MISS FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE 2017. Gloria Camano (in blue gown) receives a bouquet from outgoing Ms. Florence Nightingale Villa Aquino shortly after she was proclaimed Ms. Florence Nightingale 2017. The proclamation of the winner in the Ms. Florence Nightingale contest highlighted the 45th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Nurses Association of Michigan (PNAM) at Wyndham Garden Banquet Center last Oct. 21. Also in photo is PNAM President Maria Wolfinbarger. Story is on Page 3. More photos are on Pages 8 and 9. (Photo by Percy Antonio)

Mrs. Gloria Camano, RN, was proclaimed Ms. Florence Nightingale 2017 at the conclusion of a tight, suspenseful contest that marked the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Philippine Nurses Association of Michigan (PNAM) last Oct. 21 at Wyndham Hotel in Sterling Heights.

Camano, the owner of an assisted-living facility, won the title by a few points over her closest rival, Simonette Pura-Elgert, MA, MHS, RN, who was proclaimed Miss Faith. The two other candidates were Vicky Nery-Sureta, CRNA, MHS, and Clair Tumaghap, RN, who were awarded the titles of Miss Hope and Miss Charity, respectively.

Carmen Perez-Villanueva, who announced the winners in the Florence Nightingale search, said the three judges – namely, Gloria Waltz, Nancy Rasalan and Lucy McBride-Boirier – had a hard time determining who is the winner of the prestigious Ms. Florence Nightingale title.

The judges were assisted by Amy Risvold, who oversaw the tabulation of the scores. The final scores were based on two criteria – 70 percent, revenue; and 30 percent, judges’ scores which were, in turn, based on career development and community service.

Title winner Camano, wife of Attorney Joe Camano who hails from Bicol, seemed pleasantly surprised by her victory. She said she prefers to write her comment on the question of how it feels to be a winner of the tight contest when the Filipino Star News tried to interview her shortly after the end of the event.

She managed, however, to say that she thanks all those who supported in one way of the other her quest for the title. Her supporters, who were seated in at least 15 tables, were shouting in glee when they heard her proclamation as Ms. Florence Nightingale 2017.

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Born and raised in Talavera, Nueva Ecija, Camano holds a bachelor of arts degree from the St. Louis University in Baguio City and a nursing degree from the Arellano University in Manila. She immigrated to the US in 1992, and gradually fulfilled her American dream. “She knew that the formula for a great conquest is perseverance hard work.”

She is credited for having recruited some 100 nurses from the Philippines for minimal fees, and there is more on the recruitment pipeline.

Before her proclamation as winner of the title, PNAM President Maria Wolfinbarger honored past presidents of PNAM which was created in 1972.

Wolfinbarger also gave special awards, called “PNAM Excellence in Preceptorship,” to three Filipino American doctors – namely, Dr. Ronilo Cruz Montano, Dr. Rosemary Aquiler-Angeles and Dr. Aylmer Evangelista.

She likewise honored Janilla Lee, PhD, executive director of the Asian American Center, with the PNAM appreciation award.

The keynote speaker at the event was Connie Tingzon-Gatuz, PhD, vice president for student affairs and mission integration of the Madonna University.

The emcees were Victoria Bryan, RN, LNHA; Terrence Ranjo, RN, MAN; and Suzette Lacqui.