This year's Nurses Week theme, "Nurses: The Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit" seeks to focus on, and address the health and wellbeing of our nurses. In my role as Minister for Health and Social Development, I have received many reports of the great works our nurses are doing at our new Peebles Hospital; and how well they have transitioned to the new facilities and adapted to the new technologies. Members of the community inform me almost regularly of the continuous improvement of nursing care in our health care system. And of course, my personal health care needs have given me first-hand experience and knowledge of the compassion, dedication, commitment, resilience, and professionalism of our nurses.
My fellow residents of the Virgin Islands, I am your Minister for Health and Social Development, Ronnie W. Skelton. I begin this month-long celebration of our seniors with a tremendous sense of satisfaction. I can remember a time in the Virgin Islands when our seniors mostly just looked forward to retirement. Retirement meant that as a senior your contribution to our community slowed down considerably. Yes, you continued with your church and other social activities, you had more time to spend with your grandchildren and the demand for your babysitting services increased. However you were made to feel that the vast amount of knowledge you acquired through many years of experience was no longer needed. As an approaching senior, I am proud to say that this seems to have changed.