Bringing health services to far-flung areas with the institution’s aim to meet the health needs to a partner community for three years now, the MHAM medical team successfully conducted a joint medical mission in Barangay Calidngan, Carcar City, Cebu last April 27, 2019 from 9:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the afternoon.
Spearheaded by the MHAM Caduceus Rescue Unit (CRU) members mostly from the class of 2022, a free ‘operation tuli’ was being catered to sixty (60) young boys held at the Calidngan Elementary School in coordination with the Barangay Calidngan officials, Barangay Health Workers (BHW), and Calidngan Elementary School (CES) teachers.
Coming together with the heart to share and spread the love to an upland community as part of their annual gathering as a batch, eight graduate-doctors of class 1968 also graced the medical mission with a free consultation and medicines availed by the residents of Calidngan.
Marking another humanitarian service not just because he is a native of Calidngan, MHAM AVP for administration, Mr. Francisco Bacalla, also facilitated the event together with HR director, Mr. Pedro Pañares and CESO director, Mr. Jarvis Prochina.
Former MHAM corporate treasurer of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Carlito Astillero, joined the doctors of class ’68 who made the medical mission remarkably heartwarming and significant because little things means a lot to the recipients.
Among the medical doctors who joined the outreach program includes Dr. Marlou Fuentes, Dr. Gerry Ang Rabanes, Dr. Lourdes Magpayo, Dr. Emil Retulla, Dr. Lydia Arandain, Dr. Antonio Fabular and Dr. Napoleon Camacho.
Last year, the class of 1968 who came from the different parts of the country and abroad celebrated their Golden Grand Reunion dubbed as “Pagbalik sa Kagahapon” with a 5-day rekindling of friendship and connectivity through different activities including the Cebu City tour, Bohol tour, and Gala Night.
Meanwhile the CRU members actively laid their mission to the young constituents in Calidngan as part of their continuing efforts to provide free circumcision operation for the schoolchildren.
Commonly practiced in the country during the summer month, the CRU-led ‘operation tuli’ was also served to the constituents in Mandaue City, Cebu on the same day.
Motivated to serve in accordance to its core values and fundamental principles of the organization, the CRU members mostly from the first year level worked hand in hand in order to place the heart of the community at all times.
Strongly committed to translate his first ever circumcision operation to the partner community, Randolph Joseph Jainar of batch Insignis, shared his experience and insights during the medical mission in Calidngan.
A graduate of BS in Biology and a native of Cebu City, 23-year old Jainar stated that the event made him more motivated and inspired in pursuit of a childhood dream. A lover of music and sports, he is looking forward to become part of medical missions in the future to enhance his skills and boost his confidence with patient’s centeredness in health and social care.
“The free circumcision that CRU has conducted to a partner community in Carcar was a concrete action of MHAM’s social responsibility in caring for the less fortunate in the society and it expresses our social involvement for the betterment of the lives of others. As a first timer, it was a moving experience for me as the positive response of the community was a heartwarming experience. It actually inspired me more to continue my studies to be a medical doctor. It feels good to be able to help the community. It showed me the importance of the medical profession coupled with the responsibilities to be of service to the people”, Jainar said in an interview.
As part of the four hundred twelve (412) first year students in MHAM, this CRU student-member aims to exert more effort in med school with a lifetime precept that without labor nothing prospers. “I am very happy with my life as a medical student in MHAM. I find it very challenging but it has inspired me to study hard and study more. The environment, the staff, and professors have made me feel the sense of belongingness. With God’s grace, I am looking forward to realize my dream as a medical doctor, being formed and educated by MHAM”, he added.
A learning experience that will truly develop their technical skills with the sense of commitment as an integral factor in the medical field, the CRU, as one of the official school organizations, was founded in 2009 under the supervision of MHAM Associate Dean for Basic Sciences, Dr. Allan R. Librando.
Today, it has grown in numbers wherein some of CRU’s former members who are now full-pledged medical doctors are still serving the organization in some of their unrelenting services to the neighboring communities.
Working together as a team, the CRU members are also set to conduct another free circumcision operation in Barangay Basak, San Nicolas Gymnasium on May 4, 2019 in partnership with UP-Cebu and Red Cross.
According to barangay captain Maricor Embalzado Alcordo who serves the people of Calidngan for seventeen years now, the ‘operation tuli’ was of big help to her constituents to not to spend any single peso for the circumcision of their children as well as for traveling and medicine expenses.
“Being the barangay captain I am so thankful to the MHAM family for always choosing Calidngan to become the beneficiary of their free medical mission despite of our location which is very far from Cebu City. As an adopted community, it’s been three years that MHAM chose us and the medical missions being catered to us is beyond measure. It is very heartwarming to see the children’s big smiles as they received the bundles of joy, and the old ones brought home free vitamins and medicines particularly to those who acvailed the medical check-up. I am looking forward for more medical missions, programs, and projects with a strong partnership with MHAM”, said the 32-year old lady captain.
Carrying the beacon of public service since she was still fifteen years old, she is lauded for her astounding accomplishments and projects for Calidngan including the barangay road rehabilitation, concreting, drainage systems, rehabilitation of multipurpose buildings and day care centers, construction of footbridge and spillways, educational support, purok livelihood programs, socio-cultural activities, anti-drug programs and campaigns, institutionalization of barangay-based institutions, purok solid waste management and computerization of barangay data.
“Having a huge responsibility in public service is challenging though I can choose to live a simpler way of life without having been bothered with asserting schedules and obligations. I consider it as my ‘calling’ to serve the people where public service is already part of my life. I started as SK chairperson at the age of 15 and now I am running 33 yet I am still serving my fellow Calidnganons. Having the heart to serve is something essential for me because I have faith in myself that I can help uplift the lives of others and improve some of the difficult situations in our barangay that needs compelling attention”, Capt. Alcordo concluded.
As the only barangay in Carcar City that became the sole recipient of the MHAM Community Extension institutionalized programs, the Calidngan residents have been enjoying the free medical clinic and gift-giving from Shoe Box Project dubbed as ‘Pasko sa Kabukiran’ since 2016.
Rooted from the universal byword that there is nothing more meaningful than an institution that goes out of the way to make life more fulfilling to others, the MHAM medical mission in Calidngan creates another overwhelming impact to the local residents once again. Envisioned to continually promote social responsibility in the midst of wavering times, the passion for learning and serving can become the energy of the Matias volunteers to carry forward the lifetime mission where compassion becomes the language of love for everyone. (Ana Liza Abao)