PHILIPPINE NURSES ASSOCIATION OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY, INC.
Fem A Ramirez, MA, RA, PHN
25th Year Anniversary of the PNA in San Diego
President 1974 -1976
As I look back 25 years ago, I cannot help but take pride in seeing the progress of this organization which successfully flourished through the evolution of difficulty but rewarding challenges. One person could not have done it. It took all of us from the beginning of its inception to present to make it. I commend the Officers and Board of Directors year after year who had accepted the challenges of leadership to no end. I may have provided the legacy of courage to organize the first few Filipino nurses in San Diego County but the viability of this organization is given credit to whom credit is due and that is to all the Presidents, Officers, Board of Directors, Committee members, and members of the Filipino Nurses Association of San Diego County who served this organization for the last 25 years.
My sincere appreciation to all the nurses who had responded to my invitation to organize the Filipino Nurses Association in June 30, 1974 at Paradise Valley Hospital, National City. The following served the organization at its infancy. President Fem A. Ramirez; Vice-President Amy Galang; Recording Secretary Cecilia Pablo; Corresponding Secretary Lisa B. Ramirez; Treasurer Clarina Chu; Press Relation Officers Rose Bella and Zeny Martinez.
The Board of Directors and Committee members were created and additional positions were added. Chris Cuesta, Connie Mirasol, Ilda Garcia, Medi Monaco, Elvie Magsarili, Lina Quesada, and Blanca Paloma served as either one of the two important positions.
In August 1974, the Filipino Nurses Association was incorporated at Sacramento with a non-profit status; tax exempt filed, walked through by the President. Amy Galang drafted the first Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, and Lipin Reyes was the first to come out with the Logo. Amy Galang spearheaded the By-Laws Committee the copy of which was forwarded to Sacramento to finalize the Incorporation.
The Program though non-political made appearances to fight for or against on political issues affecting nursing either State or Federal regulations and laws. Chris Cuesta and I joined the State delegation of Businessmen and Professionals from Los Angeles and San Diego to meet with the Governor of California to voice our concerns and asserted our stand for the issues that will affect our nursing profession. As a result, Interim Permit for nurses was approved for the nursing applicant so the nurses can practice nursing in the State of California prior to passing the State Board.
We members of FNA made ourselves known. We attended meetings for the Board of Nursing and at one point made political overture on having one of us be on the Governor's list to be appointed to the Board of Nursing for the State of California. I had the political support from the local politicians including Assemblyman James Mills as a candidate. The political support came through with Dr. Adelito Gale's inspiration. We watched it happen but that same year... the opening was not available. I was put on a waiting list.
In continuance to this concept, I personally attended a State hearing together with other minority nurses to oppose requiring new nursing applicants for the State of California, passing the CGFNS (Commission of Graduate Foreign Nurses Services) prior to NCLEX examination for the State of California and we prevailed.
The FNSD provided highly skilled Filipino Registered Nurses who pioneered with the Filipino Doctors of San Diego to open the non-profit Samahan Health Care Center. With me were the first few nurses namely: Amy Galang, Rose Seba, Betty Barrera, Connie Mirasol, Chris Cuesta, Medi Monaco, Cely Pablo, and Tessie Abella.
Let it be known that this organization had provided leadership exposure in the years past to our very own Dr. Carmen Galang as the President of the PNAA, the national nursing organization. Few of our members continued to serve the PNAA as Committee Members.
That was 25 years ago, we made it through. We had gone from the very beginning of the era of what little was available to us... to a more sophisticated successful undertaking of our Officers and members who had the commitment. We see PNSD's success this far because of you.
However, let us be reminded... as what President Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address... "this nation will be for the people, to the people, and by the people." Likewise... let us continue to press on to maintain and promote our Professional Organization for the professional growth and development of our individual members, ourselves, and our profession.