AZINA celebrated International Nurses’ Day on May 13th

by Press Release


Phoenix: ‘International Nurses’ Day” was celebrated by Arizona Indian Nurses Association (AZINA) at the International Assembly of God Hall in Chandler, Arizona on May 13th. International Nurses Day is a global celebration celebrated on May 12 every year, that honors the invaluable contributions of nurses, promotes the nursing profession, and advocates for the well-being of nurses worldwide. International Nurses Day is observed to mark the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, who is considered the founder of modern nursing. Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820.

The event was graced by the presence of a few distinguished personalities including Honorable Mayor Kevin Hartke of the City of Chandler (Chief Guest), Dean of Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovations Dr. Judith Karshmer (Guest of Honor), Chandler City Council member Christine Ellis (Keynote Speaker), the Executive Director of the Korean American Nurses Association Dr. Sun Jones and the senior pastor of the International Assembly of God, Rev. Dr. Pastor Roy Cherian served as the felicitators of the ceremony. 

The event started officially with a prayer song sung by Karen Koshy followed by the American and Indian National Anthems sung by Austin Binu and Anitha Binu. The guests inaugurated the ceremony traditionally by lighting a lamp. The president of AZINA Elizabeth Sunil Sam welcomed the gathering with her presidential speech and presented a summary of progress of the organization. Mayor Kevin Hartke acknowledged and appreciated AZINA members for their service and offered his support for the future activities of the organization. All the guests inspired the gathering with their invigorating speeches.

Dr. Ampili Umayamma and Dr. Girija Menon were presented with Nursing Excellence Awards 2022-23 considering their unique contributions to the field of nursing and to the community.  Dr. Umayamma is the founding president and the current advisory board chair who is actively involved in the organizational activities. Dr. Menon is a psychiatric nurse practitioner and the previous chair of AZINA events and awards committee as well as an avid supporter of the organization. AZINA student scholarship for the year 2023 was awarded to Mary Minu Joji who is pursuing her Masters in Nurse Practitioner; she had served as the membership chair of last term. The lifetime achievement award of 2022-23 was presented to Saramma Mathew, a veteran nurse with over 40 years of committed career in nursing.  The organization extends its special congratulations to Mrs. Suma Jacob, the winner of National association Indian Nurses of America’s, (NAINA) “Make a Difference Award 2023”, who is currently serving as the events and awards chair of AZINA. 

Dr. Ampili Umayamma presented the proposal called “Bring a Buddy to AZINA (BaBA)” initiated by Dr. Shaju Francis and Bindu Simon (AZINA’s membership chairs) to enhance networking and invite more members to the organization.  The initiative was inaugurated by Christine Ellis. 

Dean Judy Karshmer inaugurated AZINA’s Mental Health Initiative (AMHI). The program supports mental health awareness for children, youth, and families that is led by vice-president Lakshmi Nair.  The youth champions of AMHI presented a highly informative skit and presentation about youth mental health issues that was well received and appreciated by the audience.  Appreciations and prizes were given to Esha Annette Sam who won the AMHI logo competition and Sidharth Nair who won the fundraising competition.  The fundraising was conducted during AMHI’s Walk for our Children event held on May 6th at the Steele Indian School Park as a part of National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day.  

Cherian Jacob presented his innovative device “Care Genie” that helps improve the lives of senior citizens living in care homes. Secretary Anju Rastogi delivered vote of thanks to everyone who participated and made the event a huge success.

The celebration included a cake cutting to celebrate AZINA’s birthday, announcement of raffle winners, distribution of certificates to youth volunteers and concluded with a light refreshment. 

This was the first in-person nurses day celebration of AZINA, and the event was a great success with the selfless efforts of its valuable members and their families with their active participation and support.  The AZINA governing body express their heart felt gratitude to all the sponsors and well-wishers who made the event possible with their generous support.