Award winner Margaret Helen Shepherd from the UK with Dr Azad Moopen and other representatives during the award ceremony in London on Friday Image Credit: Supplied

London: Margaret Helen Shepherd from UK was announced as the winner of the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award 2023 at an award ceremony held at Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London on International Nurses Day yesterday.

The winner was announced by Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare. The award was presented by Professor Jamie Waterall, Deputy Chief Public Health Nurse for the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities at Government of UK alongside Sheila Sobrany – President of Royal College of Nursing; Alisha Moopen, Deputy Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare; and TJ Wilson – Executive Director and Group Head – Governance and Corporate Affairs, Aster DM Healthcare.

First launched on International Nurses Day in May 2021 by Aster DM Healthcare, with an aim to recognise the contribution of nurses to millions of patients worldwide, the latest Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award received an submissions of over 52,000 nurses from 202 countries, marking a 116 per cent growth from the previous edition.

The award ceremony also saw a video message from Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of World Health Organisation, congratulating the finalists and thanking Aster DM Healthcare for the initiative.

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‘I feel blessed’

On winning the award, Nurse Margaret said: “I am deeply humbled and grateful to receive the prestigious Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award. As healthcare professionals, we are privileged to be able to make a positive impact on the lives of our patients, and I feel blessed to be part of such a rewarding profession. This award not only recognises my personal achievements but also highlights the importance of nursing as a critical component of healthcare. Thank you to all my colleagues, mentors, and patients who have supported me throughout my career.”

Valuable work

Margaret has been dedicated to improving diabetes care through better diagnosis. She is the leading nurse for monogenic diabetes in the UK and provides advice to clinicians across the world regarding the management of this condition. She set up a national network of genetic diabetes nurses in 2002 to increase awareness of this condition (which is initially misdiagnosed in 80 per cent of cases, resulting in patients being treated with unnecessary insulin injections).

She was one of 70 national NIHR70@70 Senior Nurse Research Leaders (driving innovation and new roles to increase research awareness and engagement within clinical care) and has received the prestigious Florence Nightingale Foundation Leadership Scholarship.

Setting standards

Dr Moopen said: “We are honoured to announce Ms Margaret Helen Shepherd from the United Kingdom as the winner of this year’s Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award. She has exemplified the highest standards of patient care and dedication that is inspirational, and it deserves global recognition. Each one of the top 10 finalists have done phenomenal work and the Grand Jury had a tough time assessing and selecting the final winner. We are privileged to offer Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award as a platform to share and honor the accomplishments of exceptional nurses from around the globe.”

Due recognition

Alisha Moopen said: “Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award is a small yet significant expression of gratitude that aligns with this year’s International Nurses Day theme, ‘Our Nurses. Our Future’. Nurses ensure that patients receive high-quality care and often go beyond their call of duty to ensure that the right care is provided. This often helps them develop into other areas like research, innovation, mentorship, education, digitisation among others as the stories of this year’s finalists and the winner have showcased.”

She added: “We as individuals and organisations must ensure that they receive the recognition they deserve, and this is where initiatives like Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award come into play. As a group, we will continue to support and celebrate the tireless efforts of nurses and put forth their inspiring stories of excellence.”

The rest of the nine finalists were also awarded with a monetary prize.

These nurses were selected through a review process run by Ernst & Young LLP, a panel of Screening-Jury and the Grand Jury.