2017 NUHHCE Convention: Candidate Bios

July 2017


UNAC/UHCP joined the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees (NUHHCE) in 1988. When NUHHCE was founded in 1932, it was the first union to represent health care workers. Once every three years, NUHHCE holds a convention for affiliates to come together to decide the future of the union.

UNAC/UHCP has a total of 45 delegate seats open to attend the NUHHCE Convention on October 16-18, 2017 in Charleston, SC.

Ballots will be mailed on July 26, 2017 for voting on the 2017 NUHHCE Convention delegates from UNAC/UHCP. To review candidate biographies and to find out which affiliate the nominee comes from, see below.

Ballots must be returned by August 16.

Rob Jones
Kaiser San Diego Health Care Professionals Association

My name is Rob Jones.

Most of you know me as “Rob for the Job”. I have been a Nurse for over 20 years and currently work in the Emergency Department at Kaiser San Diego. I am active in UBT, NEO, and several other committees. I am honored to serve as our Affiliate Clinic President, as well as represent you on your UNAC/UHCP Board of Directors. I am asking for your vote to represent and serve you again. Please vote “Rob for the Job” as a delegate to the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employee’s (NUHHCE) Convention. Thank you for your continued support ! ! !

Kathleen Varisco
United Pharmacists of Southern California

Kathleen Varisco, PharmD

Kaiser Corona MOB

Thank you for taking the time to read my biography. I have worked at Kaiser for 28 years as an outpatient pharmacist in the Riverside Area. Our affiliate is the newest addition to UNAC and I am currently serving as a Union Steward since February 2016, a responsibility that I take very seriously.  I enjoy learning about our contract and about UNAC at Steward Meetings and sharing this knowledge with my coworkers. The upcoming NUHHCE Convention will provide further opportunity for education, especially on improving patient safety and improving working conditions.

I hope you will support me, Kathleen Varisco, PharmD as an elected delegate.  Thank you for your consideration.

Mary Ann Martin
Kaiser South Bay Health Care Professionals Association

My name is Mary Ann Martin RN. I am a RN at Kaiser South Bay in the dermatology department. I have, also, worked in the emergency department and radiology department. I have been involved in our union since 1989 as an officer and as an union representative. I am willing to represent our union at the NUCCHE convention, because I believe UNAC/ UHCP is an union that is supported by our members making it one of the BEST unions that represents our profession and our members.

Sheryl Darbins
Specialty Care Nurses of Southern California

My career began more than 30 years ago as a nursing assistant.  My passion to help others allowed me to advance my career and become a LPN. While working as a LPN for 8 years at a nursing home, I continued my studies and obtained my Associate Degree in Nursing in 2000.  In 2006, I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. I am presently pursuing my Master’s Degree in Nursing.

I am presently employed as an ER case manager. During my 8-year tenure at Kaiser, I have held several positions; ER staff nurse, ER assistant clinical director, ambulatory care supervisor, and hospital case manager.

I believe in a healthy life/work balance. I enjoy playing piano, traveling, and reading.

My goal is to continue to be an advocate for the patient while assuring safe and efficient patient care.

Sheryl Darbins, RN, BSN

Marlene Ruddy
Balboa Registered Nurses Association

Marlene Ruddy, RN

I began my career at Naval Medical Center San Diego as a community case manager in 2002.  With a lifelong passion for advocacy, I joined the Balboa Registered Nurses Association the following year as a passive member, learning from wonderful leaders like the late Sandy Oleson.  Over the next 8 years, I honed my skills as a nurse, an advocate for patients and peers and in 2011 was asked to run for the BRNA President.

Sandy provided mentorship and gave me many valuable lessons in leadership and prepared me to be a strong leader.  Her guidance created an avenue for me to become a resilient and flexible leader for 6 years dealing with a mixture of military and civil services personnel, and for that I am forever indebted to Sandy.

In 2014, I was presented with the “Star Performer Award and Commitment” achievement award, making me the first union president to receive an appreciation for superior customer service.

Attending the next NUHHCE convention will be an opportunity for me to network with other union members and to bring back knowledge to disseminate to BRNA members, making our affiliate stronger than ever.

Lorraine Hickey
Sharp Professional Nurses Network

Lorraine Hickey, B.S.N. R.N., working at a SPNN /UNAC associate hospital - Sharp Health Care- for 10 years this October. I enjoy working part time and plan my schedule for playtime and travel, since my husband and I have become empty nesters.

During my senior year in high school I was enrolled in Catholic Medical Center of Brooklyn/Queens, N.Y. RN program. Following graduation with my Diploma R.N., I enrolled at University of Nevada /Las Vegas and transferred to University of Nevada/Reno, completing a B.S.N. Although I have toyed with further education in the nursing field, opportunity and commitment for this endeavor has not become priority.  40 + years as a R.N., I could not have asked for a better ride!

Recently, SPPN/UNAC has taken the steps to assure my nursing career with Sharp Healthcare is top notch for Registered Nurse’s in the San Diego area. This is only one reason I have become determined to become more engaged with UNAC / SPNN, looking to advance my knowledge and familiarity with the union.  The opportunity to represent my fellow professional and play this forward will be truly enhanced by attending as a delegate to the convention.


Suzanne Delaney


Suzanne Delaney RN

UNAC / UHCP Director of Staff Representation

NUHHCE Vice President

BS Degree with concentration in Health Administration & Planning

2010 Harvard Graduate of Executive Trade Union Program





I have been a Registered Nurse and UNAC / UHCP "Union Member" for 40 years, advocating for Health Care Professionals in the workplace every single year!

I understand the issues you have and I never give up fighting to make your work life better! My motivation is you and the future of your profession.


I will represent your interests with the highest level of integrity and passion if elected by your vote to the NUHHCE Convention.

Being a delegate is a serious responsibility for me.

"My voice is your voice on every issue , because being a delegate to the NUHHCE Convention means I represent you not myself. "


Sincerely, Suzanne

Leigh Reza
Kaiser Baldwin Park Registered Nurses Association

My name is Leigh Reza.  I have been a UNAC/UHCP member since April of 1999.  Up until December 2016 I was an activist/steward and not too deeply involved.  However, since I always spoke up for my co-workers, I was frequently asked to become an officer for our affiliate.  Well, in December last year, I finally agreed and became the treasurer for KBPRNA.

To say it has been an eye-opening experience is putting it mildly.  Working on the unit as a charge RN and staff RN, I had no idea all the work that the union officers did for the members behind the scenes and working with administrators and managers.

I enjoy being able to make a difference.  I have met so many of the nurses in my own facility that I would never have had the chance to encounter.

So, my thoughts are, if becoming involved at the affiliate level gives me this much satisfaction...what must it be like to be more involved at the national level?  I will be happy to represent my affiliate and run as a Delegate to the 2017 NUHHCE Triennial Convention.