Filipina nurse Minnie Klepacz, a matron at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her work during the COVID-19 epidemic.
University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) NHS Foundation Trust announced on October 10, 2020, the recognition given to Klepacz during the annual celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday.
“What an incredibly proud day for Team UHD – our brilliant matron Minnie has been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list and awarded a British Empire Medal!”
“Minnie was honoured for her tireless work to support her colleagues and community during Covid-19, and said she feels ‘truly humbled’ to be recognised.”
Nurse Minnie is among the 414 individuals awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2020 edition of the awards.
Minnie Klepacz, as the matron for ophthalmology, leads her hospital’s Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) network and is credited for driving the UHD NHS Trust’s response to provide risk assessments for all BAME staff, as well as having created a wellbeing hub for her staff to relax.
Outside her daily matron duties, Klepacz was also credited for her work with the Filipino community, cooking meals for colleagues who were recovering after being in intensive care, helping others move house and organising virtual community events to offer comfort and reassurance.
“When I saw an email from the Cabinet Office I was so worried and thought I’d done something wrong. I plucked up the courage to read it again and responded asking if it was a spam email because I just couldn’t believe it. They told me it was true and then rang me to reassure me, I couldn’t believe it,” Klepacz recounted how she learned of the unexpected award.
“This award is not just for me, it’s for everyone who works here and goes above and beyond. As a Filipino, I’d also like to share this award with all staff from a BAME background.
“I’m truly humbled to work with amazing colleagues. They inspire me and give me confidence.”
The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Dorset said Minnie Klepacz was only 17 years old when she came from Manila to work at the hospital in November 2002.
Speaking about being recognized as a frontline worker during the COVID-19 pandemic, nurse Minnie shared: “Covid was really challenging, and most hospital staff affected by it came from a BAME background. I had my own worries but I had to put that aside and think, how can I support people, what act of kindness and humanity can I provide. If people need help, then I’ll help them.”
Minnie Klepacz keeps her ties to the Philippines where her mother still resides.
“I’m going to send my medal home to the Philippines. Growing up, my mum always used to display all our awards prominently in the lounge as she was so proud of us all. As I can’t visit my family right now, it’s only right they have my medal,” the Filipino health worker said.
Filipino driver Roland Quitevis of the UK embassy received the British Empire Medal from Queen Elizabeth II in the 2019 edition of the awards.
Another Filipino nurse, Joy Ongcachuy, made the 2019 New Year’s Honours list of the Office of the British Empire Awards.
Two Filipino members of the consular section at the British Embassy in Manila were also honored by Britain’s Queen for their efforts during the Yolanda typhoon in the Philippines.
SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipina nurse Minnie Klepacz for being awarded the 2020 British Empire Medal for her Covid 19 work.
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