December 4, 2017
To: The Board of Directors, President and Officers of UPNAII and UPINHF
Dear fellow UP nursing alumni,
As an alumna of Class’70, UP College of Nursing, I am writing this letter to state my deep concern and regret over the splintering of our alumni association. A fractured alumni weakens our collective efforts. We are stronger when we are one.
I pride myself for being privileged with a UP education. It is an education receptive to differences in opinions, that holds back judgment until both sides of the issue are studied and well understood, and one that is cognizant of the fact that as human beings, mistakes are made and will be made. Our education instilled in us the courage to find solutions. We strive to bridge gaps. The world is beset by so many problems- disparities in health care, the plight of the poor, racism, human rights issues, among many others, which plague our societies both here and in the Philippines. More than ever, we need to be united as nurses in our duty to make a difference. The issues raised by the back and forth emails between the two groups do pale in comparison to these bigger issues. Surely, there are ways to be found to heal the divide.
My loyalty lies in the betterment of the college. I know I cannot support any of the splinter groups, knowing that only in being one can we serve our beloved college and profession fully.
I urge you to seek all avenues to reconcile your teams for our continued growth and success. I am willing to be a facilitator for a conversation, whether by web meetings or face to face talks. Thank you in advance for your time in considering my proposal. There is no better gift for the alumni this season than a reconciliation.
Epifania Cruz Quimson
UPCN Class 1970
Dear Epifania Cruz Quimson,
On behalf of the UPNAAI Officers and Board of Directors, I sincerely thank you for your appeal for reconciliation. Thank you for letting us know of your concerns and suggestions, as well as volunteering to be a mediator between the two groups.
We support you in your intention and in your prayer that the two organizations can come into a situation where differences can be put aside for the sake of our Alma Mater and for the benefit of each organization and its members.
I just want to share with you a brief story...
When the Board of Directors were voting for our Officers for the new term 2017-2019 in California this past 2017 Convention, the nominees for each office were asked to say something about their goals for UPNAAI, and this is what I told them:
" My platform is based on my mission and vision for the following:
A. Reconciliation. How? By forming a Task Force or an Ad Hoc Committee that will specifically work on this goal. This project to commence by January 2018.
B. Continued improvement of our organization, bringing it to the next level to which the standard quality of the leadership and service will be no less than excellence.
C. Growth and development of UPNAAI into a progressive nonprofit organization by increasing its membership and through networking."
I am grateful to the fact that your appeal is congruent to my mission and vision for UPNAAI (in A above).
It is in this regard that we are responding to your appeal and to let you know that we are listening and that we do care about our members' concerns. The Board of Directors will be discussing this in our next meeting.
Our team strongly advocate and practice compassion as well as accountability and responsibility. Please be assured that we will do our best to serve you and the rest of the members of this organization.
Deborah-Anne "Debbie" Y. Butuyan, BSN, RN
With joy, I read the new UPNAAI president's reply to the plea to find avenues for reconciliation. I am sure there are many members like me who are wishing for the same thing.
I am in the Philippines right now. I just passed Smoky Mountain where mountains of garbage are home to many Filipinos. It is too real- plumes of smoke are rising from hedges, stoked by people gray from the soot. When I see this, I become more aware of our common humanity.
We, as nurses, should address conditions such as this. Nursing is rooted in caring, for ourselves and one another. International and American nursing organizations are such an untapped resource. Imagine the possibilities if all of us worked together. With a common vision, we are unstoppable! We have been twice blessed. UP graduates are endowed with qualities and opportunities that only a UP education can give.
Please know that as a member of Class 70, I love the parties and dances just as much as that next person swinging away. One of the comments posted by a classmate when we learned of the split was- so where will we present our next dance number? (Our last was in the UPNAII California with our class dancing to Proud Mary.)
Yes, I am willing to invest my time and effort to be an active participant in your planned talks for January 2018. As nurses, we build relationships. I want to be part of the rebuilding. I will call by telephone when I come back to the US.
For the meantime, I will enjoy the carolers from the kids coming from across the train tracks in Caloocan, puto bumbong and the Simbang Gabi. Thank you all and Merry Christmas.
Epi Cruz Quimson, Class 1970
Dear Ms. Quimson,
The UPNAAI Officers, Board of Directors and Members of the Advisory Council are very pleased to know that you are voluntarily participating and investing your time and efforts toward our reconciliatory efforts by agreeing to be a mediator.
Just to clarify, UPNAAI is the officially recognized international nursing alumni association of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA). Therefore, your class is hereby being encouraged to attend and be represented in our Convention and Reunion in Las Vegas on August 3-4, 2018 and is officially being invited. Please spread the word around, to your classmates and other UP Nursing Alumni. Visit our website (UPNAAI.com) for details.
Looking forward to talking and meeting you.
Enjoy your Holidays in the Philippines.
Mabuhay tayong lahat!