T&T nursing group reflects on achievements

Thecla Williams, RN, vice president.
RN Joan Mayers

As the Brooklyn-based, non-profit Trinidad and Tobago Nurses’ Association of America, Inc. (TTNAA) gets ready to celebrate its 51st anniversary next month, the group has been reflecting on its achievements over the years.

According to public relations officer Registered Nurse Joan Mayers, the 26th installation of officers for the term 2019-2020 term took place in April during the group’s general monthly meeting.

Besides Mayers, the new executive comprises Registered Nurses: President Sherise Warner-Rollock; Vice President Thecla Williams; Treasurer Naomi Henry; Recording Secretary Maudlyn George; Corresponding Secretary Adana Edwards; Business Manager Jocelyn Alleyne; Chaplin Barbara Guevarra-Francis; Trustees Joyce Bain and Allison Fletcher; and Sylma Nelson, founding member, parliamentarian and instillation officer.

Mayers told Caribbean Life that TTNAA was founded in August 1968 by “a small group of visionaries.”

“These nurses were convinced that there was a compelling need to establish linkage,” she said. “Their foresight and unselfishness afforded the association the opportunity to celebrate 50 years (last year) of existence.”

Mayers said the first election of officers took place in January 1969, with Phyllis Clarke-Mills becoming the first president “on whom the status of life membership was conferred for her outstanding contributions and commitment to the association’s founding principles.”

The group’s public relations officer said the association’s “purpose was, and still is, to stimulate the professional, social and developmental interests of our colleagues in the City of New York, its environs and our homeland of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.”

During the 50th anniversary celebrations, TTNAA recognized two of the six original members, Nelson and Claire Peterkin, RN, and honored the previous two presidents, Registered Nurses Pamela Charles and Jacqueline Greene. It also presented a community service award to Marcel Robin.

Since 1990, Mayers said TTNAA has awarded more than 60 “deserving college enrolled students, who chose to become part of this noble profession, with scholarship grants awards.”

She said TTNAA has granted over US$60, 000 in scholarships, “and is very proud of this achievement.”

The most recent deserving nursing student, Susan Waterman, received the 2018 scholarship grant award.

“In March 2019, she proudly informed the organization that she was successful at the State Board examination and currently holds a Registered Nurse license,” said Mayers about Waterman’s achievement.

In 2005, she said Warner-Rollock received a scholarship grant award and, a year later, she joined the association.

Mayers said that, in 2018, another scholarship grant awardee, Abigail Snaggs, graduated with a Ph. D in Nursing.

Over the years, Mayers said TTNAA has endorsed an annual Ecumenical Church Service to commemorate the Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; patronized the promotion of the annual function in New York celebrating the Independence Anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago; honored nationals and others in the US for their “momentous” community contributions; and liaised with the Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Washington, D.C. and the Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

In addition, she said the group has provided emergency donations, material donations and technical assistance to individuals and entities both in the US and at home; and conducted annual health fairs in various communities and in collaboration with churches, for example, the World Mission Church Assembly on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.

Mayers said TTNAA has also collaborated with the New York-based Caribbean American Nurses Association (CANA) and Caribbean Nurses Organization (CNO), as well as with the International Council of Nurses (ICN), on various initiatives.

The group is currently collaborating with the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association for its Quadrennial Conference at the Trinidad and Tobago Hilton in late October.

“The organization looks toward the future with confidence, knowing that it will continue to grow from strength to strength towards attaining even greater heights,” Mayers said.

“It is our prayer that our guiding principle for the future will be ‘God is our refuge and our strength,’” she added.

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