Dr. Nerissa Mendoza Gerial, Deputy Executive Director for Nursing Services at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) and the Founding President of the Urologic Nurses Association of the Philippines (URONAP), was bestowed the 2022 University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) Distinguished Alumna Award in Nursing Practice and Advocacy, in recognition of her leadership and achievements in the field of nursing. She started her career in Nursing at NKTI in 1993, while also finishing her master’s degree in Hospital Administration at the University of the Philippines – Manila. Moreover, she obtained her Doctorate Degree in Nursing Education Major in Leadership and Management at St. Paul University Manila.
Dr. Gerial has time and again proven what it means to transpire as a Nursing Leader. In 2019, she was awarded as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women by the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN) for the Thought Leader and Innovator Category (Nursing Profession), in Paris, France. Furthermore, she was identified and recognized as one of the Most Iconic Women of Quezon City in 2020 by a panel headed by the Honorable Mayor, Ma. Josefina “Joy” Belmonte, in recognition of her unparalleled contributions in the society as she has exemplified outstanding performance in her field of expertise.
Recently, she also garnered multiple eminent awards and these are the notable Employee Engagement of the Year Award (Caring for the Carers) awarded by HEALTHCARE ASIA in recognition of the Nursing Services’ programs and initiatives to maintain employee engagement, dedication, and enthusiasm in the provision of excellent and quality patient care amid the Covid-19 Pandemic; the Civil Service Commission (CSC) 2021 Outstanding Government Worker Regional and National Winner Pagasa Award (Group Category); the 2021 Outstanding Cost-Effective Officer (CEO) Award conferred by the Career Executive Service Board (CESB) of the Philippines;
The 2021 Consuelo Gomez Arabit Award given by the peri-Operative Registered Nurses Association of the Philippines (ORNAP); and accorded with High Commendation Trophy given by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards International (ACHSI) for her contributions in improving safety and quality. These accolades and achievements are because of her exemplary and active display of her nursing leadership, and magnanimous involvements and impacts for the growth and progress of the profession. Her contributions to the nursing profession have created change to benefit the lives of many. This recognition from the UP Alumni Association is distinct, for it brings pride and glory to the University of the Philippines and embodying the Tatak UP to the fullest.
Each year, the UPAA honors UP alumni who have pre-eminently distinguished themselves. The awards are based on the notion that “when the prestige of the alumni increases, the prestige of the institution is thereby increased.” Giving awards to the alumni for outstanding achievements amounts to honoring the Alma Mater itself.
Formed in 1933, the Awards began with the UPAA Gold Medal of Merit and the Diploma of Honor. Until 1938, only two UP alumni were chosen annually to receive the awards. The awards were suspended in 1939, and again in 1941 to 1946, due to World War II. However, in 1947, four alumni were posthumously awarded as war heroes. As the University grew older, more and more UP alumni attained distinction. Thus, in 1957, the UPAA began giving awards in the different service categories. These are what we call today the UPAA Distinguished Alumni Awards.
Dr. Nerissa M. Gerial formally received the award during the awarding ceremonies at Luciano E. Salazar Hall, Ang Bahay ng Alumni on November 11, 2022. Prior to the awarding, UP President Danilo L. Concepcion hosted a dinner in honor of the awardees on November 9, 2022. The UPAA awards are traditionally held in conjunction with the organization’s Annual General Alumni Homecoming. The ceremonies would also display a photo exhibit featuring the 2022 UPAA alumni awardees.
Dr. Gerial’s impact on the Nursing profession, both as an individual and as a professional, is immense and substantial. Her remarkable achievements and prominent contributions have brought about significant benefits to society. She has presented great leadership and resilience, even more during the pandemic, which merited her the exclusive UPAA Distinguished Alumna Award in Nursing Practice and Advocacy.
Indeed, the UPAA Distinguished Alumni Awards serve as an inspiration for all UP alumni to bring great honor and distinction to the University. Dr. Gerial’s ability to make withstanding choices that befit the overcoming of the challenges being faced in the nursing profession, has greatly affected, and impacted the lives of many people including the nurses and changed them for the better. As an effective trailblazer in the nursing profession, she stood out amongst the rest and gave prestige to the dedicated leadership role she was bestowed in her unyielding and purposeful service to the public.