Presidents Corner


Three years ago, in March 2020 we started the COVID-19 journey. It is hard to believe how much the world has changed since that nasty virus hit our shores. January 2020, I was getting ready to sail on a Caribbean cruise. Just before I sailed, Christine Boltz called and asked if I was willing to accept a position on the NNCA board. I accepted and told my friends, What a great way to start the year! Little did I know what was around the corner - SARS-CoV-2, the lockdowns, masks, supply shortages, so much suffering and so many deaths. Angry words and dissension. At times it seemed like everyone was fighting and it was safer, physically and emotionally, to stay home, avoid socializing and let our connections with friends and colleagues lapse.

NNCA is a great way to maintain the social connections we made in the Navy and reconnect with shipmates. Serving on the Board during COVID-19 has been a way to maintain those important social ties connections. The links I have to the Navy and the Nurse Corps are some of the intangible ties that enrich my life.

Since I wrote my letter for the last newsletter the Board Officers and Executive Director developed a marketing plan and searched for a company to assist with the plan, refresh and maintain the website and develop innovative methods to increase our membership. We are close to awarding a contract and will provide additional information once it is finalized.

Congratulations to our three new Board of Director members: Jenny Vedral-Baron, Cynthia Sweeney, and Tina Ortiz! I want to thank the talented slate of candidates who volunteered to serve on the NNCA Board of Directors and offer a sincere appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the Nominating Committee and the Palmetto Chapter ballot counters.

The tireless efforts of the Nominating Committee in considering the needs of the NNCA, and the qualities and skills of potential nominees ensured that we had a strong slate of qualified and capable individuals to lead us into the future. The attention to detail and commitment to finding the best candidates for the available positions is greatly appreciated as is the time devoted to ballot counting.

Finally, I want to thank my fellow outgoing board members, Carole Louis and Carol Zylstra, who worked on behalf of NNCA with quiet confidence. Their contribution to the organization will be felt for a long time to come.

I encourage all of you to reach out to your friends and colleagues who are current, former, reserve or retired NC officers to join the NNCA. Reconnect with shipmates. Find other veterans of the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Help each other and share lessons learned from your transition to life as a civilian. We need everyone to preserve our history, serve others and while we do that, maintain the important social ties which keep us connected, healthy and happy.


Pat Kenney, President NNCA

March 2023