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Outgoing NOVA Board Members

Posted By NOVA, Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Outgoing NOVA Board Members


We want to express our heart-felt appreciation for Sharon Johnson and Ron Nardi’s dedication, hard work and commitment during their years of service on the NOVA Board. Their knowledge, expertise and contributions have positively impacted our NOVA nurses and Veterans. We have been very fortunate to have such leaders on the board.

Sharon and Ron, thank you for all your efforts and labor of love. We hope you will continue to support NOVA!


Picture 1: Michelle Salazar, Ron Nardi and Thelma Roach-Serry


Picture 2: Michelle Salazar, Sharon Johnson and Thelma Roach-Serry


Ron Nardi                                                         Sharon Johnson
Membership Secretary                                   Immediate Past President
January 2018 – December 2019                   January 2018 – December 2019


Tags:  Board Members  NOVA Board Members  Outgoing NOVA Board Members 

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President's Message Jan. 2020

Posted By NOVA, Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Dear NOVA Members,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a great start to 2020.

I consider it an honor and a privilege to be serving you as NOVA President for the next two years. It is a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. You have my assurance that I will demonstrate the highest level of dedication. I would be remiss if I didn’t express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for the support and mentorship, I have received from Immediate Past President, Thelma Roach-Serry, Past Presidents, Ceci McVey, Joan Clifford and Sharon Johnson, and the NOVA Board of Directors (2008 – 2019). The commitment of this group of dynamic leaders is truly inspiring and continues to motivate me to fulfill NOVA’s mission “to educate, communicate and advocate for the Department of Veterans Affairs nurse professionally, personally and legislatively”.

As we enter 2020, a new year with new beginnings, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our two newest members of the board: Yvette Twum-Danso and Betty Ogren. Yvette is an Assistant Nurse Manager for the Acute Medicine Clinics II- Outpatient Specialty Clinics at the W. J. Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina. Betty, the first LPN to serve on the national NOVA Board, functions as a Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) LPN at the VA Northern Indiana Health Care Systems (VANIHCS), in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I anticipate that their skills and expertise will be an asset to the board. Click here to view the updated list of board members. NOVA is fortunate to have such an amazing board that continues to make valuable contributions to the advancement of VA nurses and the health care of Veterans.

We have exciting news to announce. Our quarterly newsletter has changed to monthly NOVA News emails. This is our first one to kick off the New Year. We are thrilled to be able to connect with you regularly and bring you timely news and updates.

2020 has been designated as “Year of the Nurse” and there are several can’t miss events. NOVA on the Hill Day and NOVA’s Legislative Roundtable are scheduled to take place on March 5th – 6th in Washington, D.C. and NOVA’s 40th Annual Meeting: Celebrating NOVA’s Legacy and Promise of NOVA’s Future will be held on October 29th-30th at the DoubleTree by Hilton Washington DC – Crystal City. I hope you can join us. What better time to become involved than this year/2020/an election year and important milestone for NOVA as we celebrate our 40th anniversary.

My top priorities are to strengthen NOVA by increasing membership growth and engagement during my tenure. Therefore, I encourage you to recruit new members, create or build up your local chapter, and join a committee. As you know, you can only get out of membership what you put into it. NOVA membership applications for LPNs, RNs and APRNs, Chapter Formation Guidelines and Become a Chapter Contact can be found on our website: I look forward to working with you as a cohesive team with open communication and transparency. With your ongoing support and active involvement, I am confident that we can achieve great success. Let’s make 2020 a year of positivity and productivity for NOVA.

In closing, I would like to thank you for providing exceptional care day in and day out to America’s heroes across this great nation. Your passion is commendable.

With appreciation,


Kelly D. Skinner, DNP, APRN, NP-C, GNP-BC, CRRN, WCC, CFCN   

Tags:  2020 President  President 2020  President's Message  President's Message Jan. 2020 

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Chapter 226 Boston, MA Update

Posted By Kelly D. Skinner, DNP, APRN, NP-C, GNP-BC, CRRN, WCC, CFCN, Thursday, January 16, 2020

Farewell to Lieutenant Finneran

NOVA nurses, VA Boston staff and SCI Veterans lined the streets outside the VA in West Roxbury, MA on November 9, 2019 to give Lieutenant Finneran the sendoff he deserved. He was killed on August 1, 1943 and his remains were finally being laid to rest beside his mother. It was very touching to see his family roll down their car windows and wave as they drove by in the funeral procession.


NOVA Calendar Raffle

Special thanks to everyone who participated in the 2019 NOVA Calendar Raffle! Those who purchased a calendar raffle had 31 chances to win a prize. The calendar raffle was a huge success. Due to the generous donations and efforts of our NOVA Chapter 226 members, monetary support was provided to the NOVA Boston nurses that attended NOVA’s 39th Annual Meeting in Miami, Florida in October 2019.


 Some Lucky Raffle Winners

In Picture: Sandy Zsikla, Marsha Auguste and Anastasia Aryee



NOVA Election

NOVA Chapter 226 held its annual election. Here are the 2020 NOVA Chapter 226 Board of Directors:

President: Theresa Presley

President Elect: Nacha Pierre

Treasurer: Kelly D. Skinner

Membership Secretary: Sherry Clement

Secretary: Tom Savage

Director: Anastasia Aryee

Director: Molly Maloney

Director: Danielle Newman

Director: Julie Szegda

Director: Brian Tuffy

Director: Valentina Ward

Looking forward to a productive year working with these motivated NOVA nurses!                       


Retirement Celebrations

NOVA Chapter 226 would like to wish Eileen Pflanz, NOVA Chapter 226 Immediate Past President, and Denise Dulude, Longtime NOVA Member, nothing but health and happiness in their retirement years!

Tags:  affle Winners  alendar Raffle  etirement Celebrations  Lieutenant Finneran  NOVA  NOVA Chapter  NOVA Members  OVA Calendar Raffle  OVA Election 

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NOVA December 2019 Board Meeting Update

Posted By NOVA , Thursday, January 16, 2020

The NOVA Board of Directors met for a two-day board meeting at the Double Tree by Hilton Washington DC – Crystal City in December 2019. While they were together, the board members took the opportunity to recognize outgoing board members: Sharon Johnson, Immediate Past President, and Kristy Cohen, Executive Director, for their service and invaluable contributions by giving them a token of their appreciation. Sharon and Kristy have been essential to the advancements NOVA has made during their tenure. To conclude the board meeting, Thelma Roach-Serry tapped the gavel once and adjourned the meeting. She then handed the gavel to Incoming NOVA President, Kelly D. Skinner. Another productive board meeting is in-the-books for 2019!

Tags:  Board Meeting  NOVA  NOVA Board  NOVA Board Meeting 

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Heard on the Hill - NOVA 2020 Hill Day

Posted By NOVA, Thursday, January 16, 2020

Greetings NOVA Members –

As the new year begins, NOVA will be preparing for many exciting events in Washington D.C. 

First up, our 2020 Hill Day which will commence on Thursday, March 5th in our Nation’s Capital – Please check all of NOVA’s Social Media platforms and the Website for ongoing updates/How to sign up and lots of other information to help you get ready to “Storm the Hill” for VA nurses.

For more information click here.

We will be providing training in a webinar hosted by me on Wednesday, January 29.  You will have the opportunity to partner with others who have participated in DC activities in the past and be mentored by NOVA Legislative Committee Members to help you in your journey to becoming a strong advocate.

This is an outstanding opportunity for NOVA to discuss nursing within VHA with Members of Congress and voice your concerns on issues that matter to all of you.

Congress is set to begin the second session of the 116th and as expected, VA and Veterans healthcare and services remains a priority for the House and Senate VA Committees. The Senate will have a new Committee Chairman – Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) - who has stated publicly that suicide prevention and oversight of VA programs will be his top priorities. The House has also posted their priorities which include suicide prevention, women’s and minority health, toxic exposure and VA oversight.

NOVA will be formulating its own 2020 Legislative Priority Goals in the coming weeks and will use them as our “foundation” when discussing critical issues facing VHA.  They will also be the leave behind for our Hill Day and the source of information discussed with lawmakers all year.

 I encourage all of you to stay current on our advocacy efforts by visiting the NOVA Website and watching our Social Media accounts – information on hearings and issues moving quickly through Congress are always provided as they happen!

I urge you to continue to voice your views as to how, when and where Veterans receive care as VA moves through any and all new forms of healthcare delivery. All of you remain at the forefront in ensuring VA continues to carry out their core mission of taking care of our Nation’s Heroes. 

Stay Tuned!

Teresa Morris, Director, Advocacy & Government Relations

Tags:  Heard on the Hill  Hill Day  NOVA  NOVA Hill Day  NOVA on the Hill 

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2020 Call for New Legislative Committee Members

Posted By NOVA, Wednesday, January 15, 2020

NOVA is Looking for Passionate Advocates to Join our Team as a Member of the

Legislative Committee.

WE NEED YOU ... Join the NOVA Legislative Committee and become a strong advocate for VA Nurses!

Click here for information and Call for New Members
Click here for what it means to be a member of the Legislative Team.

The legislative committee was formed in direct response to NOVA's increased need for
a continued strong voice in the nation's legislative arena and on Capitol Hill. We ask that
you, as members help us to develop our annual legislative agenda and priority goals
and help to educate other members on the best way to advocate for the VA Nursing

Anyone interested in becoming a member must be a registered NOVA Member, be
interested in helping us move our agenda and priorities forward; be available to attend
quarterly conference calls, and attend NOVA Legislative activities in Washington D.C.

Training and guidance will be provided for all NEW Members upon selection to the Committee.


Join us in continuing to remain a strong voice on Capitol Hill and in the Nursing Community!

Submit your applications here

Please include your name, VA facility, personal email, and a paragraph on why
you are interested in becoming a member of NOVA’s legislative committee.

Tags:  2020 Legislative Committee Members  Legislative Committee Members  New Legislative Committee Members 

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NOVA Hill Day 2020 - What to expect

Posted By NOVA, Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Advocating for the Department of Veterans Affairs nurse is at the heart of NOVA’s mission. Our members are the front-line staff who provide the best care for Veterans. That is why as an organization, NOVA encourages our members to get involved legislatively and advocate for the interests of the VA nurse. 

Because the VA remains one of the largest agencies in the Federal Government, employing more than 90,000 nurses it is critical for NOVA to have a voice on Capitol Hill. It is our collective voice that makes a difference.

In just a few months, our NOVA members will come together in our Nation's Capital and meet face-to-face with their representatives in Congress. Join us on March 5, 2020 and have your voice heard. 

If you attended last year’s Hill Day you know just how powerful NOVA is when we band together. In 2019, we took our priority goals and “Top Five Reasons Veterans Prefer VA Health Care” edict to staffers from both the House and Senate VA Committees. 

This year you can expect a continuation of dialogue around critical issues facing the VA and providing the best health care system for our Nation’s Veterans. Things will kick off at The Wink Hotel at 7:30 AM with introductions from NOVA Board Members and Legislative Committee Co-chairs. 

Continental breakfast will be provided at the hotel along with bus transportation to take attendees from the hotel to Capitol Hill. Please schedule your congressional appointments accordingly if you plan to take the bus into D.C. NOVA has plenty of resources on our website to help you prepare and schedule a meeting with your House and Senate leaders

Then attendees will be equipped with tips and tools for successful meetings, including a map of Capitol Hill, how to prepare for security, etiquette for meeting with Staffers, and Representatives and a Hill Day toolkit that will include talking points, 2020 legislative priority goals, and more.

After the NOVA Hill Day Kick Off Event the bus will depart for Capitol Hill at 10:15 AM and NOVA members will attend their meetings, followed by an event debriefing back at the Wink Hotel that evening. 

We look forward to coming together with NOVA members this March in D.C. We hope you join us for this wonderful opportunity to build relationships with Congress and key staff and to advocate for your issues. 

Tags:  Hill Day  NOVA Hill Day  NOVA Hill Day Blog 

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2019 NOVA Scholarship Recipients

Posted By NOVA, Wednesday, January 15, 2020

NOVA would like to recognize the following individuals for their outstanding service and congratulates them on their achievements. 

Educational Scholarship Recipients

Commitment to Serving Veterans Scholarship

in Honor of Jesse Brown

presented to:

Vanessa Coronel, BSN, RN

Nurse Emeritus Academic Scholarship in Honor of Mary Raymer

presented to: 

Leilani Reynado, BSN, RN, PCCN

Annual Meetings Scholarships

presented to: 

Brian Knight, RN

Danielle Alderman, RN

Heather Debe, BSN, RN, MBA, MSA

Ahamefule Epoh, RN

Dalla Simon-Eveillard, RN

Tags:  2019 NOVA Scholarship Recipients  2019 Scholarship Recipients  Scholarship Recipients  Scholarships 

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2019 NOVA Award Winners

Posted By NOVA , Wednesday, January 15, 2020

NOVA would like to recognize the following individuals for their outstanding service and congratulates them on their achievements. 

President’s Award presented to: 

Yvette Twum-Danso, MSN, RN CCRN, PhDc

For outstanding, significant contributions to advance the mission of NOVA


APRN Excellence Award presented to: 

Cynthia Solomon, MS, BSN, RN, ACNP-BC

For outstanding contribution to the nursing care of Veterans through excellence in clinical practice

RN Excellence Award presented to:

Nacha Pierre, MSN, RN

For outstanding contribution to the nursing care of Veterans through excellence in clinical practice

LPN/LVN Excellence Award presented to:

Sheleda Marks, LPN

For outstanding contribution to the nursing care of Veterans through excellence in clinical practice

Distinguished Chapter Award presented to: 

Chapter 362

WJB Columbia Healthcare System

Columbia, SC

For outstanding dedication to improving the healthcare of Veterans



Veterans Service Award presented to: 

Disabled American Veteran (DAV)

For outstanding dedication to improving the healthcare of Veterans

Tags:  Award  Award Winners  NOVA 2019 Award Winners 

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