The Philippine Nurses’ Association of Tampa Bay, Inc. ( PNA-Tampa) was founded in 1989 by a group of Filipino nurses here in Tampa Bay headed by the founding President, Liw Villagomeza. Their unfailing enthusiasm and dedication have persevered, and their legacy continues to the present officers and members in nurturing our organization. Angie de la Rosa had written in her first editorial debut in the PNA-Tampa newsletter that they envisioned PNA-Tampa as a professional, educational and community service organization of Filipino nurses. Their prime objective is to promote a positive image of nursing to our community via health programs and projects, solely or in conjunction, with other local and national organizations. They also wanted to promote unity and camaraderie among the Filipino nurses both locally and nationwide. Other objectives were to encourage professional growth among its members, to participate in socio-cultural activities of the Filipino-American community and support other worthy causes in the community.
At the present time, we are continuing to achieve these goals and represent the Filipino nurse as a vital part of the health care team. We have organized different activities that will help us achieve our objectives like participating in the community outreach programs, Veterans Homeless Program for BP screening, VA Cultural Heritage Day ,The American Prostate Cancer Screening Program, Philippine Cultural Foundation annual festivities, local churches, clinics, and other health fairs. Continuing classes offered through the years to help them meet their educational requirements.
Members embody fun activities with this organization through Annual Picnics/General Assemblies and recognition ceremonies for deserving members. In previous years, recognition was given to PNA-Tampa Nurse of the Year, Clinical Nurse of the Year, Volunteer Nurse of the Year, and Leadership Award. In 2012, under the leadership of then President Ariel Zabala, the Nurse/Clinical/Volunteer Nurse of the Year awards were combined into one award named LIWLIWA AWARD. Halloween has been the major fundraising event for the nurses which involves the souvenir program and dinner-dance. In 2015, under the leadership of PNA-TAMPA’s immediate past president, Maribel Soriano, the Halloween Fundraiser was changed to Spring Fling. The first Spring Fling was held on St. Patrick’s Day in 2017. The members’ hectic schedules, although often a challenge, do not prevent them from being involved and committed to this organization. Their spirit of volunteerism prevails!