Dr. Kaydeen Dietrich explains the vaccination process to the candidates waiting to receive their jabs.

Kewaine Buchanan, Commercial Analyst at LASCO Distributors Limited calmly receiving his shot from Public Health Nurse, Teldra Lewis.

Marisha Thompson [left] and her mother Jostine Wallace turned up to receive their second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. They are the wife and daughter of LASCO Merchandiser, Steve Wallace. The vaccination drives continue to see a growing number of family members coming out to receive their jabs.

Ezra-Lee McLennon, Production Supervisor at LASCO Distributors Limited [left] took his mother Neita, 72 to receive her vaccine. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that persons above age 50 are considered to be at greater risk if infected with COVID-19.

Dr. Kaydeen Dietrich [left] checks the arm of Rejendra Thompson, son of LASCO Delivery Clerk, Rejendra Thompson, after being vaccinated with the single dose Janssen vaccine.

Venice Chambers-Bartley [left], Machine Operator at the liquid plant at LASCO Manufacturing Limited and her husband, Paul Bartley were in high spirits after receiving the first dose of the vaccine.

Dr. Kaydeen Dietrich [left] engages Corporate Programmes Manager, Danielle Cunningham [center], and Deputy General Manager of LASCO Manufacturing Limited, Lisa Watts [right] in conversation at the latest vaccination blitz held at the company’s White Marl Location recently.

LASCO staff and family members turned out in their numbers to receive first and second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the single-dose Janssen vaccine.

Countless elders waiting to be registered by the Community Health Aides at LASCO’S recent vaccination blitz.

LASCO has been a longstanding participant in the Ministry of Education’s national initiative, Read Across Jamaica Day, an observance of literacy in Jamaican schools. Celebrated in May during Education Week, Read Across Jamaica Day furthers LASCO’s objective of advancing the nation through education.  Our staff and the reigning LASCO/Ministry of Education Teacher and Principal of the Year participate by reading to students from their favourite books. 

Since October 2012, LASCO has partnered with the The Rootz Releaf Project to embark upon an environmental awareness building programme entitled LASCO REAP (Releaf Environmental Awareness Programme).  REAP targets primary school level children, both actively and passively, encouraging them to become more deeply involved in the environment, emphasizing recycling, tree planting and conservation. The company has invested over $12M in the REAP programme since its inception, and has directly reached over 4,000 students through its island-wide REAP school tours.

LASCO REAP has achieved the following since its inception:

LASCO/Ministry of Education (MoE) Teacher and Principal of the Year

The LASCO Salute to Teachers Programme began in 1997, with the addition of the Principal of the Year category in 2006.  The programme is executed in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and seeks to recognize teachers and principals for having a significant impact on education in Jamaica and the community. In 2013, LASCO has invested over $400,000 in the Teacher and Principal of the Year programme. The programme has a reach of 25,000 teachers and principals island-wide.

The selection process for the programme begins with the nomination process, then a selection committee shortlists the nominees, who are assessed  by the MoE and LASCO team in their teaching environment. Based on the assessment, the finalists are selected and invited to attend a panel interview, from which the Teacher and the Principal of the Year are selected and announced at the annual Awards Ceremony. Over the years, a number of the former awardees have emerged as elected leaders in the island’s Teachers and Principal Associations and have won a number of national awards.

Other initiatives and partnerships in Education:

The LASCO/Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Police of the Year Awards Programme was initiated in 2000 which seeks to publicly acknowledge the professionalism and dedication of the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Selection is done on three levels: Divisional, Area and National.

The criteria to be eligible for nomination are based on the following:

Since 1999, LASCO has partnered with the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) in the annual staging of the National Nurse of the Year programme, which recognizes and pays tribute to outstanding members of the nursing profession. The Nurse of the Year (NOY) Programme is the recognition of pacesetters within the profession who have displayed high professional, ethical and personal development standards. In 2013, LASCO has provided support valued at over 300,000, with over 5,000 nursing practitioners directly and indirectly reached through the programme.

Selection Process

Interested nurses  island wide are required to fill out an application form and submit it to the office of the Nurses Association of Jamaica.    A short list of applicants is prepared after which they go through an interview process.  The finalists are then selected and are asked to make presentations/demonstrations before a panel.  Based on the scores assigned, the Nurse of the Year, first and second runner-up as well as the Student Nurse and first runner up are selected.

LASCO and NAJ are also partners in the hosting of National Nurses Week every year.

Other Healthy Living initiatives:

Sponsorship of the Jamaica Dental Association’s Oral Health Month Health Fair.

LASCO Chin Foundation honoured the hardworking nurses with an awards ceremony on Friday, July 23, 2021.

The luncheon, held at the Jamaica Pegasus, marked the end of this year’s observation of Nurses' Week. It also saw the resumption of regular activities after the disruption in 2020 due to COVID-19 which led to the cancellation of the LASCO/NAJ Nurse and Student Nurse of the Year competitions.

The nurses held a COVID-conscious ceremony, which ended with the announcement of Lillian Lewis McDonald, infection prevention and control nurse at Victoria Jubilee Hospital as the 2021-22 LASCO/NAJ Nurse of the Year.

The finalists were Dion Murphy Nedrick, Nursing Director at the University Hospital of the West Indies; Rachel Lee Francis, Infection Prevention and Control Nurse for the Intensive Care Unit at the Kingston Public Hospital; Machel Edwards Lewis, Registered Nurse at the Mandeville Regional Hospital; Davia Tucker, Acting Nurse Manager for Bustamante Hospital for Children; and Claudine Douglas Cole, Nurse Manager at Linstead Public Hospital.

The Nurse of the Year copped the champion trophy and  cash prize of $200,000. Second-place winner Nurse Douglas Cole and third-placed Nurse Murphy Nedrick, received cash prizes of $150,000 and $100,000 respectively.

Alicia Vickers was announced as the LASCO/NAJ Student Nurse of the Year as she celebrated her birthday and copped the cash prize of $100,000 and a trophy.

All the finalists for the Nurse of the Year and Student Nurse of the Year received gift baskets courtesy of LASCO. The 2021 Nurses’ Week celebration, included the observance of  the NAJ’s 75th anniversary, with a Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, July 18; a Founder’s Day Ceremony that saw 75 COVID Champions awarded; career development workshops on Wednesday, July 21 and a disco lyme on Thursday, July 2 all under the theme “Nurses: A Voice To Lead — A Vision For Future Healthcare”.

In an effort to uplift the island’s nurses, LASCO joined with the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) to celebrate the healthcare champions in a heart-warming ceremony, at NAJ’s Mary Seacole House on International Nurses’ Day.

Recognised on May 12 each year, International Nurses’ Day is set aside to highlight the achievements and service of nurses worldwide, and is a highly anticipated time of merriment for nurses locally. The healthcare system though short on resources is staying afloat due largely to the innovation and selflessness of our nurses.  The programme was also aired virtually to allow for the participation of Nurses island-wide. 

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