By ALFARETTA LUISA T. REYES, MD
THE 22ND NATIONAL CONVENTION AND Reunion of the UERMMMC Medical Alumni Association of America, Inc. (UERMMMC-MAAA, Inc.) and the UERMMMC Alumni Foundation, USA, Inc. (AFUSA, Inc.) was held at Newport Beach Marriott Hotel, Newport, California, USA, from June 30 to July 5, 2010. This was co-hosted by the MAAA Southern California Chapter with Dr. Andres Dela Llana, incumbent Chapter President, as the Convention Chairman. The officers and members of the Association were on hand to welcome the alumni and their guests from the various states, most especially the Jubilarians of Classes '65, '70, '75, '80, '85, '90, '95, 2000 and 2005.
The Dean of the College of Medicine (COM) is invited annually to this occasion to render respective reports on programs and projects supported by the alumni and to actively participate in their various activities and meetings.
This event served as the opportunity for the COM Dean and for Dr. Andres D. Borromeo, the UERM Hospital Medical Director, and representatives of the UERM College of Medicine Alumni Association to strengthen ties with the US-based alumni and give updates on the current state of the College of Medicine. It was a momentous occasion to enjoy the camaraderie with fellow alumni and friends, rekindle friendships while reminiscing on the "good old days" at UERMMMCI.
Separate general annual meetings were conducted by the two organizations.
The AFUSA officers, the chairpersons of the different committees, the officers of the UERMMMC Alliance and Friends, Inc. and the Dean delivered their respective annual reports.
The Dean presented the details on the status of monetary funds released by AFUSA to the College for SY 2009-2010 (USD 77,072.00), total disbursement (USD 75,643.57) and the remaining balance as of the end of June 2010 (USD 16,372.08).
These were earmarked for the various programs and projects supported by the foundations, mostly geared to promote quality medical education through human resources, capacity-building of faculty members and students, library and facilities development, community service and research.
In addition to the submission of accomplished acknowledgement forms from recipients and copies of UERM official receipts, the Dean presented a copy of the SY 2008-2009 UERM Annual Report.
A survey conducted among students by the AFUSA Library Committee in cooperation with the COM's Library Committee showed the need primarily for hard copies of required textbooks, although online versions were also considered important. For SY 2009-2010, the COM received the amount of USD 2,200.00 for library development.
A total of USD 17,430.00 was funded by AFUSA for faculty development and recognition. These included an educational grant supported by Class '73 for Dr. Marivic Villamor, who is currently enrolled in the PhD program in UP; cash incentives for the 22 faculty members who were recipients of the Basic and Clinical Sciences Best Teachers Award; they were recognized during the Opening Exercises and Recognition Day on June 15, 2010. Some alumni subsidized the participation of six faculty members to the 6th Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference (APMEC) and workshops held in Singapore. The Southern California Chapter funded the Enhancing Professional and Personal Effectiveness Program (EPPE). Due consideration was given by the AFUSA Committee in the submission of a request for funding because of late announcements from the conference organizers.
AFUSA donated a total of USD 35,400.00 for student scholarship grants, recognition for academic excellence and book awards. The COM's Scholarship and Academic Honors Committee continually considered AFUSA's original concept of "assisting the financially challenged but deserving students" in selecting the grantees.
There were only five recipients of the AFUSA Outstanding Residents' Award due to the strict criteria of the UERM Selection Committee. Dr. Raymundo, AFUSA Committee Chair, suggested that in the future, unused yearly funds allotted for this annual program be divided among current recipients if slots are not filled up.
The AFUSA continued to support the Community Medicine Service Awards for Clinical Clerks. It also supported the Soup Kitchen Project of the College of Medicine's Multidisciplinary Urban Community Health Service Extension Program (MUCHSEP), in response to the devastation caused by tropical storm "Ondoy". The request for reallocation of remaining funds to the Nutrition (Feeding) Program for the identified malnourished children of UERM's immediate community in Barangay Doña Imelda was also approved by AFUSA.
AFUSA also contributed USD 10,000 for the Disaster Relief Fund in response to the calamity caused by Ondoy.
The AFUSA Committee also reported that there is no defined role for the AFUSA in the further development of the Green-Building Project of the UERM Alumni and Friends Foundation. The alumni and their friends may support it on their own.
The AFUSA Audit and Ethics Committee commended the Dean's Office for prompt and proper documentation and acknowledgement of donations and support given to the College.
The Fund-Raising Committee (FRC) reported the exceptional response to AFUSA's call for financial assistance to support its various programs and projects. It will start endorsing the "Tree of Life" gift-giving and the Legacy Keepers Fund. It also encouraged the MAAA Alliance and Friends in their annual silent auctions and raffles. AFUSA was the major beneficiary of their proceeds.
Assorted textbooks, journals and instruments for the Skills Lab were donated to the COM by various donors, including a laptop for the Dean's Office.
Dr. Elmer Gilo, AFUSA Treasurer, reported on the various donations received from alumni and friends, and disbursements for the programs and projects being supported by AFUSA. Per capita, Class '67 had the highest class contribution, followed by Class '73. AFUSA requested that copies of the UERMMMCI Annual Report SY '09-10 be sent to Dr. Gilo for submission to the IRS. It was further reiterated that as a requirement by the US IRS, there is a need to cite the AFUSA contributions in this Annual Report.
Dr. A. Borromeo, member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Planning and Development, presented the Updates on Infrastructure Development as well as plans for the forthcoming 41st Annual Medical Alumni Homecoming slated for January 31 to February 5, 2011. This will be the first time that UERM will be hold the Golden Jubilee Celebration in honor of its first batch of medical graduates.
The Dean handcarried a check given by AFUSA amounting to USD 3,500.00. This was in addition to checks amounting to USD 33,450.00 previously received in May and June 2010 earmarked for their yearly support to the College's various programs and projects.
The UERMMMC-MAAA, Inc. started its activity with a Welcome and Fellowship Night. These were well-attended by alumni and guests.
The theme of this year's Continuing Medical Education activity was "Caring of the Healers and Its Impact on Patient Care". It focused on strategies in adding years to physicians' lives and also addressed the positive value of caring and improving one's health and sense of well-being.
The Dr. Jose M. Cuyegkeng Memorial Lecture on "Conflict Resolution on Healthcare: A New Perspective" was delivered by Dr. Renato D. Querubin (Class '67), AFUSA Chairman of the Board. His lecture dealt on professional ethics and the business aspect of medicine.
The MAAA, Inc. Executive Council meeting presided by the President, Dr. Irene Ibañez-Manlapaz, was held at Pacific Palms Hotel on July 3, 2010. The Dean submitted and reported on donations to the College received from MAAA, Inc. and the corresponding disbursements of funds. These contributions were properly acknowledged. The Dean and Dr. Borromeo personally thanked the alumni and benefactors through MAAA, Inc. for their contributions to the calamity fund of the Medical Center and for their unrelenting support to the various programs of the College.
Dr. Manlapaz handed over several checks earmarked for faculty development, student scholarships, the Drug Assistance Program (DAP) and the ENT Wish list.
The Dean also submitted to both the AFUSA and to the MAAA, Inc. copies of the List of Donors and respective donations received by the Medical Center for the Ondoy Calamity Fund and corresponding disbursements. This was prepared by Ms. Iris B. Militar, UERMMMCI's Comptroller and Budget Officer.
The Dean presented the Medical School Updates during the MAAA General Assembly. These were based on the COM's Guiding Objectives. These were in relation to developing and providing an excellent and socially relevant academic program that is locally and globally competitive; to be among the top three preferred medical schools for aspiring physicians; student, faculty and physical resources development; and in producing quality researches of internationally standards. The Dean also submitted a report on the Status of Donations from the MAAA, Inc. and other sources.
The Dean mentioned that the COM was awarded a Plaque of Recognition by the Professional Regulation Commission Board of Medicine as the No. 2 Top Performing School in the August 2009 Physician Licensure Examination (PLE). Dr. Melanie T. Estolas placed No. 10 and Dr. Bianca Escaro-Villanueva placed No. 5 in the August '09 and February 2010 PLE, respectively. The Dean further announced that the COM is the first private medical school formally granted the PAASCU Level III accredited status.
Dr. A. Borromeo reported on Updates on Infrastructure Development in the Center, including a video presentation on the effects of Ondoy.
The Departments' Special Projects ("Wish Lists") were presented by Dr. Ben Rigor, past AFUSA Chairman. The Southern California Chapter and other alumni pledged to give their financial assistance through AFUSA.
The new set of MAAA, Inc. officers for 2010-2012 were inducted by Dean Reyes, namely: Dr. Susan Perez-Suntay, President; Dr. Neda Ballon-Reyes, President-Elect; Dr. Clementina Manio, Vice President; Dr. Ric Flores and Dr. Elma Abella, Secretary and Assistant Secretary, respectively; Dr. Eva Padilla and Dr. Leonard Go, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer, respectively; Dr. Ma. Teresa Galarpe-Pastor, Auditor; and Dr. Carmen Agcaoili, Executive Director.
The Convention and Reunion was highlighted by the Gala Night with the awarding of commemorative class medallions to the silver jubilarians by the Dean. They were formally introduced with their families. This activity was followed by a Candlelight Ceremony. Other celebrating class jubilarians also received medallions.
Dr. Henry Yañez, and Dr. Carmela Agustin-Kasala, President of Class '85, also represented the Alumni Association in the Philippines in the 22nd Annual Convention and Reunion of MAAA, Inc. and the AFUSA, Inc.
The Dean of the College of Medicine and Dr. Borromeo sincerely thank the UERMMMC-MAAA, Inc. Southern California Chapter for their hospitality and for supporting this yearly dean's trip, which foster the strengthening of linkages with the alumni and update them on improvements in the Medical Center. On behalf of Dr. Borromeo, the Dean also expresses her heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the administration for its assistance in making this trip possible and for its full support in the implementation of our various programs to continuously provide excellent quality education and health care services despite competing priorities in the Medical Center.
Our deep gratitude and profound appreciation to all our alumni and benefactors for their unwavering support and significant contributions to their Alma Mater-for us to help achieve our shared goals and objectives.
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