National Nursing Week : The nurses in my family

Do you have nurses in your family?

Teodoro Alcuitas

Nurses has been in our mind lately – with the news on one of our own (Victoria Casas-Alcuaz) nominated to the board of the CNA and recognized by the UBC Hospital Foundation.

The first class of the Chinese General Hospital in Manila. (Photo: Family archives)

This week has been set to honour nurses as National Nursing Week to coincide with  Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12.

The theme this year is Our Nurses. Our Future. This theme showcases the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s health-care journey. The pandemic brought to light the courage and commitment that nurses work under every day and showed the important role that nurses play in the community.

Filipinos have always been in the forefront of Canada’s health care system with our nurses and doctors arriving here, some from the United States in the 60s.

As National Nurses Week is celebrated in Canada this week we thought we honour our own nurses in the family.

Beginning with my wife’s family, the first nurse was Ines Impreso- Cadigal who was  among the first graduate of the Chinese General Hospital in Manila in 1926 . Her two younger sisters also followed her to the nursing profession. The Impresos were from Atimonan, Quezon Province and Ines stayed in Manila after graduation where she got married. Although offered a job abroad in the U.S. she declined and raised a family of six later immigrating to Canada and the United States when she retired.

Her granddaughter, Veronica Baino, is a nurse in Baltimore, Maryland, and recently retired while her sister-in-law – Leni Baino is also a nurse and now retired. My wife’s cousin in San Jose , California, Pacita Cadigal is a nurse as well as a with a daughter.  A cousin in Surrey,B.C. ,  Carmen Alpas is a nurse and her daughter.

Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Baino recently retired from Baltimore’s Veterans Hospital. (Photo: Facebook)
From my family:

My niece in Winnipeg – Whelma Arquillano- Tan graduated from the University of Manitoba worked for Grace Hospital until her retirement recently. Another niece, Femia Gabiana is a Licensed Nurses Assistant in Maple Ridge.

Millette Aldave-Laspinas graduation picture. (Photo-Facebook)
Whelma Arquillano-Tan recently retired from Grace Hospital in Winnipeg. (Photo: Facebook)

A cousin, the late Naomi Aldave-Nacario worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Vancouver, B.C. until her retirment. Her older sister Norma Alidon,  was the first to immigrated to the U.S. in the 50s and is now retired. Norma has a daughter in Chicago, also a nurse.

Norma’s niece – Milette and Neil Laspinas  are both nurses in L.A. Their nieces – June Acharon- Misahon and Janine, are both nurses in Vancouver.

Easily, we have more than two dozen nurses in the family. Apologies to those that I missed.

To all them, we pay our respect and gratitude for their work.





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