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Lydia A. Palaypay, GN ’51, BSN, MSN, DSc (Hon.), RN, Named 2017 J. V. Sotejo Medallion of Honor Recipient

During its April 2017 monthly meeting, the University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association International (UPNAAI) Officers and Board of Directors unanimously approved the recommendation by the Sub-Committee on Awards & Citation to name Lydia A. Palaypay as the 2017 J. V. Sotejo (JVS) Medallion of Honor recipient.

Palaypay obtained her Graduate of Nursing degree from UP-PGH School of Nursing in 1951, obtained her BSN degree from Boston University in 1958, and her MSN from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1961.

Upon her return to the Philippines, she began her mission of upgrading the education of nursing in the Philippines by working with the Department of Education to transform the baccalaureate program into a 4-year competency-based, community-oriented curriculum as the entry-level requirement in nursing. She then focused her career at the Far Eastern University (FEU), beginning as a member of its faculty and holding other leadership positions at FEU, until she eventually became the Dean of its Institute of Nursing for 17 years (1978-1995) and Vice-President of Academic Affairs, FEU, for 9 years (1995-2004).

She has been recognized with many awards, one of which is the prestigious Anastacia Giron Tupas Award in International Leadership and Nursing Education awarded by the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA). She has presented nationally and internationally, as well as published many articles in peer-reviewed journals.

She served as Secretary of the Worker’s Group of the Philippine Delegation to the International Labor Conference in Geneva, Switzerland in 1976 and 1977. She was also Consultant of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Integration of the Primary Health Care in the Nursing Curriculum in 1989. She was a Project Director (’86-’92), after which as a Member of the Board of Trustees (’93-’04), Johns Hopkins Program International Education on Reproductive Health, Baltimore, MD.

From 2008 to 2013, Palaypay was an adviser for the Ang Nars, a socio-political organization which aims to alleviate nursing conditions such as low salaries, mushrooming of nursing schools, and false volunteerism as an unfair labor practice by some hospital administrators. The support for Ang Nars grew and eventually became Ang Nars Partylist (ANP) representing the marginalized group. The strength of this political group paved the way for the nurses’ voice to be heard and eventually obtained one (1) seat in the Philippine Congress.

She is well-loved by her students and mentees that in 2014, the FEU Nursing Alumni Foundation (FEUNAF-USA) established the Lydia Arao Palaypay Endowment (LAPE) which has a current face value of $50,000. She truly embraces the values, traits, attitude, and philosophies of our Founding Dean, Julita V. Sotejo. Dean Palaypay holds these values and ideals of Dean Sotejo, keeping the tradition of excellence in education at FEU, and continuing to bring pride to our country and globally. She is as much an icon to FEU, as JVS is an icon to the U. P. College and School of Nursing.

She will be honored during the 38th UPNAAI Annual Educational Conference and Convention on July 28-29, 2017. This year’s theme is “Charting the course for optimal impact.” She will serve as the Keynote Speaker for this year’s convention to be held at the Hyatt Regency of Orange County, 11999 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA 92840. For more details, visit our website at upnaai.org.

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