Message from the President

Message From The President

Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA)

I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead this great organization. ANPA has grown from humble beginnings to a much respected and admired professional organization representing the interests of a very talented and engaged membership. I honor and respect the vision of our founders who have labored for years to bring us to where we are today. To these great members, I express profound gratitude.

To usher ANPA into the next Quadranscentennial era, my Presidential platform will be built upon the following:

In several countries esp low and middle income countries (like Nigeria) out of pocket expenditure constitutes a major proportion of healthcare spending. In the current state of the Nigerian economy it is easy to appreciate how this situation impacts health access. Therefore, we must optimize resources from all sources. The private sector can offer effective development solutions, not just financing. We will need to be creative in engaging different types of Private -public partnerships in the form of domestic or global, formal, informal or hybrid out of the box. Seeking out, engaging & working collaboratively – creates Partnership of Purpose- at home, in the communities we live in, abroad and where we call home – would help to generate the resources to actualize our strategic goals.

We have a large population of potential members with almost 20 Chapters functioning loosely toward a common goal. Our effectiveness as a body rests in our people strength, the number of engaged members and also the constant grooming of younger members ensure a broad age spectrum of members with different talents and views.

However, when we talk of people’s strength it’s not just members. We also need a caliber of minority health care professionals at home to address the fact that when you have a provider who you can relate to then you are more likely to receive what they are saying and have better outcomes.

Actualizing impactful projects will help move ANPA forward.

  • Collaborating with entities of high repute in a targeted way to create tertiary and specialist bandwidth.
  • Health care promotion on a population scale by health education messengers using mobile messaging in a tiered method with major carriers.
  • Use the already existing platforms ; Womens Hat and Tea platform to elevate the status of Women and children in Nigeria as a low hanging fruit
  • Using research as a tool to direct care giving . I have the commitment of several healthcare researchers – their own right to collate a council of Researchers in ANPA to crystallize a way for us to obtain Health care research money
  • Use health care financing to engage delivery projects. 50 MDs worth a net worth of at least $100,000 creates a worth of $5,000,000.00. This provides a basis to engage and create systems level impact in Nigeria.

It’s time for us to have a place of business in Nigeria – a place where we can have our work of the day be done, monetize administrative functions as we pursue activities including capacity building, educational activities including simulation, distance learning and leadership training.

The time has come for us to step out of the shadows and claim our position as leadership in the nation creating a way to monetize our efforts will help us to create a way to actualize the projects we are intending — In the words of Chinua Achebe

My dear colleagues and members of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas, it is my honor and privilege to welcome you to our first-ever virtual general assembly.

I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as your president and I thank you for the confidence you have reposed in me. I assure you that this is not a responsibility I take lightly, and by the grace of God, I will do all that is within my power to ensure that our beloved organization attains even greater heights under my leadership. Today, I stand on the shoulders of our founding members and past presidents who have worked selflessly to begin and continue our organization’s vision of promoting a “Healthier Nigeria in a Healthier World”. We are grateful for this organization, founded 26 years ago by a few like-minded individuals who put their energy, resources, passion, and commitment into what has now become a thriving, flourishing ANPA.

I must emphasize without any equivocation that I intend for my executive team under my leadership, to leverage the experience of our past leaders and the innovative spirit of our new and younger membership, to define and execute a roadmap for our future transformation. A transformation that is necessary, one that is timely, one whose moment has come. A moment that we now must seize.

For the benefit of our many new members, I am Dr. Christopher Okunseri, a Professor in Dental Public Health (with tenure) at Marquette University School of Dentistry. I am board certified in Dental Public Health and my areas of focus are teaching, research, and general practice dentistry. I would like to congratulate you all on your decision to join the ANPA family. Here, we strive to harness our collective strengths, talents, and resources to provide much-needed initiatives in Nigeria, while exchanging fellowship and building lasting relationships. We are excited to have you among us and it is my hope that you will feel at home in ANPA. I look forward to meeting every one of you personally in the not-too-distant future.

This is a crucial time in America’s history, as evidenced by the events of the past several weeks. We in ANPA stand against all forms of social injustice, racism, and tribalism, and under my leadership, ANPA will work to support real and lasting change in tangible ways. As medical and dental professionals, many of us have broken numerous barriers to getting to where we are today. The time has come for us to aspire towards even higher ground, individually and collectively. As an organization and as individuals we must hold ourselves to a higher standard of behavior, which oftentimes is not merely the “Nigerian Standard” or the “Western Standard” but the basic standard of behavior – the Human Standard.

Although COVID-19 is responsible for how we are conducting our meeting today, be assured that with challenges come the opportunity to excel. Therefore, we must seize the moment to re-evaluate how we do things and make changes not just for the sake of change, but as and when necessary. Thus, we will prepare our great organization for the future by strengthening our base.

While we are all one family, we must begin to acknowledge that we are an organization that must now transcend family squabbles. It is time for us to emerge as a high performing organization that embraces its position and relevance as the leading Nigerian diaspora medical organization in the world. Let us unite and banish all forms of skepticism or doubt; we have the foundational platform and for 26 years we have kept it going. We have the capacity to define and extend our value for relevance for the next quarter of a century. This is our moment; this is our time. And working together we will seize it. We must plan to be successful, more so now, than we ever have been in the past.

Now is the time for us to band together in our SHARED VISION to realize our MISSION through COLLABORATION. Thus, the theme of my presidency is “A SHARED VISION THROUGH COLLABORATION”.

Our first task will be to develop and implement ANPA’s Strategic Plan, which will communicate clear goals, metrics, and initiatives with members and key stakeholders. The strategy will include reviewing, assessing, and updating our By-laws, policies, activities, and processes, continuing to invest in successful programs that support ANPA’s mission, identifying opportunities for innovation within ANPA, and broadening member participation and visibility in ANPA activities. In addition, we will continue to recruit and retain new members while re-energizing existing members. We will promote avenues for networking amongst members, develop self-improvement and enrichment opportunities, create mentorship programs within and outside ANPA, and support early-career physicians and dentists in ANPA. Furthermore, we will leverage ANPA’s expertise and capabilities in seeking funding from organizations that support ANPA’s vision and mission, develop long-term corporate, professional, and academic partnerships and sponsorships and implement processes that facilitate ANPA’s project development and collaborations. Our second task is tactical, it will allow the Exco to deliver on the strategy of the Board of Directors, COLLABORATE with local, national and international organizations to develop ANPA competencies and promote ANPA’s brand, STRENGTHEN the capacity of our organization in program and policy activities in Nigeria and America and Foster TEAM SPIRIT by building on individual strengths and local chapter memberships.

Finally, my friends and colleagues, today is a new day in ANPA. We have just had a vibrant election process. Thanks to all the candidates for their hard work and determination. It is time to once again, make ANPA a place of succor; a place of collegiality; a place where we come to recharge and rest and relax. Where we grow, have fun, support one another, and help our country. A place where views, opinions, and perspectives are aired in a spirit of mutual respect and tolerance. A place of peace, joy, and happiness; a place that we will be proud to call our own.


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