We are proud to announce that the Philippine Nurses Association of New Jersey Somerset County Subchapter (PNANJ Somerset) has been recognized as the recipient of the prestigious 2023 Bayani ng Mundo award. This esteemed honor, presented by the PNAA Foundation, celebrates the selfless and heroic services provided by our dedicated members and others in the nursing profession. Their unwavering commitment and sacrifices, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic and the tumultuous times of racial injustice, have exemplified the true essence of heroism.
Throughout its 20-year journey, PNANJ Somerset has played an invaluable role within the nursing community, consistently striving for professional excellence, innovative leadership, and improved health outcomes. The impact of their tireless efforts has reverberated not only across Somerset County and the Philippine Nurses Association of New Jersey (PNANJ) but also throughout the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA), uplifting the reputation and welfare of Filipino-American nurses.
At the heart of PNANJ Somerset's success lies its distinctive culture of collaboration, unity, and adaptability. This culture nurtures and empowers strong healthcare leaders who actively promote the vibrant Filipino culture within various organizations. PNANJ Somerset is renowned for its member-focused programs and community outreach activities, acting as a beacon of inspiration and support.
Two remarkable member-driven programs unique to PNANJ Somerset are the Sunshine Fund and the Scholarship & Nursing Excellence Awards. The Sunshine Fund is an extraordinary initiative, setting aside a portion of fundraised money to assist nurses during special circumstances, such as bereavement and celebrations. Additionally, PNANJ Somerset holds a biennial nursing scholarship and excellence awards ceremony, recognizing outstanding achievements and contributions to the nursing field. In May 2022, PNANJ Somerset distributed two $1,000 scholarships and honored six exceptional nursing professionals with excellence awards.
PNANJ Somerset's dedication extends beyond the confines of healthcare institutions. They deeply understand and address the social determinants of health (SDOH) that disproportionately impact vulnerable populations. This commitment is crucial in improving overall health and well-being, addressing health disparities, and striving for health equity. Through volunteering over 2,500 hours, donating over $16,000, and reaching more than 50,000 vulnerable individuals locally and internationally, PNANJ Somerset has left an indelible mark on the community.
Noteworthy among their numerous donations are contributions made to the victims of the Taal Volcano Eruption, Hurricane Ida, and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Additionally, PNANJ Somerset played a vital role in constructing a school stage and dormitory for students at the Fortunato Perez Memorial High School in Pakyas Victoria Oriental Mindoro. This dormitory has provided native Mangyan students with a conducive environment for studying, alleviating the hours they would have spent walking home to the mountains.
PNANJ Somerset's dedication to community partnership is exemplified through collaborations with esteemed organizations such as the Somerset Homeless Interim Program (SHIP), HomeFront NJ, Zarephath Christian Church, Raritan Food Pantry, Reformed Church of Highland Park, Girls on the Run, Indian Health Camp, and the Food Bank Network of Somerset County, among others. These partnerships allow for a more comprehensive and impactful approach to community outreach.
As we move forward, PNANJ Somerset continues to grow and expand its member-focused activities and community outreach programs. The strong foundation built by past presidents of the association serves as a solid platform for their future endeavors. With their unwavering determination and the shared commitment of their members, PNANJ Somerset is ready to showcase the resilience and strength of the Filipino-American nursing community under the hashtag #SomerStrong.
In a world faced with countless challenges, PNANJ Somerset's recognition as Bayani ng Mundo reinforces the importance of their invaluable contributions to healthcare and the community. Their heroic services inspire us all and remind us of the tremendous impact nurses have on saving lives and providing care, even in the face of adversity. Let us join together in honoring PNANJ Somerset and expressing our heartfelt gratitude to all the nursing heroes who continue to make a difference in the lives of countless individuals.