2020 FAHM Awardees

Announcing the 2020 Filipino American History Month Awardees

Chicago, Il. – In celebration of the Filipino-American History Month every October and in partnership with the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago, FAHM committee in Chicago have been giving awards to individuals and organizations in recognition and appreciation of their contributions to the history of the Fil-Am community; and for the sustained activism, contribution and commitment for the preservation, promotion and appreciation of the Filipino-American history and heritage in an effort to further empower the Fil-Am community in the greater Chicago area.

The 2020 Filipino American History Month (FAHM) committee have bestowed the awards to remarkable individuals who embody an exceptional commitment as healthcare front liners during this Covid pandemic and a community organization that have been active in the community, staging plays that displayed Filipino American activism in theater. This year’s recognized awardees as the Outstanding Filipino-Americans in the Midwest are: Dr. Dan Garganera (Physician), Joanne Turija (Registered Nurse), Emilio Nicolasin Jr. (Medical Technician) and CIRCA Pintig Organization.

Dr. Dan Garganera is a board-certified Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease physician for the past 20 years, with a group private practice affiliated with Amita Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet and Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. Currently, he chairs the Infection Control and Covid-19 Emergency Services at Amita-St. Joseph. He is involved in the early and rapid organization of the local Covid19 pandemic response and physician leadership; screening, testing, formulation and drafting of local isolation, quarantine, infection control and PPE guidelines; assisted in the local Catholic school Covid19 guidelines for the reopening of school; Led, reviewed, penned local treatment and management protocols, and currently leading and managing as part of the leadership team for the hospital’s Command Center for Covid. Moreover, he collaborates with the Will County Health Department as their current Medical Advisor to guide local hospital leaders for a united front in the crisis, i.e. Stateville Correctional Facility and local nursing homes in Joliet among others. He graduated as Magna Cum Laude, Salutatorian; with the distinction as the Most Outstanding Medical Graduate, Most Outstanding Medical Intern, and one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines. He participated in Studies, researches & clinical trials for H.I.V. drugs; and publications on VRE, MRSA, Herpesvirus 6, Antiretroviral and Antimicrobial therapies, and Nosocomial Pneumonia; and had been a Speaker’s Bureau & Advisory Board on HIV drugs for Glaxo-Smith-Kline, Abbott, and Gilead Laboratories.

Ms. Joanne Turija has been a nurse for 27 years having worked as a rehabilitation, MDS, wound nurse in the past; became an assistant Director of Nursing at a Nursing and Rehab center; and has extensive experience as an oncology and neurology nurse up to the present. Currently, she works in an airborne unit-capable Primary Covid floor at Silver Cross Hospital. She dedicated herself during this pandemic to touch her patients’ lives with a goal in mind to do small things with great love as quoted by Mother Teresa. She is a member of the Chicago Filipino Lions Club, JDCRF, PIWC 2020 Kick-off committee member, Kankakee Santacruzan Group, PNA- Greater Chicago chapter and Piyesta Pinoy Volunteer.

Mr. Emilio Nicolasin, Jr. currently works at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital as an Intraoperative technician and has worked in the healthcare industry for almost 20 years. He is an actor, singer and musician; recognized as a Hall of Fame Awardee in entertainment in 2007. He was named “Hero in Long-term Care” during the National Nursing Home Week by the Illinois Health Care Association and has received an award for CNA of the Year from the Illinois Long-term Care Nurses Association. Recently, he had the privileged of being chosen by the Chicago Bears to record and sing the Star-Spangled Banner for the official NFL game at the Soldiers Field representing the healthcare workers.

CIRCA-PINTIG is a Chicago-based Filipino-American organization committed to engaging immigrant communities in movements for social justice and transformative change through theater. It was founded on April 1, 1991. It is a community theater company, education and outreach organization with a mission to serve as a voice of the Filipino American community by engaging in active cultural work – using art as a means to celebrate the community’s rich history and culture. 18 years and 28 productions after, it still throbs dramatically, not without challenges, but with a newfound passion for building vibrant communities through the arts.

The 2020 FAHM awards were given during the kick-off event of the the Filipino American History Month celebrations in the greater Chicago area held virtually on October 2, 2020. We wish to congratulate all the awardees and thank them for their contributions and service to our community. MABUHAY!