• May 03, 2022 5:48 AM | Anonymous

    Leading PNAA for the past two years has been challenging as it did not allow me to travel and meet our local chapters and members. I believe in a top-down and bottom-up communication. Thus, I provided the tools to our RVPs through the virtual forums to connect with our members and create a meaningful conversation to share best practices and address operational challenges at the local chapters. From professional development, grant-making, and personal engagements, I hope that your regional leaders and circle of presidents cascaded these offerings to each chapter that they serve.  I rely on their ability to communicate and amplify the various programs that we have created to ensure that we reach all our 4,500++ members. I also trust their judgment to escalate issues and concerns of our members as they serve as the boots on the ground as middle managers of our organization. The RVPs hold a key role in managing the communication from the top down to bottom-up. Each one of our executive board has a responsibility to stay cohesive and provide support to our members. Your voice matters as you are the ones making a difference at the bedside, boardroom, and in the community.

    What have we provided for the second year of our term?

    In the first quarter of 2021, I kicked off the oral history in collaboration with the Justly Team as a platform to highlight our members’ journey in their nursing career and share their COVID-19 stories. This resulted to over 100++ video clips that described members’ experience as leaders, mentors/mentees, immigration and education, and diversity. My goal is for our members to relate in these stories, find meaning in their own migration journey and pride in belonging to PNAA.

    I represented PNAA in various virtual webinars and education events sponsored by ANA, NCEMNA, AARP, ANHE, AAS, APIAHF, APAICS, AHC, Campaign for Action through the RWJ Foundation, CGFNS Alliance, National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physician, NYS HIMSS, Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research and other local PNA chapters. These engagements created visibility that aligns with our mission in promoting the positive image of our Filipino-American nurses. Likewise, our executive board and committee chairs have actively presented in various forums as we reaffirm the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

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    According to Quincy Adams, 6th President of the USA, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” I see this character in our chapter leaders and members.  PNAA is a professional organization, and I am a believer in the importance of professional development in shaping oneself as a leader. Through our leadership institute, iLDP, and masterclass workshops, I worked with various committees in providing an environment for each one of you to thrive and have a sense of belonging.  Our Education Chair Dr. Emerson Ea worked together with our Practice Committee and ANCC Program Director Dr. Notch Brydges, in collaboration with chapter education chairs in designing clinical updates and leadership activities. We have delivered over 92,600 total contact hours at our regional, national, and international conferences.

    With the support of PNAAF, we kicked off our Podcast highlighting the work of our nurses in promoting vaccine trust in our community. Recently, our PNASD chapter received an incentive in helping us implement the eVAC grant by hosting a webinar. Reading the email from Ms. Crisabel Ramos “our hearts are filled with joy for PNAA and PNAAF’s continued support” made my day and reaffirm my commitment to stay focus. What I learned early on as a leader is if no one is criticizing your leadership, then you are not leading the organization correctly to grow, innovate, and explore endless possibilities. Leadership and leading during the pandemic required mental toughness, strength, and faith. Most importantly, I am blessed to be surrounded by like-minded people who stayed focus on the goals and objectives of the organization and the members that we serve.

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    Celebrating Nurses Month for 2022

    On behalf of the Philippine Nurses Association of America, I would like to greet our members and nursing colleagues a Happy Nurses Month Celebration. This year, our association aligned our weekly activities based on the American Nurses Association’s theme “You Make a Difference” which coincidentally was the theme of our 20th PNAA President Madelyn Yu for 2018-2020.

    For the first week of May (1-7), the focus of our activity is on Self-care. Our COVID-19 Task Force Chair Dr. Jennifer Aying coordinated a webinar on “Paths to Healing & Spiritual Wellness” led by Reverend Alice Cabotaje, Director of Spiritual Care and Education at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

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    The event was attended by members from PNA Metro DC, New England, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Southeast Florida, Metro Houston, Ohio, Northern California, Central California and livestreamed via Facebook reaching over 492 people. Rev. Cabotaje allowed us to reflect on “What does it mean to truly live, see, listen, kind and be free?”  Her advice to take time to grieve our losses and to work through our grief resonated to our audience.  We continue to provide mental health and well being topics at our upcoming 19th North Central Region Conference on May 6-8, 2022 at Chicago, Illinois. Our host chapter PNA Northwest Indiana have invited speakers that will discuss compassion fatigue and look at our readiness to heal. I hope that our members will avail of these well-thought program that our education committee have prepared for to promote engagement with our NCR members.

    On the second week of May (8-14), PNAA collaborated with PNAAF in recognizing our nurses in a virtual program titled “Bayani ng Mundo” a special campaign honoring our healthcare heroes. Through the leadership of Ms. Teresa Damito and Col. Bob Gahol (ret.), PNAA have gathered special greetings from Philippine government officials and nursing leaders and songs from famous Filipino artists to appreciate our members. We look forward to seeing you on May 14, 2022 from 6-8PM EST. 

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    Week 3 (May 15-21)and Week 4 (May 22-31)

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    To promote professional development, our Practice Committee Chair Dr. Riza Mauricio scheduled a virtual webinar on May 28, 2022 from 11am-1pm EST in collaboration with AstraZeneca on relevant topic on chronic kidney disease that will be discussed by Dr. Crisamar Anunciado and FNP Melanie Sherman. We look forward to hearing from our Executive Director Carmina Bautista who will talk about the burden of obesity.   A 1.0 contact hour will be provided to the attendees. 

    In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, PNAA is partnering with ALL In organizers to focus on community engagement. We are planning a webinar with AAPINA and ANA to highlight the contributions of AAPI in addressing health equity our community .

    These curated updates are only a portion of the tremendous work that I have been working for almost two years. I appreciate individuals who sent kind notes, simple gifts and cards expressing their sincere appreciation for the work that we have accomplished. I know the struggles and the uncertainties that you have gone through as I have experienced it from my end. I am grateful for YOUR grit and perseverance to always give more than 100% of your compassion not only for your patients but to our community. You hold the key to PNAA's success. Thank you for your SPARK! Have a great nurses’ month celebration and Mabuhay - Happy AAPI Heritage month.


    Mary Joy Garcia-Dia, DNP, RN, FAAN

    PNAA President, 2020-2022

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