The Indian American Nurses Association of Greater Houston ( IANAGH ) is a non- profit organization under the rules and regulations of non-profit organizations 501 (C) (3) in United States of America. IANAGH is organized with unique mission and goals. Our Primary goal is to unite all Indian Nurses and nursing students of Indian origin and heritage as a professional body under one umbrella in greater Houston area.
IANAGH is the organization for all professional nurses and nursing students of Indian origin/heritage that creates a community of excellence in nursing practice and healthcare through networking and collaboration.
To Promote professional excellence in nursing practice and healthcare through the empowerment and renewal of professional and cultural identity of all nurses of Indian origin/heritage, and to optimize their contribution to the health and well being of individuals, families, and communities.
As an organization of professional nurses and nursing students of Indian origin/heritage,
We are committed to:
- Caring, compassion, ethical values, and exceptional healthcare practices
- Client-centered helping relationships and advocacy
- Accountability and responsibility for evidence-based practice
- Continuous personal and professional development of self and others
Collaboration and innovation with other nursing, healthcare and cultural organizations.
A GLANCE AT INDIAN AMERICAN NURSES ASSOCIATION OF GREATER HOUSTON
The Indian American Nurses Association of Greater Houston (IANAGH) has become a leading organization of nurses of Indian origin and heritage in United States of America. As we commemorate 25th anniversary celebration of IANAGH in 2019, it is a testament of its remarkable growth and leadership.
We could not have achieved this growth without the sacrifice and hard work of so many pioneers of great vision and dedication. It was in 1982 that the Indian nursing community in Houston started discussions about the need for an organization to support the immigrant nurses from India. The challenges nurses were facing then were numerous and unfavorable. Coming to a new country far away from their familiar environment and adjusting to a new life style was burdensome. In spite of the challenges, these nurses with their great work ethics and hard work, overcame all those difficulties in a very professional and mature way!
Many of us started our careers in USA as newlyweds with young children. Juggling this dual role was a great challenge because it was a very new concept for us. Needless to say, we found a lot of strength in each other, and the need for a professional organization became very obvious. Discussions about forming an Indian Nurses Association were always surfacing at social gatherings. Finally, a couple of brave individuals made the first move to form one such association. They were Mary J Abraham, a Nurse Educator at MD Anderson Cancer Center Hospital, Houston, and Saramma Jacob, a critical care nurse at Westbury hospital at that time. Their goal was to help and support the Indian nurses to advance in their nursing carrier and achieve a high professional standard through continuing education seminars. Assisting incoming nurses from India prepare for the State Board Exams was a priority too. In spite of hard work and dedication, the Nurses association did not flourish as envisioned by the leaders, maybe because of the pressure to take care of their growing families and of other personal commitments in USA and in India. Poor attendance at the nurses meetings and the lack of dedicated volunteers resulted the Association to stay dormant until 1994.
The need for an Indian Nurses Association arose again when a large number of Indian nurses continued to migrate to this country in the mid-80s and 90’s and the conditions seemed ideal for forming a professional organization. Again, leaders with foresight came forward like Mary Roy, Mary J Abraham, Leela Thayil, Saramma Jacob, Mariamma Thomas, Claramma Mathews, late Rosakutty Chacko and a handful of others. After several meetings, the IANAGH was formed in 1994. Since then the association has gone ahead in full stream to organize different activities beneficial to our members and to the community as a whole locally, nationally, and internationally.
Here are some of IANAGH ‘s endeavors:
- Helped to establish the CGFNS and NCLEX centers in Kerala
- Conducted educational seminars and CPR classes in India and Haiti
- Organized health fairs for local communities and for refugees providing health education on stroke prevention, Heart diseases, Diabetes, community CPR and other health related topics
- Gave charitable monetary donations and supplies to the needy in their difficult time
- Created cash scholarships for high school graduates and the nursing students both in USA and in India
- Supported the Malayalee association by donating items to the Kerala house and providing a rolling trophy for their sports tournament
- Volunteered time and talent to go with surgical/medical missions to under developed countries like India, Mexico, Bolivia and Haiti.
- Volunteered time at the Doctors’ charity clinic for the people without insuranceCelebrated Nurse’s Day every year with outstanding topics and guest speakers These gatherings were made memorable with cultural programs and gourmet food.
- Conducted about ten educational conferences with Continuing education hours
- Our own member, Dr. Alice Neycheril developed the logo for National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA)
- Under the leadership of President Mary Thomas, IANAGH hosted the inauguration of NAINA on May 4, 2007 at West Chase Marriott, Houston. Among the more than 400 honored guests were Texas Congressman Nick Lampson, the Honorable Consul General of India Mr. S.M. Gavai and nurses from all over United States.
- Published the first souvenir in commemoration of NAINA inauguration
- Many leaders emerged from this organization to lead locally and nationally including Dr. Omana Simon (NAINA President-2008-2010)
- Hosted the second NAINA National conference in 2010 and the first APN clinical excellence conference in 2017
- Volunteered at Hurricane Relief efforts and other disaster relief programs and donated monetary contribution to the Houston Mayor’s Hurricane Harvey fund
- Participated in DRUG and Alcohol prevention education for school children multiple times.
- Conducted annual fund raising for American Heart Association and our team participated every year for American Heart walk and for Wear Red Day.
- For the last 15 consecutive years participated at the Star of Hope during December with Christmas toy donation and Christmas program for the homeless women & children under the leadership of Accamma Kallel NP.
- Volunteered at Houston food bank and channel 8 (Public Broadcasting Service) multiple times
- Received 501 ©3 status in 2016 under the leadership of President, Sally Samuel
- Raised $25,000.00 under the leadership of President Accamma Kallel and sponsored to build the first clinic in collaboration with United light of Hope at Canaan, a remote village in Haiti. Our team of seven nurses went to Haiti for a medical mission and inaugurated the Clinic of Hope in January 2018 at Canaan and 322 patients received primary care. The clinic now continue to provide basic health care and education.
- Donated $5000.00 for Kerala Flood Relief and four IANGH members and one family member went to Kerala and participated in medical mission in collaboration with NAINA and“Let them Smile” foundation from 9-14-18 till 9-25-18, conducting 16 mission camps, distributing care kits to include food items, infant formula, clothes and personal hygiene items. The team provided primary care and medication supplies for about 3250 patients and completed 39 surgeries.
- The members participated again at the Kerala mission trip in January 2019
- IANAGH members joined in Indian consulate on April 21, 2018 with Indian Nursing Council President Mr. Dileep Kumar and University of Houston Dean, Dr. Tart and Dr. Shainy Varghese (Faculty, UT Houston) for the MOU signing ceremony for DNP /NP program in India.
- There are about 500 life members to include more than hundred Advanced Practice Nurses (APN)
- Most of our members pursue higher education and have Masters and doctoral degrees
- APN forum conducts regular educational programs year around
- Our members provide services from bedside to board room and also hold faculty & leadership roles and research positions.
- Many of our members contribute to the local and global community through research and publications
- Many members have received prestigious awards and recognitions from their respective employers as well as various professional organizations
- Collaborates with “United Light of Hope”, “Let them Smile Again” foundation and Indian nursing Council to provide outreach activities globally
The Indian American Nurses Association of Greater Houston has indeed grown to a higher level where all Indian nurses can be proud of this great professional organization and its broad contributions to its members and to the society at large. Our strong and continued presence in the community is an undeniable indication of IANAGH’s growth. IANAGH is extremely proud of what we have become and will not rest but with passion and integrity continue our tradition of excellence in accomplishing our goals. May God help us!
Contributed by Saramma Jacob, Elsy Thottam, Accamma Kallel and Dr. Omana Simon