NAHN Candidates for Office in 2019-2021 Present Platforms

The NAHN Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the following slate of candidates for our upcoming elections. The elected officials will serve a two-year term, from 2019-2021. Eligible voters have received a link from Election Runner to cast their ballots. Voting concludes on June 18, 2019. If you have questions about voter eligibility please contact

Each candidate has provided an updated platform statement:

Candidates for Treasurer

  Elizabeth Aquino, PhD, RN

I am proud to be an active member of the NAHN familia and it would be a privilege to serve as NAHN Treasurer. Under my leadership as President of NAHN-Illinois, the growth of the chapter’s operating budget and membership more than doubled. As NAHN Treasurer, I will continue to work hard to generate more streams of revenue for NAHN. In addition to ensuring there is a balanced and responsible budget at the national level, I will ensure best-practices for accounting, generating revenue, and reporting are shared with all chapters to enhance their growth and achieve their goals. I promise to serve as a board member who will always keep the NAHN mission and membership needs at the forefront of my decision making and to uphold the values of integrity, consistency, and transparency. It would be an honor to have your vote of confidence to serve as NAHN Treasurer.  #VoteForLiz    

    Miriam 'MImi'  Gonzalez, BS, RN 

I am Miriam Gonzalez BS, RN, known to many as “Mimi”. I have a history of serving in our ASSOCIATION as a Founder, Board Member- Chairing Development, Awards & Scholarships, Nominations, Public Relations, Chapter President, Chapter Treasurer to name a few. With the New York State Nurses Association, I served on their Board and was elected as Treasurer for 2 terms. Currently I serve as Board Member and am one of the 4 Trustees of the New York City Retirees Fund meeting the Health & Welfare needs of over 7 thousand with a Budget & Assets of over 20 million dollars. As VP of my Alumnae we were able to generate over 1 million dollars to establish the Bellevue Center of Excellence at the New York State Nurses Foundation. Why vote for me? As one of my accolades “Mimi gives to everyone who has the privilege of knowing and working with her an understanding of what can be accomplished by sustained commitments and when these commitments are demonstrated with boundless and unstoppable caring spirit, generosity and humor.”

Candidates for Secretary

  Susan Caplan, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN

Hello everyone! I am running for Secretary to NAHN to continue to serve the Hispanic nursing community. Some of you may know me from the many hats I have worn in NAHN. I have served NAHN as an Editorial Board Member of Hispanic Healthcare International since 2016, as well as Nominating Committee member from 2016-2018. I am also a member of the NJ and CT Chapters of NAHN. For those of you who don’t know me. I am an Assistant Professor at Rutgers School of Nursing, clinical researcher and Family Nurse Practitioner. I have been working with Latino immigrants to improve mental health literacy, increase recognition of mental health disorders and improve access to care. My current research, “El Buen Consejo Movil,” is an interventional study of a mobile app to reduce symptoms of depression among primary care patients in the Dominican Republic in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo. I continually mentor Hispanic nursing students in research and seek to actively engage them in furthering their nursing education and potential research careers. I look forward to serving NAHN.

  Maria Julia Perez, PhD., RNC-OB, LHRM, CHEP

Many Hispanics have contributed to this country and yet there is a lack of recognition and cultural sensitivity. I have dedicated most of my professional life to bridging those cultural differences and bias through education.  I feel that given the opportunity to serve in NAHN executive board I will have a major impact on serving my purpose to improving and recognizing the Hispanic communities.  I am dedicated to improving safety in all Hispanic communities.  I am motivated to improving the quality of health care among Hispanics and improving the well-being of Hispanic nurses. I want to contribute to a culture of sensitivity toward Hispanics by educating the population.  I am dedicated to raising awareness of healthcare and cultural issues that are specific to the Hispanic population. Given the opportunity to serve will allow me to express my passion and dedication for the Hispanic community and Hispanic nurses.


Candidates for Board of Directors

  Jackeline Biddle Richard, JD, DNP, RN, CNE

I am a Latina of Puerto Rican descent who is a higher education consultant.  My professional background has been in nursing, law and higher education.  I have also served as a board member for other professional and community organizations.  My nursing and Latino background fuels my commitment to the Latinx community.  My higher education experience has taught me to be accountable for excellence and superior outcomes which can be of benefit in a fiduciary capacity of board membership.  My leadership roles have taught me how to work with others to effect change.   My law background has helped me develop my ability to communicate effectively and provide innovative solutions to complex challenges.  As a former board member, I understand that the board serves in the background, advancing the agenda, mission, and vision of the organization through thoughtful participation which yields meaningful results. All of which I can do for NAHN.




My name is Valerie Caraballo. I have been an active member of NAHN for over 20 years. Throughout this time I had the privilege to serve in various positions both at a local and national level. Being part of NAHN has positively impacted my life and profession. I am grateful to have met numerous influential members, a long my journey, that have educated, mentored and inspired me professionally and personally. These experiences has enabled me to work with members, students and stakeholders to improve the health and well being of our Hispanic community in Philadelphia. As a proud member I am  dedicated to the mission of NAHN and strive to continue to elevate our Hispanic community and advance our nursing profession by serving as a Board Member. If elected I will work diligently along side the new administration to promote and facilitate our agenda to continue to advance NAHN, the nation's leading professional Hispanic nursing organization.


  Adrian Galvan Espinosa, MPH, MS, RN, PHN, FNP-BC

“Dime Con Quien Andas y Te Dire Quien Eres” – I proudly surround myself with in­fluential, passionate, hardworking & humble nurses. I have never looked back and wondered why I entered the field of nursing but rather, am thankful for every day I am blessed to work alongside patients. As an evolving nursing professional, I am committed to fostering strong working relationships with my nursing colleagues, while inspiring the next generation of Latinx nursing leaders. I joined the NAHN familia approximately five years ago, with three of those years invested as the Greater San Jose Chapter President and one year as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion committee. I take pride in nurturing a sense of community and look forward to being a resilient voice for our membership, if allowed the opportunity. Most importantly, I want to remind everyone to absorb their nursing journey, “Un Dia A La Vez!”


  Nora Hernandez-Pupo, PhD, RN, TNCC

It has been my privilege and honor to currently serve as NAHN’s Miami Chapter President. I’ve had some great opportunities to meet and learn from the expertise of NAHN members. I joined NAHN because of the community involvement I saw and the impact they created in supporting the Latino community.   My experience in organizational and faculty government has taught me that listening carefully and endeavoring in a manner that ensures a fair and professional consideration of the task at hand is crucial to the success of any organization.  As we make plans for 2020 and the many ways we support our Latino nurses in improving the health of our communities, it would be my honor to continue to serve NAHN. I am prepared to work hard. I ask for your vote so that we can continue the good work and build on the things we’ve already accomplished as an organization. 


  Susana Gonzalez, MHA, MSN, RN, CNML

As Hispanic nurses we are a powerful workforce and NAHN provides a platform to allow our voices to be heard and advance the profession. It is my goal to support NAHN with its endeavors and to identify and encourage Hispanic nurses to join our membership across the nation.

My nursing career has provided me with many opportunities, experiences, and knowledge, along with a strong ethical leadership. I pledge to serve as a liaison with community leaders to promote NAHN. My personal commitment to you is to promote and enrich the lives of our membership through continued supportive development, education, and professional leadership.

I can dedicate time and energy to serve the board of directors’. I have supported many NAHN national initiatives; I want to continue to facilitate communication between NAHN members, the board, colleagues, and community stakeholders.

I am honored to have served as a Board Member from 2016 to 2019. I have served and chaired policy and advocacy and today I am assigned to Membership Committee. I want to continue to provide my skills, talents, and experiences to the membership committee in the role of Board of Director.

Past roles include having served as the Illinois Hispanic Nurses Chapter president from 2013-2017. Under my leadership we developed and led several collaborative initiatives that today continue serving our community with a servant leadership presence and spirit. Illinois chapter succession and planning are engaging and promising to the future leadership. Our local membership and community engagement continue to grow, and we are involved in several national grants.

Life is about timing and purpose and I am committed to mentor a new generation of healthcare professionals. I believe as a member of the NAHN, we lead by example and I welcome the opportunity to help our organization realize its mission, vision, and purpose with the esteemed executive leadership.



  Melissa Mendoza, BSN, RN

I am a registered of over 6 years with primary nursing with geriatric population with 3 years of entry level management experience. I am dementia trained and certified at the State level, I am a certified nursing assistant instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College.   I am currently pursuing my Master's in Nursing at Concordia University.


  Debora La Torre, MSN, APN, FNP-BC

My name is Debora La Torre and I am running for the Board Member position of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. Why, you ask? This organization has watched me grow from a student nurse in 2010 to currently practicing Family Nurse Practitioner. Saying that this organization is great, is an understatement, it is familia. This organization is my nursing family, and it has provided me mentors, friends, and overall community to share my ideas and culture, not only because "we" know what it is like to take care of our families, but know how to do it through nuestra cultura.  As a Board Member I will continue to develop the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure this nonprofit family has adequate resources to advance its mission.


    Lisa Marie Pacheco, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

I am a longtime advocate for healthcare, with a goal to improve the health of my community.  I am passionate about being a nurse and see myself as an influencer for the future of nursing and nursing’s role in removing health disparities.  Through my humble beginnings I have experienced the needs and inequities of healthcare firsthand.  I believe nursing is the key to change.  Nurses are powerful, trusted and can make a difference.  As a NAHN Board Member I would work on mobilizing the voice of NAHN nurses to influence care, policies and opportunities that would promote Latino nursing and improve health equity.  As part of the Board I would be an active participant in promoting the mission and vision of NAHN. I am an excellent networker and would use this skill to build bridges and bring opportunities to NAHN Membership to increase visibility and expand our resources.  


  Melissa Pluguez-Moldavskiy DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, AGACNP

I humbly submit my name for consideration for the position of Board Member. I have a passion for promoting the vision and ideals of NAHN in “advancing the health in Hispanic communities and to lead, promote and advocate the educational, professional, and leadership opportunities for Hispanic nurses” (NAHN, 2018). I believe that I have something great to offer both our members and those of the community. I intend to continue our legacy of scholarship and mentorship, expanding these ideals into arenas where we can mentor our new members and empower them as we had been empowered by our experienced members and bring this forth to all chapters through our work on the board. I would like to participate in existing initiatives and assist with new initiatives. Let us continue to build on the amazing foundation our board, past and present, has set for us.