Marife C. Aczon-Armstrong


Dr. Marife Aczon-Armstrong is an Associate Professor at RUHS CON and a Fulbright Scholar, visiting professor at Uganda Christian University MSN Nurse Education Program. She is the founding President of AAPINA Hawaii and NV, NNV Board member as ANA General Assembly Representative and WIN DEI committee member.

Abstract: The concept of “servant leadership” will be introduced with storytelling about my journey as a Fulbright Scholar teaching in Uganda, Africa. My journey will bring to life the importance of service-learning to achieve EMERGE. Servant leadership emphasizes increased service to others, a holistic approach to work, promoting a sense of community, and sharing of power in decision-making, a long-term, transformation approach to life and work – in essence, a way of being – that has the potential for creating positive change through our society. According to Robert Greenleaf, “The servant leader is a servant first.” It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then the conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. Nurse educators have opportunities to meet the needs of nursing students by teaching the disciplines in which they are experts and model for students a viable leadership example that can further prepare them for their vocational choices.


1. Define the purpose and importance of servant leadership.

2. Determine how to achieve servant leadership through servant learning and

Excellence, Mentorship, Engagement, Resilience, Growth, Empowerment (EMERGE).

3. Explore how to empower, engage, encourage growth, build resilience, and mentor

others toward excellence in nursing.

4. Explore steps on promoting and nurturing servant leadership

Jason Austria


Dr. Jason Austria has been a nurse for over 10 years and is currently employed with the Queen’s Health System as the Sr. Director of Ambulatory Services, Medical Specialties. Throughout his time at the Queen’s Health System, he oversaw all clinical operations and strategies of the North, Central and Punchbowl Primary Care services, comprised of over 10 different sites. In his previous role as the Director of Ambulatory Nursing, he had professional clinical practice oversight of ambulatory staff and made instrumental impacts in developing some of the care quality infrastructure for ambulatory. Currently, Jason’s present role involves direct oversight of 8 ambulatory medical specialty services ranging from cardiovascular services, pulmonology & sleep medicine to comprehensive genetic care. He also currently serves in the United State Army.

Abstract: With the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic it has highlighted many of the opportunities in healthcare. Ambulatory nurses play a significant role in the healthcare continuum. With outpatient facility visits, and procedures as the fastest growing sector of healthcare at an annual 2-3% growth outpacing acute care it is imperative for nursing care shift along with it. This shift comes through aspects of team-based model of care and chronic care management. With this didactic relationship addressing integral parts of population health through targeted disease management can impact overall cost of care and most importantly quality patient care.


1. Describe the role of ambulatory nurses & provide examples of particular settings they are in.

2. Identify opportunities of chronic disease management in their area of work.

3. Evaluate transition of care opportunities as it relates to team

integration and enhancement.

Hazel Downing

Ed.D. RN

Dr. Hazel Downing is an Associate Professor of Nursing at the Hawaii Pacific University and practices as a CNS for Critical & Emergency Care at the Kuakini Medical Center. She earned her doctorate in education with emphasis on curriculum and instruction and recently completed the Genomics Competency at the Duquesne University. Hazel began her career in neonatal intensive care, then transitioned to adult critical care nursing and cites the success of her students as one of her most significant accomplishments. To promote global health, she launched a free live online health education program for children living in impoverished neighborhoods. Hazel remains motivated to never give up on anyone seeking to make their life better with education and to contribute for the common good of the community.

Abstract:Genomic healthcare management is rising, and most healthcare providers lack adequate knowledge and competency. Limited knowledge and misguided perceptions, create complexities not only for the community but also for nursing practice. The WHO has raised concerns on the inequity in genomic health care. Genomic literacy and competency among nurses fit into the theme of this conference to empower and educate nurses on their role in genomic health care. The presentation will provide strategies for nurses to promote genomic literacy and equity. Leaders in nursing can advocate for genomic competency among nurses. Nursing leaders can also engage in conversations which enable the community to make well informed decisions on genetic approaches to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.


1.Increase self-awareness of the genomic literacy issues in healthcare

2.Identify factors affecting equity in genomic health management

3.Explore strategies for promoting genomic equity through genomic competency

Christine Griffin


Dr. Christine Griffin is a Caritas Coach, Caritas Leader, is the Director of Caring Science and Nursing Practice at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. In her Caring Science Ph.D. program, “Compassion without Fatigue,” Chris studied how theory-guided practices within Caring Science can heal those working in healthcare. Chris is passionate about helping other healthcare providers build a practice of self-care and self-compassion, giving them the capacity to flourish as they bring their authentic care and compassion to the bedside.

Abstract: Nursing is in the grips of compassion fatigue and burnout with no clear plan to heal the caregivers in the profession. As the nursing profession looks for recovery, the nursing discipline has an opportunity to reconnect to our caring and healing purpose in the world. To shift back toward our timeless values of care, compassion, dignity, and hope. This discussion invites caregivers to pause and reconnect with themselves. It offers time for each participant to reflect on their own experiences and stories to take the invisible challenges of healthcare and make them visible. To invite a new perspective on moving from survival mode to coping and then toward a sense of flourishing. It will also offer a path that uses theory-guided practice to both honor these experiences and offer new ways of thinking and being that contribute to their own wholeness so they can continue to heal others.


1. Identify the internal and external barriers nurses face in current healthcare settings.

2. Develop practices that allow them to move from frenzy to flow and step closer to flourishing as a nurse.

3. Appreciate the need for self-care practices and commitments to flourish within the complexities of caring for others.

Ian Guerrero


Dr. Ian Guerrero is the current president of the Ohana Medical Mission, the missionary arm of the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii. He is a Board-certified internist currently practicing primary care in Waipahu. In his free time, he loves to simply chill with his lovely wife, Mafe who is a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)

Abstract: Heart Failure is a global epidemic with increased incidence and reporting due to more recognition and readily available diagnostic tools. Heart Failure was traditionally defined as the inability of the heart to pump blood sufficient enough to meet the metabolic demands of the body. The old classification of systolic and diastolic heart failure has now been replaced with HFrEF(Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction) and HFpEF( Heart Failure with preserved ejection fraction) with differing yet overlapping management strategies based on emerging pathophysiological models beyond pump failure. The ACC/AHA 2022 updated clinical practice guidelines on heart failure is an evidence-based guideline for practitioner from diagnosis to management. It emphasized the step-wise approach in management of heart failure from different stages (A to D). This a practical tool for primary care providers in managing heart failure in the outpatient setting to prevent morbidity and mortality.


1. Review concepts of HF pathophysiology, diagnosis, and its classifications.

2. Highlight current evidence-based management approach to Heart Failure.

3.Emphasize the integral role of primary care in the overall management of Heart Failure.

Rose Hata


Dr. Rose Hata is the Director of Queen Emma Nursing Institute at The Queen’s Medical Center. Rose leads nursing professional development programs focusing on evidence-based practice, nursing research, and career advancement programs. She is an advisory board member for the HSCN and a past board member for AACN.

Abstract: As a high income country, United States trails far behind in health care affordability, administrative efficiency, and equity outcomes compared to other high income countries in the world (Schneider, 2021). In 2003, Institute of Medicine reported that United States “repeatedly fail to translate that knowledge and capacity into clinical practice” and much have not changed still. Nurses are the largest healthcare professional in the nation and are present in every community. Integrating evidence-based practice and driving healthcare outcome is an expectation of nursing professional performance (ANA, 2021).This session will engage the audience on the importance of evidence-based practice and showcase improvement opportunities that nurses can drive to impact health disparity and care in our healthcare setting. This session will provide steps of the EBP implementation and provide strategies for success so that nurses can bring excellence in all areas.


1. Define evidence-based practice

2. Describe the quality outcomes in the United States and in Hawaii

3. Identify role of nursing in EBP

4. Discuss barriers to EBP implementation and strategies to adopt EBP

Sasha Rarang


Dr. Sasha A. Rarang is currently designated as a Professor of Nursing and the Founding and current Dean of Nursing for Angeles College School of Nursing located in Los Angeles, CA. She obtained her BS Nursing (BSN) from Lyceum Northwestern University in the Philippines, MS Nursing (MSN) with concentration in Nursing Education & Management from Mount St. Mary’s University, Los Angeles, CA, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with concentration in Nursing Education from Capella University, Minneapolis, MN, and currently pursuing a Post-Master Certification in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Practitioner at West Coast University in Anaheim, CA. Dr. Rarang is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and currently a Board Member & Chair of the Education, Research, and Practice Committee of the Philippine Nurses Association of Southern California and a Board Member of the Philippine Nurses Association of America and the Chair of the Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Social Justice of PNAA. Dr. Rarang is a national and international presenter for her work in nursing simulation.

Abstract: There are various identified reasons on the importance of becoming knowledgeable and skilled related to the concepts of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and social justice. This is a reality in both nursing education (academic) and practice. According to American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2021), nurses must be instrument in promoting initiatives that reduces inequalities brought about by changing U.S. population demographics, a health system challenged by workforce shortages, and persistent systemic health inequities. In academic nursing, the need to improve the quality of education by enhancing the capacity of academic institutions in maximizing learning opportunities and experiences for students and faculty alike by learning from individuals with diverse life experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds is necessary. In nursing practice, the need to continually address the pervasive inequities in health care by addressing social determinants of health shaped by the inequitable distribution of money, power, and resources at global, national, and local levels is priority. Nurses must understand that a person’s level of education, employment, and income are the biggest predictor of their health status – more so than healthy behaviors, access to and utilization of clinical care, and their physical environment. Therefore, this presentation will delve on identifying ways to prepare future nurses have the ability to advocate for their patients in meeting the increasingly diverse needs encompassing social characteristics that include but not limited to age, sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, family structures, geographic locations, national origin, immigrants and refugees, language, physical, functional, and learning abilities, religious beliefs, and socioeconomic status. It is also the aim of this presentation to inform current practicing nurses on how to recognize differences in the resources, abilities, level of knowledge of co-workers in caring for variety of patients as well as patient’s ability to fully participate in their own care with the goal of overcoming obstacles and ensure fairness. This ability to fair and just access to healthcare ensures patients perspectives and experiences are invited, welcomed, acknowledged, and respected.


1. Identify ways to prepare future nurses have the ability to advocate for their patients in

meeting the increasingly diverse needs encompassing social characteristics that include but not

limited to age, sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, family structures,

geographic locations, national origin, immigrants and refugees, language, physical, functional,

and learning abilities, religious beliefs, and socioeconomic status.

2. Describe approaches in promoting an inclusive environment in nursing academia.

3. Distinguish implicit biases that can prevent promoting diversity, health equity, inclusion,

belonging, and social justice during performance of patient care.

4. Critique one’s level of knowledge, skills, and attitude pertaining to diversity, equity, inclusion,

belonging, and social justice in relation to teaching future nurses as well as in performing

patient care.

Tracy Thornett


Dr. Tracy Thornett, is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Hawaii Hilo (UHH) School of Nursing. She operates her own private psychiatric practice in Hilo, integrating psychopharmacology and psychotherapy to promote optimal mental and physical health for her patients. Dr. Thornett has over 20 years of diverse experience in education and healthcare. She is passionate about increasing access to mental health care for underserved and diverse rural communities. She is also committed to educating and mentoring the future custodians of the healthcare system through her work at the University. Most importantly, she hopes to help reduce the stigma of health workers accessing mental health resources as part of their own professional and personal self-care.

Abstract: Dr. Tracy Thornett addresses the pressing issue of healthcare worker burnout, focusing on its impact on individual well-being, patient care, and community health. This presentation aims to distinguish between stress and burnout, identify risk factors, and propose feasible interventions. Drawing on recent reports and aligning with conference themes, this talk offers actionable insights for the nursing community in Hawaii. The goal is to shift the perspective on burnout from an individual “me” problem to an organizational “we” issue, offering strategies for building a resilient and diverse healthcare workforce.


1.Identify factors associated with burnout among health workers.

2.Summarize the negative consequences of health worker burnout.

3.Select feasible interventions to support health worker well-being in your organization.