President's Message

Presidents Message

President Dawn Garzon Maaks, PhD, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FAANP

Happy fall everyone! I for one am glad for cooler temperatures, and I love watching the trees erupt in color. Although time is flying by, these crisp autumn days almost force me to slow down, to take more walks and to appreciate all my blessings and good fortunes. For those who were in the path of Hurricane Michael, my heart goes out to you, your families and your communities. As a native Floridan, I know the panhandle and southern Georgia well and know you are resilient, amazing people who won’t be kept down long.

President Dawn Garzon Maaks, PhD, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FAANP

I don’t know about you, but I am amazed we are almost halfway through September. Time seems to be flying by, and I am astounded we are almost to the last quarter of the year! I know many of you are dealing with natural disasters, be they fires or impending hurricanes. Some of you are recovering from natural disasters that have already happened. I lost my home in Hurricane Andrew, lived near Tornado Alley for 24 years and live in an area devastated by fires last year, so I can imagine where your concerns are at this time. I pray you, your loved ones and your communities stay safe.

President Dawn Garzon Maaks, PhD, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FAANP

August is such a busy time of the year; infant births are high, and children are getting ready to go back to school, which means it’s physical season in primary care and elective surgeries are picking up. I, for one, try to enjoy the last bit of sunny warmth before the cold and rain returns, and I have tons of friends going on that last family vacation of the summer. I teach, so the fall semester has started and what I call my “faculty affective disorder” has kicked in.

President Dawn Lee Garzon Maaks, PhD, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FAANP

On July 1, I began my journey as the 42nd president of NAPNAP. I often start a journey by thinking about the steps that led me to the start. This gives me perspective and helps me keep my priorities straight. I find it’s easy to lose sight of that which is important when I’m in the midst of a challenge. So, I start my presidency with a look back, and with a glance to the journey ahead.

President Dawn Lee Garzon Maaks, PhD, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FAANP

On July 1, I began my journey as the 42nd president of NAPNAP. I often start a journey by thinking about the steps that led me to the start. This gives me perspective and helps me keep my priorities straight. I find it’s easy to lose sight of that which is important when I’m in the midst of a challenge. So, I start my presidency with a look back, and with a glance to the journey ahead.

President Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC

I just finished my last board meeting as president, and it has caused me to reflect on the past year and all the remarkable people I have met. What an amazing time. The June board meeting is always fun and energetic as we blend recently elected board members, who are joining us for the first time to learn their roles, and some of our seasoned members who are completing their terms. On the plane home, I read an article about a businessman who was learning to make new friends at age 45.

President Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC

Welcome to May and warmer weather (finally), flowers blooming and outdoor activities in full swing.  In Chicago, warmer weather can bring an uptick in injuries, including traumas involving gun violence.  So, it seems appropriate that as we head into the warmer weather, we take a stand for firearm injury prevention.

President Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC

I love the month of April. Every year it brings the NCAA Final Four, my birthday and the start of spring. This year, I was especially thrilled when the Villanova Wildcats won their second national championship in three years and I had the exciting opportunity to travel to San Antonio to cheer them on to victory with my good friends. San Antonio’s warmth was a welcome respite from chilly Chicago. Beautiful, sunny 76-degree weather energized my morning run on the San Antonio River Walk.

President Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC

March has a special palace in my heart because I enjoy sports. College basketball is my favorite sport, and I’m crazy about the Villanova Wildcats. Like hundreds of thousands of fans, I participate in bracketology, and I may or may not wager on my alma mater. I usually fill out one bracket with my heart and one with my head. So, when the NCAA brackets came out this week and Villanova was the No. 1 seed, I was thrilled that my heart and head were one. Emotion meets logic, a satisfying and calming feeling!

President Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC

A technical foul is defined as any infraction of the rules penalized as a foul that does not involve physical contact between opposing players during play on the basketball court. It appears to apply to what I am feeling about the current flu season. The children just keep coming as if I am going to be on candid camera, and it is all a cruel joke. Every winter we have a surge. This year it appears to be hitting harder, and I am calling a technical foul on the flu season.

President Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2018! It always feels like a clean slate in January when the air is crisp and clear, and the calendar starts at 1/1. It is fun to reflect on 2017 to see how much has been accomplished and look forward to 2018 with renewed hope. There has been much in the news about a new day and a changing of the tides when it comes to pay equality and workplace harassment. We as nurses/nurse practitioners have been fighting a battle for acceptance and respect for a long time. This is not only as a woman-dominated field, but as equal team members.

President Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC

As I write the December message, I am struggling with what theme/subjects to discuss. Do I address the flu season and remind everyone to get a flu shot as this year’s season is proving to be a strong one? Do I remind everyone to check on loved ones and patients because suicide is at it’s highest at this time of year? Do I remind everyone that Sandy Hook was five years ago, and we still have so much to do? Or, do I talk about the holidays and the good times with family and friends. I suspect I am preaching to the choir on the first few subjects, and the reminder may not be necessary.

President Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC

At the March business meeting, held during the national conference in Denver, we introduced a campaign that would allow NAPNAP to take a leading role in initiatives serving underserved children and respond authoritatively to timely events in health care. In the past, we often served in a passenger role by supporting others’ initiatives, but the road map is changing, and we are now putting ourselves in the driver’s seat. I hope you are as excited about this as I am. 

President Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC

Gun violence. There I said it. I believe the time has come for NAPNAP to take a stronger stand to reduce gun violence and promote common sense gun safety regulations to protect children. I am positive you are as mentally exhausted and outraged as I at each reporting of another mass shooting. We must recognize this as the public health crisis it truly is. Did you know there have been 278 mass casualty shootings in America so far in 2017? That is almost one shooting each day. A mass casualty shooting is defined as greater than four persons injured in a single assault.

President Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC

September has started in a whirlwind (no pun intended) as August went out with a bang. So many losses for so many, especially in the southern hemisphere with Hurricane Harvey hitting and Hurricane Irma active. NAPNAP’s thoughts and prayers are with you.

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