Philippine Nurses Association of America, Induction of Officers
Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
Leticia C. Hermosa, PNAA President 2014-2016
June 28, 2014
His Excellency, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr.; PNAA Executive Board and Advisory Council; State Chapter Officers and members; my fellow nurses, distinguished guests:
I stand before you tonight to accept the task as President of the Philippine Nurses Association of America. I am grateful for the trust and confidence that you have bestowed upon me to lead our organization. I thank Victoria Navarro and the PNAA 2012-2014 Executive Board and her Cabinet for their services to PNAA during the past two years. I thank the Chapter Presidents and Officers for their continued dedication and generosity in contributing their times and talents, as well as their families and love ones who supported them in carrying out the mission of PNAA. Seventeen PNAA presidents have now taken the presidential oath since 1979. Over the years, PNAA has carried on, because our leaders remained faithful and committed to PNAA’s mission to promote the interest of our fellow Filipino-American nurses throughout the United States and the Philippines. As we consider the challenging responsibilities that unfold before us, we remember with humble gratitude our PNAA Advisory Council, who at this very moment, continue to guide us so that we may continue to follow the path that they once paved for us. We honor them not only because they are the guardians of our organization, but because they embody the spirit of commitment to service — the willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. When I declared my oath of office and accepted the responsibilities that go with it, I also pledged that I will continue to carry the same spirit and commitment that our past presidents have done before us. I shall work with the PNAA Executive Board and Chapter leaders, so that together, we shall continue to build and sustain the strength of PNAA and move it forward to greater heights. Today, we all know that we are challenged by the changing landscape of our times: be it healthcare, economics, politics, world news, social responsibilities.
Our challenges may be new, and the instruments with which we confront them may be new, such as new technology, new knowledge, new people, but the values upon which our success depends: hard work, accountability, courage, tolerance, curiosity, teamwork: these things are not new. The challenging part is putting these values into action. With guidance from colleagues and a vision of where we are heading as an organization, I chose three actions words as the theme during my tenure: “Lead, Empower, Transform.” Three simple words, but powerful, challenging, dynamic, and energizing. These are not new concepts. We had leaders since the start of mankind. We have heard “empowerment” a million times. Transformation of healthcare was reconceptualized, when congress passed and the President signed into law, the comprehensive health care legislation. These three powerful words will only have true meaning when we put them into action.
As president, it is my responsibility to lead our organization with purpose and a clear vision of where PNAA should be heading to. Alongside with the Executive Board, we need to examine and reevaluate our mission, goals and Bylaws, to ensure that they continue to be relevant to today’s changing landscape and still meet the needs of the wide spectrum of generations and backgrounds of our fellow nurses. To lead is to empower our leaders, especially our Regional Vice Presidents so that they can lead their regions with confidence and good sense of direction, but still maintain the autonomy of individual chapters. As an organization, we have the opportunity to play an active role in transforming our healthcare delivery system and the quality of care. When the Institute of Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson issued their recommendations on the Future of Nursing in 2011, a year after the enactment of Health Care Reform, they issued bold national recommendations, including transformation of the nursing workforce, and nursing education system. They defined a clear agenda and blueprint for action, including changes in public and institutional polices at the national, state and local levels.
During the next two years, we will work in collaboration with other professional nursing organizations across the country, and join the coalition for action to transform health care through nursing. At the anniversary of the Institute of Medicine, Dr. Risa Lavizzo- Mourey, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in her speech said, and I quote: “Nurses are always there for us during our tough times. They are the ones we turn to and trust, whether we are in hospitals looking to improve safety, physicians looking for a greater understanding of our patients, or parents looking for guidance on how to raise a healthy child. And, of course, we rely on nurses when we are patients. For all those reasons, nurses belong exactly where the IOM recommendations place them: at the center of transformative change in heath and health care”.
So with all the creative energy and talent in our hands, we will begin an era of action: Lead, Empower, Transform: Let’s Do It! Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope – For The Future of Nursing; for the Future of PNAA
In the days and months ahead, we will remove roadblocks that have slowed our creativity and have reduced our productivity. Steps will be taken aimed at restoring the balance between autonomy and responsibility. I have seen the strength of our leadership. We can and we will lead, empower and transform whenever and wherever we have the opportunity.
In closing, let me say this: I will do my best, but I will not do it alone. We have to work together. To my fellow nurses, let your voice be heard. Whenever you have a chance, say something good about your colleagues. It is time for us to join hands and commit ourselves together and strengthen the value of engagement and professionalism. Find something meaningful, something greater than yourselves.
Lead, Empower, Transform: Let’s do it!
Thank you. God Bless us all. God bless PNAA. Mabuhay ang Pilipino. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!