‘I am wowed by the ease of doing business’
OUR MEMBERS aren’t just savers, they are owners of the credit union. We highlight a credit union share owner, Doreen Cushnie from NAJ & Health Services Co-operative Credit Union.
Q. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A NURSE, AND DO YOU HAVE AN AREA OF SPECIALISATION?
A. I began working in January 1995 at The University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) and in 1997, I successfully completed training in midwifery to become a registered nurse midwife. I have been working in the field of midwifery ever since. I am currently the clinical nurse manager for the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Programme at the UHWI, where I have spent my entire nursing career.
Q. HOW DOES YOUR FAMILY FEEL ABOUT YOU BEING ON THE FRONT LINE DURING THIS PANDEMIC?
A. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown serious challenges at the health sector and has caused us many anxious, and even fearful, moments. As challenging as it is for us as individual nurses, there is a greater level of challenge to me as a manager, because there are so many nurses and support staff looking to me for leadership and reassurance.
As such, I often spend long hours at work, which reduces the time spent at home. Fortunately, I’m mother to a young adult son (who is currently attending the UWI), and he understands and supports me in the work I do. Although he’s concerned for my safety, he’s reassured that my training and years of experience has equipped me to face such challenges, and he also understands that we use the appropriate personal protective equipment to minimise/eliminate exposure. My elderly mother and my siblings are the ones who express a bit more concern for my safety, but they encourage and support me and are always praying for me.
Q. WHICH CREDIT UNION ARE YOU A MEMBER OF AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A MEMBER?
A. I have been a member of the NAJ & Health Services Co-operative Credit Union for over 20 years, and what I love most is that when I walk into the offices or even call on the telephone, I am recognised and greeted by name and not as a random customer.
In 2017, I answered the call to serve as a volunteer with the credit union and served as assistant board secretary for two years and am currently the board secretary. I have gained invaluable insights into the operations of the credit union movement as well as gaining new knowledge and have grown personally as a result of this experience and have no regrets in accepting the call to serve. I also encourage other credit union members to offer their service as a volunteer in any way possible and in so doing, contribute to the forward and upward movement of our credit unions.
A. I must confess that I have mostly been a saver with the credit union over the years, but in recent years, I have begun utilising the loan facilities offered by the credit union, and I am really excited and wowed by the ease of doing business as well as the rates they offer. The personalised service and the friendly family atmosphere makes the experience even more endearing.
I would encourage everyone to join a credit union and benefit from the wonderful services and products offered as well as bask in the family atmosphere, because all members are owners of their credit union.
Q. WHEN YOU ARE NOT ON THE JOB, WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH YOUR FAMILY?
A. Road trips rate as one of the top activities for family time; the last one was to Dunn’s River Falls, and my son and I actually did the climb twice. I have lived in Kingston for over 30 years, but I was born and raised in a very rural area of Manchester and I absolutely love the countryside. My mom and some siblings still reside in Manchester and St Elizabeth, and so we make frequent trips out of town to visit with them, and also to discover and enjoy new places. I sometimes take along friends for the journey.
Rural life holds a very special place in my heart and although life was far from easy while growing up, we had tons of fun and learned valuable lessons and life skills, and every trip brings back fond memories. My son loves driving and with him being able to take turns in driving, it makes the trips even more exciting as I can enjoy the sights and scenes while being chauffeured.
Q. ARE ANY OF YOUR CHILDREN SAVERS OR MEMBERS OF THE CREDIT UNION?
A. My son was gifted with an account at a credit union as a birthday gift some years ago and so yes, he is a member of the credit union family, although not at the one I am affiliated with. I am, however, pleased that he’s joined the family, and I keep educating him on the benefits of remaining a member.
I would encourage all members to introduce their children to the credit union at an early age and get them introduced to basic money management by getting them to start saving as a Youth Saver.