WINCHESTER - Experienced candidate Nelson J. Aquino, MS (Master of Science), CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist), is running for a seat on the Board of Health on Tuesday, March 31 with his main goal being to address public health needs in Winchester and advance resources in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and making healthy decisions.
Aquino has lived in Winchester for five years with his husband Stephen, son Spencer and their silver lab Cooper. They have an au pair named Kwhan, who has also worked as a registered nurse. Aquino noted that they are a healthcare household. The family currently resides on Forest Street, but prior to that they rented a house on Chesterford Terrace, which was where their son was born and where they first felt like members of the community.
The reason Aquino is running for the Board of Health (BOH) is to connect friends and neighbors to prevent, promote, and protect the well-being of the community.
He further stated, “I think my passion for public health and the Town of Winchester, combined with my background as an advanced practice nurse, will allow me to effectively contribute to the community that I am so glad to be a part of. I hope to engage our residents in finding common values that will translate into meaningful actions that will foster a safe and healthy environment for everyone.”
If elected he would like to utilize his experience as an advanced practice nurse to make sure the community is up-to-date with current healthcare issues by presenting current evidence and offering recommendations and resources.
He said, "whether it is educating people about novel outbreaks or finding solutions to protect our environment, I would like to inspire our children and young persons to contribute back to our town by example."
In terms of accomplishments, Aquino mentioned that he would work with the BOH, collaborate with other members to develop new policies and make sure the laws already in place to protect the community have been properly implemented. He stated that he will honor this opportunity with the determination and tenacious enthusiasm that has consistently marked his career.
In terms of Aquino's experience, he is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) that specializes in pediatric and community hospital anesthesia. He noted that CRNA's are master-and doctoral-prepared, advanced-practice nurses who provide the highest quality anesthesia to patients in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified health care professionals.
He has training in disaster relief efforts, medical missions and crisis management situations. His alma mater, Seton Hall University, bestowed him with their first Humanitarian Award, after spending time in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake performing surgeries, providing anesthesia and post-anesthesia care in tents and emergency medical units.
From working at both Children's Hospital and for Winchester Anesthesia Associates at Winchester Hospital he has cared for many infants, children, adults, and the elderly. He is approachable and loves to listen to what people have to share. He enjoys being busy, challenged and servicing those in need.
Aquino has already had an opportunity to meet with the Director of the Board of Health, Jennifer Murphy, where he learned about the community’s flu clinics, the statewide ban of tobacco and vaping products and their work with Dot Butler and the Winchester Coalition for A Safer Community. He loves that the BOH are dedicated and engaging with the Winchester community. He appreciates that they offer interns an experience to learn from their local elected board and serve as role models and mentors for the interns and the high school.
After that meeting, he stated, “I knew for sure that the Board of Health is how I would best contribute to the Winchester Community.”
Aquino has great things to say about the Winchester community. He commented that the residents are loyal, proud and extremely generous. He said since he and his family have moved to Winchester they have felt nothing but acceptance and they quickly became involved with the community. His family has met many friends through the Winchester Neighbors Club, Ginn Field Park, Family Action Network, Children’s Own School, Winchester Gay Neighbors, Win Rec activities, the Winchester Library, Town Day, the En Ka Fair, the farmer’s market, Church of the Epiphany, St. Mary’s and Winchester Hospital.
What sets Aquino apart from other candidates is his background, passion for healthcare, and dedication to Winchester. He hopes to bring diversity and a unique perspective from his 23 years of healthcare experience. Furthermore, he is completing his Doctoral education in gender affirmation health care.
“In our town, we have a growing number of school-age and high school students who are transgender, so I hope that I will be able to utilize this new knowledge and help our youth through that process,” he remarked.
Aquino thanks his neighbors and new and old friends for their continued support. He would be grateful for their support on March 31, 2020 and for their vote for a seat on the Board of Health.