American nurse Gary Butler led new officers and directors of the Far Eastern and American Nurses Association and Allied Professionals (FANA) who took their oath of office last Oct. 21 at the Somerset Inn in Troy.
The occasion, which was in celebration of the 13th anniversary of FANA, was made more memorable by the presence of VIPs who included State Senator Steven Bieda (D-Warren) and 25th District State Representative Henry Yanez. The VIPs were introduced by Willie Dechavez.
The guest speaker, Dr. Tamer A. Ghanem, MD, PhD, is the director of the H & N and Microvascular Surgery Division of the Henry Medical Group. He talked about his group’s medical mission in Turkey where the team performed plastic surgery on the victims of war in Syria.
The pictures Doctor Ghanem projected on a screen graphically showed the horrors of war with the victims, who included children, whose faces were badly disfigured due to third-degree burns and wounds. He cited the urgent need to help Syrians who were fleeing the war in their country and taking refuge in Turkey. His group performed the operations in the Emel Hospital which is located near the Syria-Turkey border.
He lauded FANA for doing good with its medical missions in the Philippines, saying “you’re doing God’s work.”
FANA has been undertaking yearly medical mission in the Philippines, and the next mission will be held in the last week of January next year in Ramon, Isabela, which is the hometown of FANA Director Imelda Martin Hum.
Hum and her husband, businessman Vance Hum, are big-time supporters of FANA’s medical outreach project. During the event, they turned over a check for $1,500 as donation to FANA. They also gave another check for the same amount to OCA Foundation headed by Oscar Ong, brother of former FILAMCCO president Van Ong.
Oscar Ong was one of four individuals who were honored by FANA with special awards for outstanding public services. The three other awardees were Dr. Ernesto Bedia, FANA’s medical director; Brenda Sanagustin, co-founder and past president of FANA; and Adam Perry, who is the director of Christian Service in Novi, Michigan.
Doctor Bedia, husband of FANA Auditor Angela Bedia, was given a plaque of recognition for his key role as medical director of FANA’s annual medical, surgical, dental, optical and educational mission since the creation of FANA in 2005. His responsibilities included procurement of all medications and medical/surgical/optical supplies. He is also tasked to direct and coordinate the activities during the missions.
Responding to the honor bestowed on him, Doctor Bedia said, “My work with FANA since 2005 is a big assignment, and finally, I am given this honor. I have been dedicating my time to helping others, and I encourage you to join the medical mission because you’re not here to satisfy yourself but you’ll have great satisfaction for helping those in need.”
Aside from Butler, Angela Bedia and Imelda Hum (who is chairperson of the overall event committee), the other 2017-2019 FANA officers and board directors who took their oath of office were Ronald Karganilla, vice president; Annabel DeBarr, secretary; Natividad Tuliao, treasuer; Arlene Luis, assistant secretary; Evan Wilcher, business manager; Brenda Sanagustin, parliamentarian; and Leticia Basa, Perla Braganza, Jessica Bedia Bishop, Nene Camero and Nora Ong. Immediate past president is Barbara Gates.
The inducting officer was Doctor Tamer, the guest speaker.
In his inaugural speech, President Butler said, “I am much honored and privileged to be the newly elected president of FANA. This will be an excellent opportunity for me to provide the best quality of leadership to the officers and members of this great organization.”
The entertainment numbers were presented by singer Fely Villegas and Elvis Presley impersonator Tony Ibarrola.
The emcee was Andrew Humphrey, weather anchor-reporter of Channel 4.
Music was provided by Carter Sights and Sound.