California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee announce new Council of Presidents for 2023-2026 term
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) is celebrating the union’s newly elected 2023-2026 Council of Presidents. The new leaders took office on Oct. 8, 2023 at the CNA/NNOC convention in San Francisco, Calif. CNA/NNOC is an affiliate of National Nurses United (NNU), the largest and fastest-growing union of registered nurses in the nation, with nearly 225,000 members.
The 2023-2026 Council of Presidents is composed of four nurse leaders: Cokie Giles, RN; Michelle Gutierrez Vo, RN; Cathy Kennedy, RN; and Sandy Reding, RN.
Cokie Giles, RN
Giles has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and a leading RN voice in Maine. She is an RN at the interventional pain clinic at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
As an RN, Giles believes that all patients deserve the best standard of health care possible, regardless of ability to pay. “It’s of utmost importance for me and all of us to continue the fight for Medicare for All for everyone in our country,” says Giles. “I want to continue the work of the union to help organize other nurses in this country to have protections and a voice for their patients and themselves.”
This will be Giles’ fourth term as a member of the Council of Presidents. She was first elected to the council in 2014.
Michelle Gutierrez Vo, RN
Gutierrez Vo has been a nurse for more than 25 years and currently works at Kaiser Permanente Fremont Adult Family Medicine clinic. Gutierrez Vo is the second Filipinx to serve as a CNA/NNOC president, following in the footsteps of Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN.
As an outpatient nurse, Gutierrez Vo is committed to ensuring that the highest nursing practices are employed in the outpatient setting. She says the hospital industry’s push to move more and more treatment to clinics underscores the need for this advocacy and attention.
“I believe being a nurse puts us in a unique position to heal, educate, and advocate for our patients and our communities,” says Gutierrez Vo. “I want to help CNA develop more nurse leaders, educate them about the labor movement, the union, and unlock their potential to help us build an even more powerful union force. ”
This will be Gutierrez Vo’s first term as a CNA/NNOC president.
Cathy Kennedy, RN
Kennedy has worked as a registered nurse for more than 40 years and is currently a staff nurse at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center in Roseville, Calif. in the neonatal intensive care unit.
The first Black-Asian multiracial RN to serve as a CNA/NNOC president, Kennedy has served on numerous state health care commissions and led emergency aid missions with NNU’s Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN), a disaster-relief project of California Nurses Foundation and NNU.
“It is so exciting to be part of a union that encourages and educates our young nurses on the importance of fighting collectively for quality care, patient safety, and safe working conditions,” says Kennedy. “We know that union nurses provide a critical voice in how we take care of our patients and how our workplaces are run. We need to make sure that our voice is heard wherever patient care decisions are being made.”
This will be Kennedy’s second term as a CNA president. She was first elected to the CNA council in 2020. She also serves as a vice president of NNU.
Sandy Reding, RN
Reding has practiced as a nurse for nearly 40 years and is an operating room RN at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif. She currently serves as lead for the Dignity Health Pandemic Task Force.
She also serves in leadership positions with both state and local labor organizations and volunteers with RNRN as well as other local medical aid groups.
“Nurses are the backbone of health care. We need to support each other to fight the injustices in our workplaces and communities. As a president, I will continue to organize nurses throughout the country to strengthen our union, fight for workers’ rights, along with social, health care, economic, and environmental justice.”
This will be Reding’s second term as a CNA/NNOC president. She was first elected to the council in 2020. She is also a vice president of NNU.
California Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the nation with 100,000 members in more than 200 facilities throughout California and nearly 225,000 RNs nationwide.