Jamaica is well known for their tropical beaches and tourism. But within the inner city of Kingston, Jamaica things are not always beautiful.

Since 2000, PRN Relief International has provided care to thousands of patients free of charge. Physicians, residents, and nurses work closely with low-resource communities, forging a long-term trusting relationship with families. The team delivers clinical care, education and health promotion, and return on a scheduled basis to continue developing this relationship.

Dr. Sherylyn “Shery” Watson is one of the founding members of PRN Relief International, established in 2000, when she and her team walked the streets of Kingston to serve patients on home visits.

Dr. Sherylyn “Shery” Watson, NWGI Nurse Honoree 2018
Dr. Sherylyn “Shery” Watson, NWGI Nurse Honoree 2018

Shery’s commitment to the communities PRN Relief International serves is second to none, as a person the communities can count on, and always warmly welcome.

In 2009, Shery, who teaches at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, expanded the team to include nursing students. Each year she leads about 20 students to Kingston for a week of service work.

These students become immersed in the Jamaican culture and see firsthand how the healthcare system works in Jamaica. The patient population served mirror the same comorbidities patients in the US face.

Dr. Sheri Cosme joined Shery and the team in 2014 as a DNP student. Her project while on the trip was to collect data on hypertension, diabetes, and demographic data. Typically on each trip the team serves close to 500 patients.

Sheri’s project has allowed Shery and her team to collect and analyze the data on the population served in Kingston. Since 2015, Sheri has continued to volunteer with PRN Relief International and now serves as core team member. Data collection and analysis is still conducted with the hopes of seeing the long-term effects of the team’s work on the patient population served.

Both Shery and Sheri not only serve the community of Kingston but also its healthcare professionals. For the last three years they have provided continuing education to the nurses of Nuthall Memorial Hospital in Kingston. The hospital staff has been educated on countless topics to further their knowledge. These presentations are typically done by graduate nursing student who have been coached by the two doctors.

Shery taught Sheri how to be a strong leader on health mission trips through tenacity, attention to detail, and overall understand of managing multiple clinics for hundreds of patients. The impact these mission trips have on the health of people of Kingston, Jamaica is tangible – and inspiring!

It is with great excitement that Nurses With Global Impact recognizes Shery, and by extension her team, by honoring their work at the May 11, 2018 International Nurses Day event at the United Nations.

– Deb