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National Department of Health and Discovery Health partner to recognise leaders in nursing excellence in the public and private sectors

Press release   •   May 12, 2015 10:46 CAT

Discovery today announced a new partnership with the National Department of Health (NDoH) to recognise and reward leaders in nursing excellence in the public and private sectors.The announcement was made on International Nurse’s Day. The anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth; and a day dedicated to awareness of the vital role nurses play in healthcare and in providing quality care for the best patient health outcomes.

In partnership with the NDoH, another award category, the Cecilia Makiwane Award for nursing excellence in the public sector, will be added to the Discovery Excellence Awards for Nurses (DEAN) from 2015. Discovery introduced the DEAN in May 2014 to reward and encourage individual and team nursing excellence, and to strengthen the healthcare system through further education and training of nurses in the private sector.

“With the announcement of this partnership, the recognition of leaders in nursing excellence through the Discovery Excellence Awards for Nurses will now be extended to include the public sector. Through collaborations such as these, Discovery’s goal is to support the improvement of the quality of healthcare in South Africa,” said Dr Dumani Kula, Head of Risk Management at Discovery Health. Commenting on the aim of the awards, he said, “The aim is to inspire and recognise nurses in the primary role they play in ensuring optimal patient outcomes. Through the Cecilia Makiwane Award for nursing excellence in the public sector, we hope to empower high-quality nursing as we acknowledge those who lead in the delivery of efficient patient care, often in a highly demanding work environment.”

The award category was named after the pioneering Cecilia Makiwane – the first black registered professional nurse in South Africa. She was registered in 1907 and played a leading role in not only quality nursing care, but also in human rights matters. An award was initially set up in her honour in 2002, which will now be part of DEAN in the public sector.

Those in the nursing profession makeup a large part of the health workforce, and they are well placed to drive efficiency and effectiveness in care. In partnership with Discovery and the NDoH, the Cecilia Makiwane Award will further these aims. Along with receiving an accolade in nursing excellence, winners will also have an opportunity to qualify further and improve their career prospects.

Nomination, selection and recognition in the Cecilia Makiwane and DEAN Awards

The selection process for the Cecilia Makiwane Award category is still being finalised and will be announced at a later date.

Quarterly Awards winners in the Discovery Excellence Awards for Nurses (DEAN) are identified from Discovery Health Medical Scheme members’ feedback on their hospital experiences. In both categories, quarterly winners will complete a questionnaire to be short listed for interviews with an independent panel of judges from local academic institutions and the South African Nursing Council.

This panel will select winners for DEAN in the private sector and for the Cecilia Makiwane Award in the public sector. Annual winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in November.

For more information about the Discovery Excellence Awards for Nurses (DEAN), contact: Rachel Nduku on 011 529 7516 or email


For media queries contact Nozuko Basson on 011 529 1450 or email

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