Basseterre, St. Kitts – Wednesday November 15th, 2017 will be remembered as a truly momentous day in the annals of the history of the Rotary Club of Liamuiga, as the Club welcomed its newest Paul Harris Fellow and first non-Rotarian to be so recognised, in the person of Nurse Paula Francis. Nurse Francis received this surprise recognition following her guest speaker presentation on diabetic foot care at the Club’s weekly breakfast meeting.
The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, of US$1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. It was established in 1957 to show appreciation for and encourage substantial contributions to what was then the Foundation’s only programme, Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study, the precursor to Ambassadorial Scholarships. When a person is recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow, they are presented with a Certificate signed by the Rotary International President and the Chairman of the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation, and a lapel pin and medallion.
The Rotary Club of Liamuiga has a long history of working in the nation’s communities with diabetic foot issues, dating back to 2008 when the Club partnered with the Rotary Club of Lichfield St Chad, United Kingdom through a matching grant to Rotary International (2009-2010). The programme consisted of two training courses, set one year apart to introduce our nursing staff and doctors to the International Diabetes Federation ‘Step by Step’ programme for the monitoring and treatment of the diabetic foot.
After training with the ‘Step by Step’ programme and completing the ‘train the trainer course’ in Tobago in 2013, Nurse Francis became a passionate believer in the programme and under the guidance of Dr Cameron Wilkinson (Member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Liamuiga) and Dr Joylette Woodley, helped set up a diabetic foot care clinic in the JNF General Hospital in 2014. Nurse Francis runs that clinic in outpatients every Saturday morning.
Born and raised in St. Paul’s Village, St. Kitts, Nurse Francis is married and has four children. She trained as a nurse at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College and after completing her courses went into regional nursing in 2004. She became a midwife in 2005 and has been a Staff Nurse for about 12 years at the JNF General Hospital. Nurse Francis works as a staff nurse in both the surgical and medical wards.
Nurse Paula Francis now joins many other notable figures have been named as Paul Harris Fellows, including Mother Teresa, entertainer Pearl Bailey, U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar and Jonas Salk. The Rotary Club of Liamuiga salutes Nurse Francis for her stellar work in the field of medicine and in particular diabetic foot care, and is proud to have her as the Club’s first, non-Rotarian to be recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow.