Culver City Nurse Spreads Love and Hope Around the World

Retires After Three Decades at Culver City Hospital

Few employees can boast that they've worked in every hospital department, but in her 33 years at Southern California Hospital at Culver City, Enid McKenzie, RN, can do just that.

McKenzie's career began when she joined the hospital after moving from Belize in 1973. She always loved helping people medically; but 20 years ago, she transferred to behavioral health where she found her niche-a place where she could partner both her medical skills with her desire to help those with mental health issues.

"Working on the medical floors was really great, but I always knew from nursing school that I gravitated toward people with behavioral health problems," she recalled. "While some people are uncomfortable around those with behavior issues, I have a heart of compassion and love for these patients who require both medical care and emotional comfort and love. I care about their whole health."

McKenzie and the nursing staff are often the first point of contact for a patient in the unit when patients are evaluated to determine their condition. Even in crisis situations Enid approaches patient with confidence and love, finding that patients respond better if you are not fearful.

"I love working at Southern California Hospital at Culver City for both the patients and the people," she said. "I had many chances to work elsewhere, but I always stayed at this hospital because it's like a family. After moving from another country, I felt right at home immediately. People care about and help each other out."

Giving encouragement is right up McKenzie's alley. After leaving the hospital, her "other job" begins. She is an ordained minister at Bakayaad (Behind the Yard) Global Ministry, which reaches out locally and globally to any community or "yard" that others don't want to go.

McKenzie's day begins as early as 5 a.m. when she leads a Prayer Line with a team who prays for those in need seven days a week. On Thursdays, she holds a group bible study and on Sundays, she visits seniors at Elderly for the Pacific and other centers. In addition, she facilitates an LA-based young women's crisis and mentors' program.

Not satisfied with just volunteering locally, for the last 12 years, McKenzie has made an annual self-financed trek to Belize, Africa and Haiti to help children. She brings toys and schools supplies to orphans, as well as instructs university students on various life, entrepreneurial and leadership skills. This includes how to grow foods rich in protein, such as yams and cassava, and T-shirt making, which helps them be self-sustaining and finance their education.

"As the saying goes, you can give a student a fish and they are thankful and will appreciate it immensely," McKenzie said. "But if you teach them how to fish, you are giving them a future."

"Enid sets a high bar and she is an example for others," said Barbara Neefs, behavioral health director. "She is very compassionate and inspires those around her. She gives endlessly-both in her work and community."

Enid has decided to retire and said that her life will now be fully devoted to all her volunteer and charitable work.

About Behavioral Health at Southern California Hospitals

Using an integrative health approach, Prospect Medical's behavioral health network includes more than 160 beds in Culver City, Bellflower and Van Nuys, and includes the behavioral health unit and Miracles Detox at Southern California Hospital at Culver City.


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