Operational Year 2018-2019 1st Quarter General Branch Meeting


Greater New York Commissioned Officer Association

Operational Year 2018-2019

1st Quarter General Branch Meeting Agenda

September 27, 2018

1400 hours

I. Call to Order

II. Roll call

Branch Executive Officers

o CDR Karina Aguilar – President Present

o CDR – William “Rusty” Waldron President- Elect Absent

o LCDR Nancy Scheraga – Secretary Present

o LCDR Iram Hassan– Treasurer Present

Committee/Workgroup Leadership

CDR Akara Ingram

LCDR Jonathan Blonk

LCDR Tunesia Mitchell

LCDR Rachel Wapniak

LT Mouhamed Halwani

CDR Parmjeet Saini

LT William Chang

LCDR Rachael Moliver

LT Jogy George

LCDR Jaime Altman

Committee/Workgroup Leadership (not present)

LCDR Kari Schlessinger

LCDR Efthemios “Tim” Argiropoulos

LCDR Melka Argaw

CDR Joy Ann Matthias

CDR Peter Lenahan

CDR Samuel Schaffzin

NYCOA General Members (present)

LT Dimisa

LT Blaise


III. Minutes from last meeting.

Minutes from last meeting have been approved and are uploaded to our website newyorkcoa.com

IV. BXO Reports

Ø CDR Karina Aguilar

• CDR Aguilar highlights of some recent activities.

• Welcomed two new volunteers: LCDR Efthemios “Tim” Argiropoulos, Chair-Elect for Merchandising and LCDR Samina Khan, Parade workgroup – thank you and welcome

• Through the coordination of the Community Service Committee Chair LCDR Mitchell we were able to meet the call from the CDC and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Our chapter was asked to support their efforts to collect a representative sample of surveys in Nassau County and I am proud to thank you for coming out and volunteering. LCDR Mitchell provided further details.

• Veteran’s Day Parade planning is underway and LCDR Moliver provided further updates.

• This October 15th the New York Academy of Medicine will host a special meeting with four past Surgeon Generals. Not only is this a special and rare treat for a COA chapter. US SG Richard Carmona has extended a meet and greet invitation to the Greater NYCOA chapter. More details will be forthcoming from the Social Committee.

• You may remember an invitation from NYMC to exhibit some USPHS memorabilia/photos of officers in action. This effort is still under way and is being led by LCDR Blonk. If you have a history interest or have special curating art work skills, please reach out to us to lend us your assistance.

• I need to make a special plea to you all about your COA membership dues. Please keep your membership up to date and don’t forget to choose Greater NYCOA as your local chapter, especially if you are in a committee member leadership position. COA is the national representation we have and they are very active in supporting our interests. I invite you to visit the website coausphs.org to learn more.

• Lastly, all committee chairs please provide your written comments to our secretary LCDR Nancy Scheraga, this helps with capturing accurate information in a timely manner.

Ø LCDR Nancy Scheraga

All committee chairs/chair-elects, please submit your committee reports to me after the meeting.

Ø LCDR Iram Hassan

The current balance in the bank account is $11,714.18.

V. Committee/Workgroup Reports

Nominations Committee

1. LCDR Nancy Scheraga

Nothing to report


Social Committee

1. CDR Akara Ingram, Chair

2. LCDR Jonathan Blonk, Chair-Elect

• We are working on the Vet Day parade. The co-chair has a meeting on Monday (today) and we should know more, as it relates to events.

• Social committee is also planning for a holiday event. We are considering a Polar Express ride, if we are able to locate one in a convenient location. We are also looking into another possible event for the holiday.


Community Service Committee

1. LCDR Tunesia Mitchell, Chair

2. LT Rachel Wapniak, Chair-Elect

3. LT Mouhamed Halwani, NPS-PACE Subcommittee Lead

LCDR Mitchell

• The Community Service Committee and NPS-PACE Subcommittee August 14, 2018, to discuss plans and goals for this term. We will soon release a survey monkey to inquire about officer’s community service/outreach interest to try and increase participation.

• Outreach event(s) since the term began as follows: NY Annual Clean-up (Shoreline of North East Pond), September 15, 2018; National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES),

September 13, 2018 thru Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Importance of officers in uniforms participating with the examiners

• Upcoming event(s): Walk to Fight Alzheimer’s, Sunday, October 28, 2018; Making Strides of Central Park/Making Strides of Long Island October 14, 2017 and October 21, 2018. LCDR Hassan is the lead

• Oct 28th- walk in NJ. Looking for more officers to participate in these.

LT M. Halwani:

· For this Quarter the PACE committee has an event scheduled for 10/26/2018 at the Frank Sinatra Art School. To date five officers have volunteered to partake in the event; which involves delivering a pre-fabricated presentation. The presentation aims to engage students through a detailed discussion of neurotransmission, the risks of opioid abuse and a hands-on learning opportunity. This hands-on learning helps students understand the effects of opioids on their bodies, both from its legitimate use a pain relief agent and the negative effects on respiration from abuse. The event involves students between grades 9-12 and will entail multiple classes that are comprised of approximately 35 students.

· PACE committee is actively following up on e-mails that were sent out to schools in the greater New York city area to gauge interest in having officers present on the dangers of opioids.

Merchandising Committee

1. LCDR Kari Schlessinger, Chair

2. LCDR Efthemios “Tim” Argiropoulos, Chair-Elect

No update

Report received after the meeting:

• The order form was updated and is being added to the website.

• After the abundance of shirts were sold during the conference new shirts were ordered. They arrived.


Communications Committee

1. CDR Parmjeet Saini, Chair

2. LCDR Melka Argaw, Chair-Elect

• For future Chair and Co-Chairs: Prepared a “Guide to Navigate NYCOA website, how to edit the home page, and how to make updates”

• Uploaded pictures for change of command

• Uploaded New Merchandise order form

• Update contact information by adding pictures on the HOME PAGE under CONTACTS for our new leadership and Committee chair/ co-chairs

• On September 28, 2018 had a meeting with Committee Co-Chair and develop following goal and objectives:

· GOAL: To increase traffic to our website and make it more attractive to serve the purpose


1. Making home page more attractive

2. By the Oct 12: take a short survey through “Survey Monkey “to ask reasons to visit NYCOA website and based upon this feedback we will make changes on the FrontPage

3. Make FrontPage as a ONE STOP SHOP by adding hyperlinks for most useful commonly visited websites by NYCOA members such as Facebook, Twitter, National COA, DCP website and eCORP

4. Add Upcoming Events on the FrontPage

5. We are anticipating meeting these objectives by the end of Feb, 2019. After that we will develop a list of our next objectives.

NOTE: Please visit our website, review the information and let us know if you would like us to make any edits. Your feedback is very crucial.


Strategic Planning Workgroup

1. CDR Joy Ann Matthias, Chair

2. Vacant, Chair-Elect

No report


Ceremonies Committee

1. CDR Peter Lenahan, Chair

2. LT William Chang, Chair-Elect

Nothing to report


Parade Workgroup

LCDR Rachael Moliver, Chair

  • The parade invitation and registration information was sent out to:
  • Frontline Flier was sent out to be published in the October 2018 issue.
  • We haven’t heard back from SG, so we invited the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH), ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD, as the guest of honor, this past week.
  • To date, we have only had 12 ‘YES’ responses to the Parade survey. We are still looking for more officers to join us for the 2018 NY Veteran’s Day Parade. We had over 50 Commissioned Corps Officers march last year. This year is special in that it marks the centennial of the end of the First World War. Please respond to the survey on surveymonkey.com and encourage other officers to do the same.


Officer Development Committee

1. CDR Samuel Schaffzin, Chair

2. LT Jogy George, Chair-Elect

LT George: Nothing to report


Anchor & Caduceus Workgroup

1. LCDR Jonathan Blonk, Chair

2. CDR Peter Lenahan, Chair-Elect

LCDR Blonk- The Anchor and Caduceus team will be gearing up for the annual spring event immediately following the Veteran's Day Parade. Several exciting locations have already been proposed, the group will provide cost estimates for each location and survey the branch to select the facility, and then reach out for special guests.


Audit Committee Workgroup

1. LCDR Jaime Altman, Chair

LCDR Altman: Nothing to report


1. Old Business- none

2. New Business-

Meeting on October 15th with four past US Surgeon Generals. US Surgeon General Carmona has extended a meet and greet invite to our chapter. National COA has made arrangements for a $20 fee for the full program, which starts at 6pm.

LCDR Mitchell- reminder to get weights in. Due at the end of the month.

3. Closing Remarks/Adjournment/Anything missed-

Next branch general meeting –

2nd QTR- Thursday October 25, 2018

3rd QTR- Thursday January 24, 2019

4th QTR- TBD