By: Sueann Wickham

In the health care system, there exists individuals whose dedication transcends the ordinary; whose sense of compassion illuminates even the darkest of moments; and whose impact reverberates far beyond the confines of hospital walls. Nurse Adasia Vanessa Gilead is among those who stand as a beacon of hope and inspiration, embodying the essence of excellence in patient care and advocacy.

Due to her unwavering commitment and advocacy in healthcare, Gilead was recently selected as an Awardee of the 25 Influential Women Leaders Award. She brings over five years of experience in professional nursing and her journey thus far has been marked by resilience, empathy, and an unwavering commitment to making a difference in the lives of those she serves.

Speaking to the Guyana Standard on her journey leading up to her recent recognition, she pinpointed the loss of her mother to cancer, which fueled her determination to make a difference in the realm of health, particularly with cancer care. “My personal experience with loss has deeply influenced my approach to supporting cancer patients,” she shared.

Throughout her career, she has always been keen on refining her approach to patient care, which has been rooted in the belief that every individual deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, and personalized attention. She emphasized the importance of holistic care, addressing not only the physical ailments but also the emotional and mental well-being of her patients. As she eloquently puts it, “Prioritizing individualized care for each patient is at the core of my nursing practice.”

Currently, Gilead works at the New Amsterdam Family Clinic, and deals with HIV/AIDS patients. Her medical rotation has included the New Amsterdam Regional Hospital and Mibucuri District Hospital.

She is also the Provost, Bursar, and Registrar of Royalty International University of Theological Education based in the United States.

In her professional nursing graduation, she was awarded the Tutor’s Award which is the most prestigious award granted to the graduating registered nurses who display discipline and compassion to patients and their relatives.

One of the most impactful initiatives spearheaded by Gilead is the collaborative programme, “Operation MENTAL HEALTH!” This innovative programme, developed in partnership with her husband, Dr. Moses John Roderique, a Clinical Psychologist, aims to bridge the gap between physical and mental health care. Through educational workshops, group therapy sessions, and individual counseling, Gilead and her team empower patients to manage their mental health challenges effectively. The success of this programme is evident in the transformative outcomes witnessed among patients, as Gilead affirms, “The results have been truly remarkable.”

Each patient interaction serves as a poignant reminder of the profound impact nurses can have on the lives of others, she noted. Gilead also recounted a memorable experience with a terminally ill patient, where her compassionate care brought comfort and solace during his final days. “The gratitude expressed by his family and the peace he found in his final moments reaffirmed my dedication to nursing,” she shared, underscoring the profound privilege and responsibility inherent in the nursing profession.

Beyond her clinical duties, Gilead is a fervent advocate for raising awareness of critical issues faced by patients, such as discrimination and mental health conditions. Through her initiatives, she has catalyzed positive change, reducing stigma, increasing access to services, and ultimately improving the quality of care for those in need.

She took pride in actively fostering a positive work environment and inspiring her colleagues to excel in their roles. By leading by example, promoting open communication, and recognizing achievements, she aims to cultivate a culture of collaboration and excellence within her team. According to Gilead, her efforts to empower and uplift her colleagues contribute to a supportive and nurturing workplace environment where everyone thrives.

Central to Gilead’s vision for the future is the establishment of a comprehensive cancer center in Guyana. This visionary project aims to provide a wide range of services, including clinical management, diagnostic services, treatment options, and survivorship programs. By engaging various stakeholders and fostering collaboration, Gilead envisions a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care that addresses the diverse needs of patients and their families.

In the face of challenges, Gilead’s resilience and determination often shine through. The industrious nurse said she navigates obstacles with grace, seeking innovative solutions and rallying support from like-minded individuals. Her commitment to staying updated with the latest advancements in healthcare also reflects her dedication to providing evidence-based, high-quality care to her patients.

In 2024, Gilead’s exceptional contributions to healthcare and her dedication to driving positive change have rightfully earned her recognition as an Awardee of the 25 Influential Women Leaders Award in Guyana. She stated that her journey is a testament to the transformative power of compassion, resilience, and unwavering commitment to excellence in healthcare. Guyana Standard understands that Gilead will officially receive her award on May 18.

Looking ahead, Gilead’s aspirations for the future are ambitious and noble, reflecting her steadfast commitment to driving positive change in healthcare delivery. Her goals encompass strengthening primary healthcare infrastructure, enhancing the nursing profession, engaging in healthcare research and innovation, empowering the next generation of healthcare professionals, and promoting health equity. Her visionary approach and tireless dedication positions her as a driving force for transformative change in Guyana’s healthcare landscape.

As she continues to inspire and impact lives, she hopes to remain a shining example of leadership and compassion in the nursing profession.


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