Myrna Aquitana_LighthouseThe California Association of Healthcare Facilities has recently awarded  Southland’s Director of Nursing, Shony Del Pilar with the prestigious “2014 Nurse of the Year” award, which was “designed to recognize an outstanding professional in the field of nursing, who has demonstrated superb leadership, a strong commitment to quality patient care and a devotion in improving the lives of patients as well as the employees they work with on a daily basis.”

The Award announcement stated: Shony Del Pilar is regularly recognized as one of the strongest clinician’s in the community. Known for her personal approach with residents, efective departmental organization and tireless work ethic, she continuously focuses on improving resident health, safety and quality of life and her drive to achieve excellence  makes Southland a better place for patients, family members and staff.”

Shony del Pilar

Shony del Pilar

Born as Asuncion “Shony” Romero by father Eric Sr., from Pampanga and mother, Maria Floresca from Catarman, Samar, Shony was raised in Taguig, Rizal, where she graduated high school from Foundation College. Ambitious and focused on a carreer in Nursing early on, Shony was determined to pursue a degree in Nursing by enrolling at the Far Eastern University in Manila, where she graduated with a degree in Nursing in 1978.

Initially, she worked as a staff nurse at the Pasig General Hospital and while working there, she learned of the benefits of being a daughter of a US Veteran, thus with sheer luck, she subsequently was able to emigrate to the US in search of distant relatives who were kind enough to welcome her in their homes. And, as luck would have it, again, she landed a job as a staff nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange County.

Shony passed the California Nursing Board in 1989 and she became a full-pledged registered nurse working at Pacific Haven, a skilled nursing facility from 1995 to 2000, where she was promoted as their Director of Nursing. Her skilled nursing expertise led her in the interim at St. Edna Hospital, which ultimately became her stepping stone in her current position as Director of Nursing at Southland since 2001.

At Southland, a licensed, skilled nursing and assisted living facility, Shony is proud to lead their streamlined, beautifully furnished 120-bed facility that has luxurious, private rooms, balcony views and state-of-the art therapy equipments, where she supervises a staff of around 180 employees, 40 of whom are her RN’s, LVN’s and CNA’s all skilled in quality patient care.

Though work is of utmost importance to her, Shony dreams of one day returning to visit their 3.5 hectare, 6 bedroom vacation home in Matabungkay, now being managed by her entrepreneur husband, Mario who currently shuttles back and forth.

Indeed, we salute a Pinay pride in our midst, who certainly deserves the 2014 Nurse of the Year Award. Congratulations and more power to you Shony!