Lourdes Benitez-Careaga
PNAMDC President 2019-2021

Induction Speech
Sunday, May 11, 2019

To our distinguished guests- Honorable Consul General Renato Villa, Ms, Madelyn Yu- President of the Philippine Nurses Association of America, PNAA’s Vice President for the Eastern Region Dr. Jenny Aying – thank you for being here with us tonight. My special thanks to all the past PNAMDC presidents who has led us to where we are now today, and who through all these years, continue to inspire and guide us along the way. To the outgoing President Joy Arellano and her executive team from 2017-2019 for their last 2 years of amazing achievements, my warmest Congratulations for a job well done!

With profound gratitude and humility, I formally step up as the President of the Philippine Nurses Association of Metropolitan DC. Please allow me to express my sincerest gratitude to each one of you- dearest friends, family members, and amazing nursing colleagues for being here tonight to show your unwavering support to the Philippine Nurses Association of Metropolitan DC. To my loving husband Julian, and my favorite and sweet daughter Christine, and her wonderful husband, Dan, – thank you for your constant love and support, patience and understanding. I know that you all will be right along with me through these exciting years ahead.

Tonight, we commemorate PNAMDC’s 48th year of service to Nursing and to the community. We share with you the pride that we all feel from what had been accomplished and express our fervent hopes for a brighter future ahead. We seek your support in the continuing pursuit for our sustained growth as a high performing professional organization in the coming years. The entire leadership team is fully committed, as have all of our esteemed past Presidents and nurse leaders, to ensure that all our strategic goals and initiatives remain faithful to the mission and vision of PNAMDC. Through sincere and intentional collaborative partnerships, we will continue to stay connected and fully engaged with local and global communities, upholding the positive image of Filipino American nurses, promoting nursing professional excellence and contributing to significant outcomes to healthcare and society.

It is our promise to lead the organization and to actively engage our constituent members in “Creating a Culture of Change and Resilience through Collaboration and Empowerment”. In order to sustain our value and relevancy, PNAMDC’s organizational culture must remain dynamic- constantly adapting as healthcare transforms and evolving as societal and economic circumstances surrounding us, change. Creating a culture of change requires focus, accountability, consistency and resilience- our ability for us to be open to accept our new realities and to regain the strength to secure for ourselves and the communities that we serve, something so much better.

PNAMDC will “AIM High” incorporating Advocacy, Inclusivity and Diversity, and Mentorship. (AIM) as our key strategic priorities. Our planned initiatives and action plans will be centered around these 3 key areas for the upcoming 2 years.
Together, we will explore endless possibilities as Filipino American nurses, and collectively as a professional nursing organization in re-defining our value proposition. We will break down silos, and peel off barriers and feel as empowered as possible to make a difference not only in our own specific practice settings but encompassing our local and global communities as citizens of the world. In unison with all our other nursing colleagues locally, nationally and internationally, we will be active in confronting the ongoing healthcare issues and dramatic challenges that the healthcare system in the US and globally continue to face. In alignment with PNAA and its mantra of Advocacy- PNAMDC will utilize opportunities to advocate for solutions to ongoing healthcare issues such as rising health care costs, health care disparities, and improving the care of our most vulnerable patient populations.

Our time calls for change- a change on how we view and think, to challenge the status quo, to look at other perspectives and embrace other realities- to welcome Inclusivity and Diversity in the pursuit of our mutual goals and common purpose. It bids us all to be assertive yet adaptive, to be resilient and to be as mindful and respectful of the various significant roles that we all can play, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, religious and political affiliation, or title. Through open and diverse discussions, we can come up with innovative approaches and highly effective solutions to the issues that we currently face.

We will implement intentional, authentic, and relationship-based mentorship opportunities for our constituent members. Through a joint collaborative work between our Educational and Scholarship Committees, the eCAMP initiative (Education, Certification, and Mentorship program) will be developed. In addition to our active community outreach activities, we will continue to invest in solid support of the value of continuing professional growth, development and life-long learning for our constituent members. For as we actively pursue professional growth and life-long learning there is empowerment. And empowered nurses contribute in major ways in achieving optimal population health and clinical outcomes.

Just last week on a recent trip to Maui, Julian and I had a chance to watch the beautiful sunrise at the summit of Haleakala. Up there, at Haleakala’s peak, at 9240 feet above sea level, it seemed like the sky and the clouds are just within arms’ reach. As we all stood in awe, watching the sun as it rises, and as the darkness of the night gradually faded away, I read this short inscription embroidered on the warm jackets that we wore and it simply read “Do Good, Have Fun”. These 4 words, as brief and simple as they may be, made me more aware of what life should really be all about; it was also a gentle reminder of how I see PNAMDC through its 48 years of service, has faithfully dedicated itself to provide its members and so many others- through all its initiatives the opportunity to “do good and have fun”.

In closing, with the fullest respect and honor to our past, and the clear realization of the present tasks that we face, we will look ahead to a brighter future, with great anticipation and big hopes that as God gives us the grace, PNAMDC will create a positive change within ourselves, within the organization but most of all to the patient population and the communities that we are privileged to serve. I invite you to join us in this very exciting journey! AIM High, (Advocacy, Inclusivity and Mentorship) and most importantly let us remember- to “Do Good, And Have Fun”!!