President IANAGH

Accamma Kallel, MSN, APRN, ANP-C, CCRN

I am humbled and honored to serve as the president of Indian American Nurses Association of Greater Houston (IANAGH) from September 2017-2019 term.

I am grateful for the progress IANAGH has made from its humble beginning in 1994 by few visionary leaders who have contributed to the success of this association. Today IANAGH has grown and blessed with almost 400 life members and includes more than 100 Advanced Practice nurses. IANAGH is one of the great chapters under the umbrella of the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA)with 501c3 , charitable organization status (since 2014 ). I am thankful to all the visionary leaders for their tireless contributions in bringing this organization visible at local, national and global level.

2017 was a tough year nationally and internationally in politics and beyond. Here in United States of America we saw racial tensions, mass shootings, travel bans, gun violence, collapse of health care system, Hurricanes, forest fires and earthquake etc. Here in Houston we witnessed the widespread, catastrophic flooding and damage in Texas and along the Gulf Coast in September 2017, we saw the City coming together and everyone helping each other at the time of devastation and despair of Hurricane Harvey. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy “. IANAGH also stood strong and united and came together as a community in 2017.

The goal of IANAGH is to unite all professional nurses and nursing students of Indian origin/heritage in Houston to create a community of excellence in nursing practice and healthcare through networking and collaboration. IANAGH remains focused on maintaining the vision and mission of the organization to facilitate professional growth, leadership and enhance social, cultural needs of our members while promoting community wellness through education and service.

IANAGH has made its impression at local, national and global level through its community outreach programs and educational programs. On April 1, 2017 IANAGH conducted one-day educational conference with 6.25 CEUs with almost 100 participants to include for nursing students, nurses and APNs with discounted rates for students. IANAGH hosted NAINA’s first Clinical Excellence Conference on December 2, 2017 with almost 200 participants from local, national and international level. Pre- conference Gala night was colorful with variety entertainments and staged by dignitaries to include Houston commissioner, Stafford Council man and NAINA president. IANAGH awards five annual Scholarship for nursing students who demonstrate a financial need here in the United States and in India. Multiple non CE educational programs were also conducted during 2017 for the professional growth and leadership of our members. Community educational series have been held at locations within Houston promoting preventive care/recognition of early symptoms of stroke, diabetic education, sexually transmitted diseases, and dangers of drug/alcohol abuse to name a few. IANAGH inaugurated APN forum in 2017 and has vibrant APN members who contribute to IANAGH through their expertise in clinical excellence and practice. IANAGH members conducted health fair & health screening for the refugee population in Hill croft. IANAGH members participated in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts locally with Mayors Hurricane Relief efforts and contributed financial assistance to hurricane affected IANAGH members. IANAGH also collaborates and volunteers with Star of Hope shelter program, American heart Association, Houston Bar association for community out reach programs. IANAGH ‘s new project is with United Light of Hope, a medical mission project in Haiti. Our members and friends donated medical supplies, books, non-perishable food, clothes etc. Our organization also partnering with United Light of Hope to build a clinic in Haiti to provide health education & basic health services at a village called Canaan. Our goal is to sustain this program in Haiti to benefit the needy. Our members are heading to participate on a medical mission trip to Haiti soon.

Members of the IANAGH will have the opportunities to meet education requirements as well as networking with individuals within our profession to serve the community at large. Currently NAINA affiliations with educational institutions such as Grand Canyon University and Chamberlain afford the IANAGH members discounted rate for tuition from 10-15%. We also provide virtual memberships for nurses of Indian origin lacking a local chapter to enable them to enjoy member benefits in collaboration with NAINA.

Our current leadership team is committed to promote the strength of our organization and to serve communities at large through education and service. The World Health Organization's Director General, Gro Harlem Brundtland, has stated that nurses are the backbone of the health care systems.

So let’s be strong and proud to be a great TEAM (TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE).

Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

Former President IANAGH (2016-2017)

Aley Samuel, MSN, RN-BC

Thank you for allowing me to serve as the president of the Indian American Nurses Association of Greater Houston (IANAGH). It is a great privilege and honor to be part of an organization that not only gives knowledge back but creates a sense of belonging with a community of professionals. This organization has been active since 1990’s however the organization formally registered as a charitable organization in 2014 with primary goal of uniting all nurses of Indian nurses and heritage in Houston. IANAGH is a recognized chapter of the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA). I am following the footsteps of some great leaders of this organization who were motivated and persistent in pursuing a goal of success.

IANAGH remains focused on maintaining the vision and mission of the organization to facilitate professional growth, social, cultural needs of our members while promoting community wellness through education and service. In the coming years, I would like to focus on promoting the strengths of this organization and serve our communities in large scale. Our current leadership team is excited about the opportunities to give back to our members and to our community.

IANAGH has an excellent reputation of its community outreach programs with professionals within the nursing field, serving our communities based on their scope of practice. Many educational series have been held at locations within Houston promoting preventive care/recognition of early symptoms of stroke, diabetic education, sexually transmitted diseases, and dangers of drug/alcohol abuse to name a few. IANAGH’s Scholarship program offers a resource for students who demonstrate a financial need here in the United States and in India. IANAGH members contributions along with corporate sponsorship has given away thousands in the past years and hope to continue this service in the coming years.

Members of the IANAGH chapter will have the opportunities to meet education requirements as well as networking with individuals within our profession. Currently NAINA affiliations with educational institutions such as Grand Canyon University and Chamberlain afford the IANAGH members discounted rate for tuition from 10-15%. For our current members and perspective members, I want to assure you that the intention of this board is to grow IANAGH without limits. We will stay focused on remaining as a benefit to our members. We look forward to a productive successful term and invite each of you to participate, and most importantly become involved.

 

Former IANAGH President (2014-2016)

Sally Joy Samuel, BSN

It is my great privilege, honor, and pleasure to have served you as the president of Indian American Nurses Association of greater Houston since 2014.The Indian American Nurses Association, Greater Houston Chapter was formed in 2014 with the primary goal of uniting all nurses of Indian origin and heritage in Houston. Taking a leadership position is always challenging; however, the vision and mission of the organization enable us to achieve our short term and long term goals. The strategic short term goals are to inform nurses about the benefits of joining Indian Nurses Association, recruit more nurses to committees, and offer educational and networking opportunities through nurse’s day celebration and annual meetings, and to increase membership awareness. Long term goals include continuing education programs, Conduct yearly free health fair, recruiting more nursing students to join our organization by offering a 15% discounted cost when they also apply to and attend Grand Canyon University, College of Nursing, offering nursing scholarships, and maintaining competitive member rates.

Our membership continues to develop strong strategic goals and must devote efforts to implement and achieve those goals. The support and generosity of our members and our community is indispensable for the success of our organization. The governing body and advisory board were extremely valuable with providing solid and effective assistance during this past two years. I am so happy to announce that we have several highly qualified and strong professionals in this chapter and I am confident that we are going to be one of the best and most innovative chapters under NAINA. Nurses in this chapter provide high quality nursing care. They promote the profession and assist in creating a peaceful, optimally functional work environment. Our Indian nurses will continue to have a strong voice in issues that affect our profession and patient care. The chapter will maintain its position for enthusiastic, strong leadership.

The mission and vision of IANAGH is to uphold the images of the Indian nurses in the U.S. as a professional group and to promote the welfare of IANAGH members. We also strive to facilitate professional growth, to identify and pursue the unique professional, social, and cultural needs of our members.

IANA celebrated nurse’s day in 2014 and 2015 with colorful entertainment. We provided scholarships for nursing students: 7 students in 2014 and 4 students in 2015 in both India and the U.S. This organization conducted several short education classes with and without CEU’s. The speakers consisted of national and regional experts. Several qualified members received prestigious awards and recognitions in 2014 and 2015 according to the guidelines of IANA. Several IANA members received prestigious awards from their respective employers and other organizations were recognized. We recognized new graduates and retired nurses during the gala celebration.

 

Community Outreach programs:

 

IANA donated $ 500 for Nepali earthquake relief fund. A free health fair, under the leadership of Accamma Kallel, N.P. was given for the Nepali Refugees in 2014 and was held at the St. Cloud Apartments on Hillcroft in Houston. The uninsured residents were very satisfied with the excellent care they received. The children received flu shots, eye exams, and eye glasses. Physical examinations for adult and Children, breast examination for female patients and eye exams for children were conducted by our own Nurse Practitioners. Several patients were referred to the Indian Charity Clinic. Patients were also educated on compliance with Medication, diet, and exercise.

On June 27, 2015 another health fair was collaborated with the Houston Knanaya Catholic community. Almost 200 people attended this health fair. Several tests including vital signs, blood glucose levels, mammograms, ultrasounds, eye examinations, blood donations were done. Medical specialists from neurology, cardiology, and internal medicine were there for consultation during this event.

The Nurse Practitioners did an excellent job within their scope of practice. Several nurses and educators participated in the health fair. An Occupational Therapist, a social worker, and college students also attended this event.

IANA donated money, raised funds, and participated in the annual walkathon for the American Heart Association in 2014. Our association is also planning to participate in the American Heart Walkathon again this year.

We have been one of the sponsors for Star of Hope homeless shelter by donating food and gifts for their Christmas party in 2014 and plans are in the works for 2015.

Four members of this organization attended NAINA cruise conference last year. DR Shainy Varghese was one of the speakers for the national conference. Accamma Kallel N/P was the speaker for the national webinar conference this year.

Currently we are working on nonprofit status. I would like to increase our membership drive also. Annual Membership is only for the calendar year. Annual membership fee only $25.00 and lifetime $150.00. With the IANAGH membership, you can earn membership in Asian Pacific Islander, NAINA, and Ensemina.

Many IANAGH nurses are BSN and MSN graduates; however, many diploma nurses are still taking on-line classes for RN- BSN, MSN, and Nurse Practioner or Clinical Nurse Specialists. A few students are taking DNP or PhD through Grand Canyon University or other approved universities.

I request more students to enroll in Grand Canyon University as you can receive 15% discount for the education. It is not only beneficial for our members but also for our members’ spouses. All of the above accomplishments are not possible without the dedication and hard work of our Board of Trustees. Colleagues, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the accomplishments and hard work over the past year. May God bless us all!

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