Pinay nurse in UK awarded the British Empire Medal by Queen Elizabeth II

Image: CNN Philippines/National Health Service UK

Despite all the depressing accounts about the plights of Filipino frontliners here and abroad, it’s still a delight to hear whenever their courage and spirit is recognized, more so rewarded.

That’s what happened to Minerva “Minnie” Klepacz, a Filipina nurse based in the UK, who was recently recognized by Queen Elizabeth II herself in The Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honors List and was bestowed a British Empire Medal.

Klepacz, a matron of ophthalmology working at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital in Dorset, UK, was awarded the British Empire Medal last October 10 for her “tireless work to support her colleagues and community,” the UHD National Health Service Foundation Trust published.

Ever since Klepacz immigrated from Manila 19 years ago as a teenager, she has rendered service to the same Dorset-based hospital. Today, she leads the Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) network at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, offering risk assistance for its staff. She has also supported the Filipino community in the UK by spending time beyond business hours cooking meals for colleagues who are resting after long shifts in intensive care, as well as by organizing virtual community events that offer comfort and reassurance.

Klepacz is among the 414 names on The Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honors List. It comprises of unsung heroes who have stood determined in providing service amidst the global health crisis.


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