Lolo to nurses: “We honor and value your contribution"
Government leaders and hospital officials on Monday gathered to celebrate the Nurses Awards Ceremony as part of the Nurses Appreciation Week being celebrated in the territory. Nurses were acknowledged for their long years of service, along with recognition of outstanding nurses within both LBJ and the Department of Health.
Among the recipients was nurse who served 40 years — Fa’atigafua Valusaga, LPN; and, nurses who served for 30 years — Malama Masaniai, RN, Fa’atele Molesi, RN, Tavai Puletasi, LPN and Simamao Tuato’o, RN.
Among the guest speakers were Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga, who noted that the nursing profession is a highly regarded profession by any country and any community. He jokingly said that he remembers back in the day whenever a faifeau or Reverend graduated from theological college, the preference for a wife would always be a nurse.
“There is a secret behind it, but I’m not too sure what it is… there is something different, why the nurses are being regarded highly as very special people.”
The governor said the nursing profession is highly regarded, because it’s close to the heart of the people, and because of the service the nurses provide for the people. He commended the longest serving nurses, saying they have devoted their life to the service of the people.
“Although you have reached the age where you should take time to enjoy the rest of your life, you chose to give your life to serve our people — that’s the magic behind this highly regarded profession. This week our nation once again came together to pay tribute to the service that you are giving our people; we honor and we value your contribution to our community.”
The governor pointed out that nurses are born leaders. “How do we know that? You command your patient when we come to see you for medical help — leadership is nothing new to the nurses. However, there is something in that leadership ability that you need to share with the younger generation of nurses. You need to model the way, you need to set the example for the newcomers and new nurses who are joining the profession.
“How do you model that way and how do you set an example? With your dedication, devotion and your compassion.” Lolo said he knows the people are beginning to draw away from the profession.
Lolo said it takes a nurse to take the lead and serve the people. “Nurses have been given special skills, given the talent by God to take care of his properties… that’s the difference between the professions.
New LBJ CEO John Davis Fleming told the nurses the celebration of their achievements is not just a day or a week, rather it’s an everyday celebration, given all their hard work and training to take care of everyone.
“Never forget that spark that led you to this profession; never forget the compassion that we look to you to receive when seeking medical help,” said Fleming.
He urged the nurses to always do their best in providing that level of care to everyone as if they were their own family. “While every good hospital is made from the doctors with their God-given healing talents that help heal the patients who come to us, I also believe that the foundation is its nursing staff and I aim to continue that belief and that tradition here at the LBJ hospital.”
Director of Health, Motusa Tuileama Nua congratulated the nurses on their appreciation week, and noted that DOH stands ready to assist LBJ in any issue they encounter. Motusa commended the nurses with LBJ and DOH for being major players in the healing process of the territory. He urged nurses, who are in the home visiting program, that if the elderly patient is healthy, stay and talk to them, let them tell you their war stories, because if you do that you are contributing to the healing process. A majority of the folks out there have no one to talk to or complain to and if you do that, your voice and your touch will make a lot of difference to their lives.”
The following nurses were recognized for their 20 years of service: Annette Zodiacal RN, Lolenese Vaina CHT, Tufanua Tupua CHT, Taufaimatagi Fia CNA and Matautu Kalati CNA. Retiree Christina Foster LPN was also recognized, while Olita Tafiti RN received the Unit Manager of the Year Award.
Genevieve Ugaitafa, RN was recognized for receiving her Bachelor in Science, Nursing (BSN).
Outstanding Employees from LBJ are as follows: Steffanie Bautista RN, Gloria Paopao LPN, Ryan Cristobal RN, Helen Aitaoto LPN, Maria Victoria Sikat RN, Verlyn Ibe RN, Siaopo Ino LPN, Siaifoi Tafiti LPN, Ana Talapa LPN, Janet Go RN, Lelogoa Elisara LPN, Luanei Fanene LPN, Fa’auluuluga Leota CNA III, Manini Kaleopa CNA, Levei Misa CNA, Laulauga Misa CNA, Decima Sele CNA, Nelma Godinet CNA, Masina Petelo CNA, Tutuila Thompson CNA, Pouiva Taufuiava Orderly, Florence Liufau Clerk, Lua’ipou Ugaitafa CSR Technician and Emily Malueseu Clerk.
DOH nurses who were recognized and received awards for Outstanding Employees are as follows: Joann Puaauli, Yolanda Tuatolo; Loretta Seigafo, Maryann Schewenke, Temukisa Sauni, Miriama Luuga, Atene Tevaga, Gaseolela’i Tuiasosopo, Anoi Aliva, Fa’afetai Meleisea, Easter Malaulu, Angel Poloa, Nancy Pio, Don Va’avale, Angel Fuimaono, Gau Sipili, Leilani Savusa, Cecilia Tuitea, Tappy Tapua’iane, Fa’auluuluga Tasi, Maraea Levy, Lagima Toluali’i, Bauhinea Polikapo, Makanani Auau, Suitupe Siaosi, Silika Young and Felisa Ching Sam.