia Smith for her selfless contributions in the Virgin Islands’ health sector.
Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Marlon Penn said that such commemoration serves as a means to keep alive the memory of those persons who gave of their intellects and resources to provide life-saving care to the people of our Territory.
Nurse Romalia Smith served as the District Nurse for over 26 years and continued to provide services even after her retirement by doing house calls to residents and current medical staff at the clinic.
The Health Minister Penn stated that Nurse Romalia’s character is of a generation who, throughout the Virgin Islands, fought against incredible odds to build the foundation of the society.
He added, “She is described by those who know her as a phenomenal woman, mother, friend, nurse and a true Virgin Islands patriot. The diligence, devotion and generosity she embodied throughout many years of public service, and even in retirement, is a true testament of her genuine love for the people of Anegada and the entire Virgin Islands”
Minister Penn went on to explain that the Anegada Clinic became the Territory’s only health facility aside from Peebles Hospital to be designated as a SMART facility in line with the ‘safe and green’ standards established by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
“It is no coincidence that both facilities largely withstood the severe weather events of 2017. Being a strong facility, it is also quite fitting that it should bear the name of a strong and noble woman,” He further added.
Nurse Romalia Smith in her response detailed her journey in being the only nurse available and willing to provide healthcare services in Anegada. She said that services had improved over the years and she looks forward to even better things for the residents of the Sister Island.
She shared her response with a special presentation to nurses who were present at the event and her granddaughter who promised to follow in her footsteps.
Other remarks were delivered by Premier Dr. Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE; Ninth District Representative, Dr. the Honourable Hubert O’Neal and Leader of Opposition and former Health Minister, Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton who also presented Nurse Romalia with the newly published Nursing in the Virgin Islands (UK) A Historical Perspective (1920-2017) written by local registered nurse Mrs. Norma M. Benjamin.
Flower bouquets and an award were presented to Nurse Romalia and a new building sign revealed ‘Nurse Romalia Smith Clinic’. The invocation and dedication prayer was led by Dr. Charles Wheatley and Historical Perspective was done by Acting Public Health Communications Specialist, Adrianna Soverall. The event was chaired by Chief Executive Officer of the BVI Health Services Authority, Dr. Ronald Georges.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates human development and improves the quality of life in the Virgin Islands.
Photographs are attached.
Photo Caption 1 of 4: Nurse Romalia Smith posing in front of the newly renamed clinic in her honour. (Photo Credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)
Photo Caption 2 of 4: Nurse Romalia Smith and granddaughter embracing each other during a special presentation. (Photo Credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)
Photo Caption 3 of 4: From left to right, Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Marlon Penn; Honouree Nurse Romalia Smith; Premier, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, OBE; Ninth District Representative, Dr. the Hon. Hubert O’Neal. (Photo Credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)
Photo Caption 4 of 4: From left to right, Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn; Second District Representative, Hon. Melvin Turnbull; At- Large Representative, Hon. Archibald Christian; Premier, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, OBE; Nurse Romalia Smith, Minister for Health and Social Development, Marlon Penn; Ninth District Representative, Dr. the Hon. Hubert O’Neal; Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Ronnie W. Skelton; Dr. Charles Wheatley. (Photo Credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)