KPRNA Officer Candidate Bios

November 2017

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Officer Candidate Biographies


Nelly Garcia

For Hospital President

Nelly Merlie M Garcia, Charge RN

KPRNA Hospital President 2016-2018

As KPRNA Hospital President since 1998, Nelly Garcia helped improve the quality of nursing by promoting and supporting initiatives to achieve safe staffing ratios and maintaining optimum nursing quality standards.  She diligently served the KPRNA members by actively representing them during grievances and corrective actions/disciplines, while maintaining mutual respect and collaboration amongst hospital leadership.  She also extended her duty as a fellow nurse to help member in their personal lives with life-threatening situations and retirement issues, not only as their president, but as their friend.

Under her leadership, Nelly shared her depth of knowledge and expertise in organizing, bargaining and negotiations in the Nursing/Healthcare Labor Movement for 33 ½ years.  She was one of the original LMP Council Members and Trainers of the Panorama City LMP Council and participated in numerous  UNAC/UHCP activities.  She has been an active UNAC/UHCP RN member since August 1982 and served as an Association Representative from 1996-1997, a delegate to numerous UNAC/UHCP & UNA/AFSCME/NUHHCE Conventions.  She participated in the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions since 2000, the UNAC/UHCP Strategic Planning Committee, Baldwin Park Blitz Week, Inpatient Nursing Quality Improvement Project and Hospital Operations Improvement Project.


Nerissa Dizon

For Hospital President

A Registered Nurse for 24 years, Nerissa has worked in Medical-Surgical nursing with specialty in Oncology and Telemetry.  She has been a Critical Care nurse since 1999.   She has had extensive experience with mentoring and supporting labor.  A KPRNA member since 2004, she was the KPRNA Secretary from 2008-2012, a Contract Specialist in 2010 and 2012, a temporary UNAC Staff Representative for Panorama City in 2013 and the KPRNA Hospital President from 2013-2015.  She has also served as the ICU UBT Labor Co-lead (2011-2016) and the Panorama City LMP Council Labor Co-lead (2012-2015).  She is currently an ICU Charge Nurse and the Kaiser PC Nursing Research Council Labor Tri-lead.

Nerissa’s Union leadership journey started in 2008.  She believes that Member engagement and empowerment are vital to a strong and cohesive Affiliate.  Even in an LMP environment, it is important to preserve labor interests and the Contract.  As a transformational leader, she will work with members to ensure a sound KPRNA budget; to increase community outreach programs; to promote awareness of bullying; to mentor members on navigating and maximizing benefits for a secure retirement; and to encourage life balance as we strive to a safe and healthy work environment.


Erika Tapia

For Clinic Vice President

Erika Tapia RN BSN PHN BC

I am a Registered nurse working in Family Practice at Mission Hills Medical Office Building and am currently the acting KPRNA Affiliate Clinic Vice President. As nurses we all know the value of compassion and hard work. I am a firm believer that the work you do speak volumes more than anything you could write about yourself.

For those colleagues and patients that have had the opportunity to know me know that I work diligently to ensure I follow through on my commitment to helping patients and my coworkers in whatever is in my power to help with.  I hope to have the opportunity to be elected and continue on as your Clinic Vice President this year to serve the Panorama City Registered Nurses to the best of my abilities.


Chris Pereida

For Clinic Vice President

The BAT signal has been spotted and BOOM, POW! Here is the opportunity to have a SUPER Officer to represent KPRNA! Let us create the SUPER friends and JUSTICE league of KPRNA, to fight for our next contract by electing Chris Pereida! I have 2-years of experience as a contract specialist, in which I am working to pass my knowledge to the legion of KPRNA members, and educate management of our rights under our CBA!

I am a STRONG LEADER, and I have continued to work with the current officers and stewards to further our influence, reach, and increase our members voice and confidence in their various departments! I am the current LMP Labor Co-Lead, and I have the ability to work in partnership with various groups of management to solve problems, defend our members, allow YOU the confidence to SPEAK UP, and continue to build on a trusting relationship built on respect! With this we can work towards safer patient care, proper staffing, and appropriate back fill for our time off! I will continue to represent ALL members of UNAC! Vote for me, Chris Pereida RN, I will continue to fight for all our members, including YOU!


Samantha Layson

For Secretary

A registered Nurse for over 10 years, Samantha works in the Labor and Delivery department in Panorama City where she currently functions as a steward for KPRNA and as a relief charge nurse.  She found her niche in L&D where it enables her to support patients through one of their most challenging life experiences.

After attending the UNAC/UHCP conference in San Diego last year, she was inspired to become more involved in helping her staff and co-workers to improve their working conditions.  In 2016, Sam became an official KPRNA Union Steward.

Samantha also serves as a member of peer review, patient satisfaction committee which contributes substantially within the facility.  She is an active member of L&D domain committee, bringing new information and resources to staff and administration.  Samantha participates in writing policies and procedures, ensuring patient safety.

When she is not at work, Samantha likes to bake, do a little gardening, go to farmers’ markets, but most of all spend time with her own children… and husband.


Vote for Sam Layson for Secretary for KPRNA.  A great resource for our union, for our members.


Judy Liu

For Secretary

Hello! My name is Judy Liu, RN, BS, MSNc (Finishing next month!) with a concentration in Nurse Leadership and currently serving as your affiliate Secretary.  It’s been a privilege and honor to serve the nurses, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants at Kaiser Panorama City.  I’m the most qualified candidate!  My extensive training as Contract Specialist for 2016 has equipped me with contract language interpretation skills, ready for 2018 contract negotiations!   I’ve also built a strong network with other affiliate officers.  I’ve had the privilege to serve as a delegate at the 2016 UNAC/UHCP convention.  I currently participate in the Nursing Research Council, Sharps & Safety Council and Labor Management Council.  I also serve as a UBT sponsor and sit on the RN Committee meeting, always fighting for more staff and backfill.  Other activities I’ve been involved in are coordinating Nurse’s week and holiday celebration for the affiliate and setting up our community barbeque event for the homeless.  I’ve been part of the Kaiser family since 2008. I currently work in Interventional Radiology with previous experience in PACU and ICU.

Vote Judy Liu most experienced and genuinely cares.

Vote Judy Liu excellence through experience.  Thank you for reading my bio!