(L-R) Rhoda Redulla, Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez, and Larissa Ann Africa during their induction into the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Class of 2021

11 OCTOBER 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Nurses Association of American (PNAA) co-hosted a celebration in honor and recognition of Filipino nurses who were inducted into the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Class of 2021. The event was held at the recently named at the Quezon Hall of the Philippine Chancery Annex on 9 October 2021. 

The four new fellows are Larissa Ann Africa, MBA, BSN, RN; Erlinda Palaganas, PhD, RN; Daisy Palompon, PhD, DSN, MAN, RN; and Rhoda Redulla, DNP, RN, NPD-BC. They are now part of the Academy’s 2,700 fellows who are nursing leaders in education, management, practice, and research. The new fellows also showcased their Filipino heritage by wearing a sablay specially made by the PNAA for Filipino fellows.

This year’s celebration also serves as a milestone to the Filipino nursing community in the United States and the Philippines as Ms. Palaganas and Ms. Palompon are the first inductees based in the Philippines. This milestone builds on the close relationship between the Philippines and the United States as both countries celebrate its 75th anniversary of bilateral relations this year.

“This past year and a half have been extremely difficult for everyone. With the attention all focused on the health and security of our people, we here at the Embassy dare not forget the sacrifices and contributions made by our medical frontliners. I would like to take this time to again express the Embassy and the Philippine Government’s sincerest appreciation to all of you for what you do. More inspiring is the fact that despite your daily responsibilities and duties and the challenges brought about by COVID-19, you come together as one organization to serve your community,” said Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez in his keynote message addressed to the AAN fellows and PNAA members.

The program also featured inspirational remarks from Dr. Eileen Sullivan-Marx (PhD), President of the American Academy of Nursing who reiterated the importance of caring for one another and recognizing the good work that nurses have been doing in the past two years. PNAA President Dr. Mary Joy Garcia-Dia (PhD) likewise led a toast for the honorees and the Filipino nursing community’s accomplishments as a whole.

To conclude the program, each fellow delivered a brief message and thanked their family members, mentors and sponsors. The fellows also expressed their commitment to uphold the positive image of Filipino nurses in the world, and promote professional excellence in their fields.

Arrangements for the program and reception were coordinated by the Philippine Nurses Association of Metro DC (PNAMDC) led by its President Carol Robles. Dr. Marlon Saria (PhD), who is a 2014 fellow, served as the Master of Ceremonies. 

The American Academy of Nursing serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy, practice, and science through organizational excellence and effective nursing leadership. The Academy and its members, known as Fellows, create and execute knowledge-driving and policy-related initiatives to drive reform of America’s health system. Fellows can only be invited into the Academy. Current fellows include association executives; university presidents, chancellors, deans; state and federal political appointees; hospital chief executives and vice presidents for nursing; nurse consultants; researchers; and entrepreneurs. ###

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Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez (left) meets attendees of the celebration and induction of Filipino Nurses into the AAN Class of 2021