2023 #NAHNStrong Awardees

#NAHNStrong is a program that recognizes individual NAHN members who treat others with dignity, respect, kindness, compassion, and civility, while working with or throughout their communities. #NAHNSTRONG honorees are NAHN’s good citizens who are dedicated to practicing social justice in their everyday lives. #NAHNSTRONG honorees are nominated by fellow NAHN members and supporters, and selected by the NAHN Communications Committee.


Nohemi Alvarez-Landa, MSN, NP-C
NAHN El Corazon de la Tierra 

"Nohemi works tirelessly as a volunteer to enhance the health outcomes of our Kansas City Hispanic community.  She provides countless hours of her own time and works to make connections between social service organizations so that they can partner and make a stronger impact together, rather than working independently.  Of note, she worked to facilitate the opening of a primary care clinic for Hispanic individuals who are uninsured or underinsured regardless of documentation status. Other examples of the contributions she has made include setting up health fairs and facilitating free influenza and COVID-19 vaccines in neighborhood venues with high Hispanic populations."

Monica Najera, BSN, RN
NAHN Illinois

"Monica Najera's story with NAHN began during her time as a student nurse. She found in NAHN a supportive community within nursing, a haven brimming with inspiration and motivation. Throughout her journey, Monica has made it her mission to provide the same support and opportunities to Hispanic students and fellow chapter members.   

As the President of the NAHN Illinois Chapter, Monica has proven to be an exceptional leader, consistently putting others and the organization as a whole, first. Her dedication to NAHN is nothing short of admirable. Monica's journey with NAHN Illinois began as an active member and community volunteer, eventually serving as NAHN Illinois Treasurer, where she demonstrated her commitment to our chapter's stability. Following her tenure, she decided to take on the challenge of leading the chapter as President, with a vision to see it thrive and expand like never before.   

Monica is not one to shy away from challenges or turn down opportunities to serve our communities. Her kind and respectful nature extends far beyond her role as a nurse, they are integral to her character. She serves her multiple roles with dignity, embodying the essence of NAHN Strong values. Her kindness, respect, and compassion are not just qualities she possesses; they are the driving force behind her leadership and service."


Madeline  Feliciano-Weiser, MSN, RN
NAHN National

"Madeline, nurse manager on 5N at Lancaster Medical Center, has been committed to creating a culturally diverse workforce within her department since inception. The success of this venture can be seen in the unit's positive quality outcomes including patient satisfaction. Her involvement in DEI activities has a long history with PSH. While working as Clinical Coordinator for the Cancer Center at HMC, she served as an advocate for approximately 75 Limited English Proficient patients/families, ensuring adequate resources were available in their native languages thereby increasing their ability to comprehend their disease, prognosis, treatment plan side effects and available resources. As an RN IV working at Penn Medicine she developed oral and written chemotherapy education standards for Limited English Proficient patients and acted as the telehealth assessment RN for the same population. The success of the was increased patient satisfaction scores: Sensitive to Patient Needs- 100%, Staff Worked Together for Your Care- 88.9%.   Ms. Feliciano-Weiser acts as chair for LMC DEI Committee. She is a member of the Interpretive Services Advisory Group and contributed to the development of the system wide DEI Playbook. While at the Cancer Institute she was a member of Commission on Cancer Quality Improvement: Language Barriers in Oncology Service Line and the Diversity Committee: Increasing Diversity in Clinical Trials. 

Madeline has been published in Becker's Healthcare Review: What Nurses of Color Want White Nurse to Know, Do Nurses of Color Feel Excluded in Hospitals? "Yes. Every. Single. Day." and Want Meaningful Diversity in Your Hospital? Promote Nurses of Color. She has also been interviewed regarding microaggressions within the nursing profession for articles including: How Nurses of Color Can Forge Their Own Paths: DNPs of Color Panel and DNPs of Color Discuss Microaggressions in the Workplace.   

Ms. Feliciano-Weiser's commitment to promote DEI is also evidenced by multiple speaking engagements including: 

  • National Association of Hispanic Nursing 48th Annual Conference: "Aliados a Complices (Allies to Accomplices)"
  • Pennsylvania College of Healthcare Sciences 2022 Colloquium: "Allies to Accomplices: Nurse Leaders Bringing Change" 
  • The National Organization for Arts in Health: Panel Member: "Inclusion in Healthcare Through the Arts" 
  • PSH Hispanic Heritage Month 2021: Panel Member: Providing Culturally Responsive Care to Hispanic/Latinx Patients and Cancer Disparities in the Hispanic and Latinx Communities 
  • Oncology Nursing Society Red Rose Chapter: Diversity in Nursing: Why It Matters" 
  • Penn State College of Medicine Healthcare Career Exploration Program: "Cultural Competence in Healthcare"

 Madeline extends her commitment to DEI through membership in: National Association of Hispanic Nurses (goal to achieve a local chapter in Lancaster, PA), National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives, ANA, PSNA and Oncology Nursing Society. She has also received the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace certificate from University of South Florida's Office of Corporate Training and Professional Education. 

Madeline's commitment spans nearly a decade and continues to build momentum."


Julio Santiago, RN, DNP, CCRN
NAHN Illinois

"Julio has been a dedicated member of NAHN for many years, and his commitment to our organization and the broader community is remarkable. His involvement with NAHN is nothing short of inspiring. He generously donates his time and expertise as an active member of the national finance committee. His contributions to the well-being of NAHN have been invaluable and helped our organization thrive. In addition to his work at the national level, Julio shines as a leadership mentor within our Illinois Chapter. Many of us, myself included, have benefited from his guidance and mentorship during times of uncertainty. Julio's willingness to offer a helping hand and share his wisdom is a testament to his commitment to the values of dignity, respect, kindness, compassion, and civility that NAHN holds dear.

Beyond his involvement with NAHN, Julio's impact extends to the broader community. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the ASPIRA organization, aligning with his dedication to community empowerment. ASPIRA's mission to empower the Puerto Rican and Latino community through advocacy, education, and leadership development resonates strongly with Julio, who works tirelessly to advance this cause.

Julio is not just a member of NAHN; he is a true NAHN Strong honoree. His commitment to our organization, his mentorship, and his community involvement are shining examples of the kind of individual we need to celebrate. I wholeheartedly nominate Julio Santiago as a #NAHNStrong example. He is a beacon of inspiration, a leader, and a true embodiment of NAHN values."


Jackie Dominguez, RN, BSN
NAHN Illinois

"Jackie is a true inspiration to everyone who knows her. Her unwavering passion for nursing is only surpassed by her genuine commitment to the well-being of the Hispanic community. Every time she speaks about NAHN, her appreciation for the organization shines through, and her enthusiasm for its positive impact on her life as a Hispanic nurse is truly contagious. Jackie considers herself fortunate to have found NAHN, but it is clear that our organization is the lucky one to have a member as exceptional as her.

What sets Jackie apart is her extraordinary kindness, resilience, compassion, and selflessness. Her dedication to serving the Hispanic nursing community is evident through her roles within the Illinois Chapter's Mentorship and Pre-nursing Committee, as well as at the national level with the Awards & Scholarships Committee. Jackie is a passionate community volunteer who generously contributes her time and skills to health fairs and community events with NAHN Illinois. Her involvement has significantly impacted the chapter and our community.

Despite pursuing her master's degree in nursing, Jackie's dedication to NAHN and the community remains unwavering. She inspires us all with her remarkable commitment to education and service to others. Jackie's leadership within our chapter's mentorship program is a testament to her character. Her mentees speak highly of her dedication and positive impact on their development. Jackie's ability to nurture and support the growth of others is truly exceptional. She is an admirable nurse, leader, and human being who exemplifies the best of what NAHN has to offer."


NAHN Phoenix

"Mrs. Mendez has been a nurse for 16 years and became a Nurse Practitioner in 2019. NAHN Phoenix has had the pleasure of having Mrs. Mendez as the Education and Community Outreach Chair. Mrs. Mendez has contributed to improving health equity in the community through her work as a Critical Care Nurse Practitioner at Valleywise hospital where they serve the historically marginalized community.  I have witnessed Mrs. Mendez provide compassionate and quality health care to the community where she has sympathized and educated in English and Spanish. 

Mrs. Mendez has been a trail blazer for the phoenix chapter. Her passion to serve the community and provide education is inspiring. She spearheaded Sound the Alarm volunteer opportunity where our chapter collaborated with the local fire department and Red Cross. She led the group as we went knocking door to door to install fire alarms, educate and create a fire safety plan. Our chapter had 16 bilingual volunteers and installed 70 fire alarms. In addition, she led the First Aid tent at the Pancreatic Cancer Walk. Mrs. Mendez is instrumental to the education access and quality for our Hispanic community as she assists in coordination of our monthly meeting speakers and ensures we offer Continued Nurse Education credits. Every month she creates three educational materials on hot topics and how they relate to the Hispanic community. For example, she has created educational content for Autism Awareness, Testicular Cancer, Colorectal Cancer and much more.  As an Acute Nurse Practitioner, she advocates for her students and creates a safe learning environment."


Araceli Orozco BSN, RN-BC, IL PEL-SN, NCSN
NAHN Illinois

"Araceli embodies the mission and values of our organization and is friendly, approachable, and willing to support NAHN and the nurses and communities we serve in any way possible. Araceli is phenomenal school nurse who advocates for services and support initiatives involving immunization, vision/hearing screening, dental and ocular health for students. Araceli also collaborates with nurses from other districts to ensure that resources and professional development opportunities are accessible to nurses working in underserved and low-resource school communities. She embodies the role of a school community nurse and is an exceptional Clinician. Her compassion and commitment are beyond description. She goes above and beyond to volunteer and assist with our chapter's initiatives, volunteer opportunities, and events. She is an exemplary Certified School Nurse and Transformational Leader, as well as a passionate and invigorating member of NAHN-IL."


Alejandro Roldan, APNP, FNP-C
NAHN Milwaukee

"Alejandro Roldan exemplifies the values and spirit of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. As a Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, and the Academic Liaison for GMNAHN, he has consistently demonstrated commitment, passion, and excellence in his roles.   

His dedication to the nursing profession is evident in the numerous ways he contributes to GMNAHN. Alejandro has taken on the responsibility of bridging the gap between academia and practice, ensuring that the association remains at the forefront of nursing education and best practices. His insights and expertise have paved the way for the successful implementation of several initiatives within GMNAHN, furthering our mission to uplift and support Hispanic nurses.

Alejandro's dedication extends far beyond his immediate responsibilities. He has been a fervent advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in both the nursing profession and the broader healthcare system. His commitment to DEI is not just limited to advocacy; he takes tangible steps to ensure that our healthcare system becomes more inclusive and equitable. One such endeavor is his relentless effort to collaborate with academic institutions to develop support systems tailored for students of color. He recognizes the unique challenges these students face and strives to create an academic environment where they can thrive and excel in their nursing journey.

Mental health and neurodiversity are causes close to Alejandro's heart. He understands the profound impact mental well-being and neurodiverse conditions have on overall health. In addition to spearheading initiatives aimed at destigmatizing mental health issues, Alejandro has been a strong advocate for neurodiversity within the Hispanic and Latino community. He's organized awareness campaigns to educate the community about conditions like autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. By providing resources and training sessions, Alejandro aims to ensure that neurodiverse individuals receive the understanding, support, and accommodations they need. His commitment to this cause is evident in the collaborative events he's hosted with schools and other community institutions to facilitate a more inclusive learning environment for neurodiverse students.   

Furthermore, Alejandro's commitment to uplifting the community is evident in every project he undertakes. He believes in empowering individuals, especially those from marginalized backgrounds, and providing them with the tools and resources to succeed. This empowerment is not just about professional growth; it's about fostering a sense of belonging, building resilience, and creating a community where everyone feels valued and heard.   

It is with great pride and conviction that I nominate Alejandro Roldan for the #NAHNSTRONG Member Recognition. His tireless efforts, unparalleled dedication, and unwavering commitment to the community and the nursing profession make him an exemplary candidate for this honor."


#NAHNStrong Criteria

Nominee Criteria:

  • Nominee must demonstrate one or both of the following #NAHNStrong qualities:
    • Treat others with dignity, respect, kindness, compassion, and civility, while working with or throughout their communities.
    • Good citizens who are dedicated to practicing social justice in their everyday lives. 
  • Nominee must be an individual member of NAHN in good standing through at least December 31, 2023.
  • NEW! All individual member types are eligible, including general, student, nursing affiliate, international affiliate, emeritus, and affiliate.
  • NAHN members can only receive #NAHNStrong award a maximum of two times.
  • Members cannot receive awards 2 consecutive years in a row.

#NAHNStrong honorees will be chosen by the NAHN Communications Committee from the nominees, and will be recognized on NAHN's social media, website, and newsletter.