Marlon Garzo Saria, BSN'98, MSN, PhD, RN, AOCNS, FAAN

Named 2020 J. V. Sotejo Medallion of Honor Recipient

For his significant and innovative contribution to the nursing profession, honor and distinction he attained nationally and internationally, and for his unique and selfless service to the country and humanity.

Dr. Marlon Garzo Saria is a Tarble Foundation Oncology Nurse Specialist and Nurse Scientist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. He is an Assistant Professor of Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics and Director of the Center for Quality Outcomes and Research at Pacific Neuroscience Institute and John Wayne Cancer Institute. 

Enshrined in the life and works of Dr. Marlon G. Saria is the philosophy of MANUS, CAPUT, COR and SERVICE TO GOD, COUNTRY and PEOPLE.He epitomizes the ideals espoused by Dean Julita V. Sotejo. 

He started his nursing career from the University of the Philippines College of Nursing, as a graduate of Class1998.  He continued to grow with his education and completed his Master of Science in Nursing, Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist Program at the University of California Los Angeles, School of Nursing in 2002, followed by Ph.D. in Nursing in 2016.  

He has functioned in diverse roles as direct patient care provider, professional development trainer, program development and management coordinator and researcher.

Dr. Saria is also a Major in the U.S. Air Force Reserve Nurse Corp, where he serves as the Assistant Chief Nurse and Flight Commander.

Marlon G. Saria became an active UPNAAI Life Member in 2003 and had been a speaker and poster presenter during its annual Conference and Reunion.  He was the  First Vice-President and Chair of Education Committee in 2011.  All through these, he proves to be a great clinician, teacher, mentor to students and peers, excellent educator and an avid researcher and community civic leader. 

He demonstrated significant and innovative contribution to the nursing profession.  His Doctoral dissertation, “Hidden Morbidity of Cancer:  An Exploratory Study of Caregivers of Cancer Patients with Brain Metastases” served as a foundation for caregiver interventions and programs that address the lack of structured caregiver assessment and underutilization of evidence-based resources and programs.  His dissertation findings added credence to the gap identified as a national priority in January, 2018 that led the U.S. Congress to pass and President to sign the “Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (S.1028/H.R. 3759” into law.

He has also attained national and international prestige, which has brought honor and distinction to the nursing profession, university and country. He became a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2014, pre Ph.D. and was one of the youngest fellows.  He has significant contributions in the field of oncology nursing, especially in the areas of delivering safe and competent nursing care of patients with cancer and neuro-oncology. He is one of the first nurses to be invited to speak at the annual meetings if the Indian and Philippine Societies for Neuro-Oncology, and one of the pioneering nurses to impact the programs of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Cancer Congress and the Emirates Oncology Conference.  He currently serves as the chair of the Research Committee of the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) that oversees many other organizational projects and initiatives.

Marlon has rendered a unique and selfless service to the country and humanity.  He was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute and John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. He has contributed to the careers of student nurses through his affiliations with Schools ands Colleges of Nursing, most notably his current appointment with the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) and as a Visiting Research Scholar at the Chiba University School of Nursing in Japan.

So much more can be written about Dr. Marlon Saria in his young career.  Many more accolades,  honors, awards, and distinctions could be said of him.  He has worn many colorful hats in his nursing profession. Born in Paranaque City, Philippines he has truly made his parents proud for the person he has become.

I am doubly proud of having the opportunity to work side by side with him, see him grow and evolve in the process. We worked together at the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) and the University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association International (UPNAAI). I am deeply honored to know him, and know him well.

On behalf of the J.V. Sotejo Medallion of Honor Award Subcommittee, we salute our 2020 awardee, Dr. Marlon Garzo Saria.  

By Peregrin “Perry” Camilon Francisco, GN ’69, BSN’71, RN, MSA


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