Building a Community: FCNA – Tampa Bay Area
by Liw Villagomeza, PhD, RN, CCRN-K
Janella Puyot, BSN, RN, CCRN
Collaboration, the act of working with another to create something, multiplies results! This is being proven by the collaboration of PNA of Tampa Bay and PNA Gulf Coast Florida. At our recently held General Assembly on November 16 at the James Haley VA Hospital, Tampa, Florida, we achieved the goal of laying the foundation of the Filipino Cancer Network of America (FCNA) - Tampa Bay Area. The impetus to make this a collaborative effort is the fact that we serve the same Filipino-American community.
The General Assembly’s Theme, “Building a Community: FCNA – Tampa Bay” served as our inspiration in developing the Mission, Vision, and Values (MVV) Statements of FCNA - Tampa Bay Area. Our goal was to demonstrate that in working together we can build a cancer support group for our local Filipino-American community. We started aspiring to establish a local FCNA initiative a few years ago and is now becoming a reality. We attribute this progress to the leadership of PNAA’s South Central Region VP Dr. Gloria Beriones. SCR set a goal to establish FCNAs across all chapters in the South Central Region. At the General Assembly, attendees from both chapters actively participated in drafting FCNA Tampa Bay Area’s MVV. Our MVV statements have not been finalized but we are ready to share our Statement of Values expressed by the acronym C A N C E R.
C for Commitment
A for Access to resources
N for Nurturing
C for Caring and Compassion
E for Empathy and Encouragement
R for Respect Wishes
Through collaboration, we achieved the goal of laying the foundation of FCNA - Tampa Bay Area. From here, we will continue to build a support community for cancer survivors and their families.
Reflections of Visit to the Philippines
By Orpha Mineque
My 3.5 weeks visit to the Philippines had been one of the best. It had afforded me to travel around my hometown, the beautiful islands of Romblon. The trip gave me the opportunities to reconnect relationships with my classmates from high school, batch 80 at 40, my family and friends. It gave me a different perspective on life, living in its simplicity and quietness as I wake up to the sound of waves, the pristine waters, white sanded beaches and fishermen coming from their fishing trip with their catch. Simple living at its best.
Most of my adult life had been spent in the USA working as an RN in MICU and running our Assisted Living Facility for the last two decades. All these years I found myself always chasing time extending myself in committees at work, the Philippine Nurses Association of America serving as a member of one of the committees and our local chapter the Philippine Nurses of America of Gulf Coast Florida Inc. where I served as a member of the Advisory Board. Many times, I’m asked by my friends and colleagues how I managed to do what I’ve been doing through the years. To keep my sanity, I developed ways on how I would cope with everyday challenges and stay above all chaos surrounding me. I began to explore myself on the things that I could do to find enjoyment. In my quest for simple pleasures, I began to love photography, travel, joined medical mission trips, dancing, writing, singing karaoke and even tried painting. Beautiful gifts God had given me that will keep me going through my life’s journey.
Philippines has been one country that is hard hit by calamities yearly. In December 2019 two strong typhoons, Tisoy and Ursula visited the country and left devastation in a lot of areas. Taal Volcano erupted and sent ash falls that covered neighboring towns, displacing thousands of residents from their homes. PNAGF advisory board members, Tita Ravi and Alma Asuncion visited affected areas in Tagaytay and Talisay to hand out rice to some calamity victims.
My trip culminated in a two-day educational conference held at one of the most sought tourist spots in the Philippines, the Boracay Islands. The Filipino Nurses Global Summit III and International Nursing Conference 12 was sponsored by four nursing organizations: The Philippine Nurses Association of America Inc., The Philippine Nurses Association Inc., Association of Deans of Philippine Colleges of Nursing, and Nursing Coalition for Filipinos Overseas.
On the first day of the conference, the speakers tackled the subject: The Planet is our Patient: Nurses Leading Transformative Climate Action and Developing Resilient Communities. Discussions were presented on the science and signals of climate change that amplify vulnerabilities in local and global health, the nursing roles were described in addressing the health impact of climate change. Insights were also given from experiences and initiatives related to developing resilience and mitigating climate-related threats. It was also on this day, January 21, 2020 that the collaborative declaration of Filipino Nurses Committing to Climate Actions: Mother Earth is our Patient , Healthy People, Healthy Planet was signed by Madelyn D. Yu, MSN, RN, President, PNAA, Erlinda C. Palaganas, PhD, RN, President , PNA and MaryGrace C. Lacanaria, PhD, MAEd, RN, President,ADPCN.
On the second day of the conference the speakers spoke about Nursing Advocacy: Advancing our Mission Globally through Leadership, Collaboration, Engagement and Empowerment. Its objectives were to describe the nurses’ role in global education and research and identify opportunities in emerging issues and trends in clinical practice.
What can we do in our own little ways to care for Mother Earth, the challenge starts from every one of us! Think green, limit emissions!
The attendees were also treated to a fun filled event during the Networking Night that highlighted the announcement of 15 student nurses from various nursing colleges who were granted a scholarship to attend the Filipino Nurses Global Summit II, International Nursing Conference 12 who met the set criteria, contribute to the nursing profession and the community specifically planetary health. The individual sponsors and organizations for the scholarship were also given acknowledgement that included the Philippine Nurses Association of Gulf Coast Florida Inc.
Interestingly, nursing educators in the Philippines are currently working together to add classes on Planetary Health in the Nursing Curriculum.
Members of the Philippine Nurses Association of America were visible in several communities in the Philippines post conference through the Balik Turo Programs (Teaching Back), Medical/Surgical Missions, Feeding Programs, on site visit to devastated areas from Taal Volcano eruption, among others.
Please visit mypnaa.org for live coverage of the Filipino Nurses Global Summit II and International Nursing Conference 12.
By: Orpha Ale Mineque, RN, BSN, CCRN
Delegate, Filipino Nurses Global Summit II and International Nursing Conference 12.