Irish Delegate wins 2019 Florence Nightingale Medal
Long term Irish Red Cross overseas delegate Vivien Lusted has been named as one of the worldwide recipients of the 2019 Florence Nightingale medal, the highest international distinction a Red Cross Red Crescent nurse can achieve.
Nominated by the Irish Red Cross earlier this year, Vivien was selected by a commission comprised of the ICRC, the IFRC and the International Council of Nurses. Irish Red Cross delegates, in particular our health delegates, continue to play a critical role in responding to some of the world’s biggest crises and the Irish Red Cross is very proud to see Vivien receive this prestigious accolade.
Up until last year, Vivien had worked for the Irish Red Cross as an overseas delegate for more than 14 years. During this time she served 13 International Red Cross missions in some of the world’s toughest armed conflicts, including Somalia, Sudan, Myanmar, Israel and Liberia to name but a few. It was Vivien’s mission in Iraq (where she worked as a detention nurse for more than 18 months) which formed the basis of the nomination. Ensuring that effective healthcare is delivered in prisons is no easy task, yet Vivien managed, in the most difficult, dangerous and challenging circumstances, to ensure that detainees had their wounds and illnesses cared for. Vivien’s advocacy also brought about an improvement in sanitation facilities and in detainee nutrition.
In the words of Vivien’s colleagues in Iraq; “her voice became the voice of the detained who often cannot speak for themselves, or whose voices no one wants to hear. The needs were huge, and at times overwhelming. Vivien however remained resolutely positive, bringing her personal cheer to guards, detainees and ICRC teams alike.”
Vivien is now one of only five Irish nurses to have received this honour since the medal was first instituted back in 1912. It is hoped Vivien will be officially presented with the Florence Nightingale Medal by the Irish Red Cross later this year.