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Nurses Week celebrated by Georgia Indian Nurses Association

By Mahadev Desai
June 2014
Nurses Week celebrated by Georgia Indian Nurses Association

Dr. Sujatha Reddy; Dr. Rebecca Wheeler, President of GA Nurses Association; and GINA President Mary Jose (on right) celebrate Lilly Anickat’s Nurse of the Year Award 2014. (Photo: Anish Mathen)

The Georgia Indian Nurses Association (GINA) celebrated Nurses’ Week at St. Thomas Orthodox Church with a glitzy dinner and fun-filled entertainment on Friday, May 2, 2014.

The well attended event was emceed with verve and composure by Ms. Shereen Xavier and Ms. Monisha Mammen. After a silent prayer, Jasmine Anickat sang the U.S. national anthem. Ms. Mary Jose, the founding and current President of GINA, recognized the guests of honor, Dr. Sujatha Reddy, Rev. Fr. Mathew Elayadathamadam, and Dr. Rebecca Wheeler, RN, MA, PhD. She then gave a special message in keeping with the theme ‘Nurses Leading the Way,’ saying, “we are called to step out of our comfort zones and step into our roles as leaders. As John C. Maxwell said, ‘A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.’ No matter what area of nursing you come from, you, too, are a leader. Our actions and words can influence, motivate, and inspire all around us.”

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GINA members in a jovial mood. (Photo: Anish Mathen)

In a beautiful ceremony honoring the nurses, Rev. Fr. Mathew Elayadathamadam blessed them with a prayer and kind words, speaking to the nurses of their work as angels. A red carpet was then rolled out, and all the nurses were invited to come forward, lighting a candle representing “The Lady with The Lamp,” Florence Nightingale, while Dr. Rebecca Wheeler and Rev. Fr. Mathew gave out red and white roses to each nurse and then the nurses holding lighted candles walked through gracefully for recognition, to the uplifting songs “Lead kindly light” and “These Hands.” An inspiring video, Tribute to Nurses was also shown.

Chief guest Dr. Rebecca Wheeler, President of Georgia Nurses Association, gave an enthusiastic and inspirational speech about “Nurses Leading the Way.” She encouraged each to be a member of the legislative part of the nursing association.

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The Executive Committee with Dr. Rebecca Wheeler and Dr. Sujatha Reddy. (Photo: Anish Mathen)

SAI Health Fair's well-known founder, Dr. Sujatha Reddy, who has successfully organized over 30 SAI Health Fairs to help uninsured or underinsured and underprivileged community members, talked about the spirit of volunteerism, quoting United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, “Volunteerism is a two-way street. Even as volunteers help generate positive change for others, their own lives are often transformed by the act of volunteering itself.” She told the nurses not to hesitate, but act, drawing inspiration from Mother Teresa, who said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” She discussed the nurse’s role in the free community health services. She also spoke of the fulfillment behind volunteerism and motivated the nurses to devote time to serving others in their free time as well, quoting President Obama, “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” Dr.Sujatha implored, “Look around you. There is so much one can do to help the needy. One can feed homeless, help orphans, help sick or disabled, lend a hand to senior citizens to face old age and loneliness, and so on.” As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Antony Thaliath, Executive Director of Gandhi Foundation of USA, and his wife Dr. Lizy Thaliath presented certificates of achievement to nurses who had received awards, earned their degrees, or progressed in their careers during the year. GINA’s executive vice president Lilly Anickat was bestowed with GINA Nurse of the Year Award for 2014.

Robin Jacob regaled the audience with a scintillating dance. More was in store as Sneha Cletus, Gabriella Thomas, and Jasmine Anickat performed a riveting group dance. A few games added to the fun and gaiety of the evening. The celebration concluded with India’s national anthem sung by members of the Executive Committee, and a sumptuous dinner.

Ms. Mary Jose requested members to attend forthcoming events, including NAINA USA’s Biennial Educational Convention at Sea (National Association of Indian Nurses of America), Independence Day celebration with educational seminar on August16, a health fair on September 14, and a holiday party on November 22.

GINA was started in 2013 to empower Georgia nurses and nursing students of Indian heritage to reach their highest potential in their professional practice and the community at large. This joyous event was a true reflection of GINA’s 2014 theme, “Nurses leading the way.”



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