UERM Vice Chairman Wilson Young (standing, far right), (seated, from left) Physicians for Peace Chief Executive Officer Lyne Abanilla, CPT Dean Raquel Cabazor, MD, CPT Faculty
By CARMINA ANN CORTEZ, MD
THE UERMMMCI COLLEGE OF PHYSICAL Therapy (CPT) officially launched the new member of its family: the first-ever Philippine School of Prosthetics and Orthotics (PSPO). This was through a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding among the three key players of its conception.
The MOU signing was held on October 19, 2010, in a lunchtime event that doubled as a press conference. On hand were the delegates of the Nippon Foundation, headed by Mr. Yohei Sasakawa; the Executive Director of The Cambodia Trust, Mr. Carson Harte; and the Board of Trustees of the UERMMMCI, represented by President Romeo A. Divinagracia, all signing the papers that will open the doors to the PSPO. The event was also attended by Trustees and Academic Officers of the Medical Center, along with government officials led by Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Undersecretary Celia Yangco of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Undersecretary Ted Herbosa of the Department of Health. Friends and advocates of persons with disability (PWDs) were also present to give support to this new project of the College of Physical Therapy.
The four gentlemen with UERM Vice Chairman Wilson Young (standing, far right), (seated, from left) Physicians for Peace Chief Executive Officer Lyne Abanilla, CPT Dean Raquel Cabazor, MD,
A press conference followed the MOU signing, with reporters from both print media and TV asking questions to the panel, which included Dr. Josephine R. Bundoc, CPT faculty member and proponent of the project; Dr. Raquel S. Cabazor, CPT Dean; Mr. Harte, Mr. Sasakawa and President Divinagracia.
The PSPO is targeted to open in school year 2011-2012. It will offer a five-year course of Bachelor of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics, the first in the country and only the 12th in the world. The graduates of BS Prosthetics and Orthotics shall be leaders in the field of training, service and research on prosthetic and orthotic devices. They are envisioned to uplift the quality of lives locally and globally as educator, researcher, entrepreneur, advocate, administrator, community organizer and service provider.
The four gentlemen with, from 2nd from left, Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and former Isabela Governor Grace Padaca, Tahanang Walang Hagdanan Chief Executive Officer Joy Garcia,
The PSPO has its roots in the tireless work of Physicians for Peace. It was Physicians for Peace that contacted Mr. Dan Blocka, the President of the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO), who in turn connected Pjysicians for Peace with Cambodia Trust, specifically Mr. Carson Harte. Physicians for Peace promptly made a feasibility study on the PSPO for Cambodia Trust. Because of the three-year missions of and data gathered via Physicians for Peace's Walking Free Program, the Nippon Foundation responded positively to the feasibility study and the rest is now history-or the start of crucial milestone in UERM history and, moreover, in Philippine academic and medical history.
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