Press Release by Rotary Club MIA, 2007 Volunteer Articles & Comments “Major Rotary Medical-Surgical Mission for the Ailing Poor of Pasay City” Pasay City is one of Metro Manilas urban centers of extreme contrasts. On one hand it is a boom town with a reclamation area growing fast into a modern commercial complex centered around the Mall of Asia, one of the biggest in the world. On the other hand, it is home to countless squatter families, where poverty, sickness, unemployment, homelessness, pollution, illiteracy, juvenile delinquency and crime are rife. These are some of the problems addressed by the Joint Effort of Pasay Rotary Clubs (JEPROCS), this year chaired by Leader President Danny Paragas of the Rotary Club of Pasay MIA. Known for its continuing annual medical missions, RC Pasay MIA planned early in 2006 to conduct a major 3-day medical and surgical mission for the benefit of more than 4,500 indigent patients in Pasay City . This was scheduled on February 21 to 23, 2007. Because of the magnitude of this mission of mercy, RC Pasay MIA invited international and local medical groups to provide the medical and surgical services. It also called on other Rotary clubs to share in the organizational and logistical support, for which R.I. District 3810 Governor Lyne Abanilla promptly made this mission a district project. The U.S.-based Filipino-American Medical, Inc. (FAMI), led by Niles Perlas, its founding president, and her husband, Meneleus Perlas, FAMI administrator, responded favorably early on. On February 18, their 34-member medical team arrived from New York. They brought with them some US$970,000 worth of medical equipment, supplies and medicines. These include eight cardiac monitor equipment worth US$25,000 each and 50 boxes of medicines and other medical supplies worth US$770,000 donated by U.S. donors such as the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), the Interchurch Medical Assistance (IMA) and FAMI.
During the mission, FAMI volunteers partnered with local medical teams from the Makati Medical Center , led by Dr. Victor Gisbert, and the Manila Adventist Medical Center , led by its president, Dr. Bibly Macaya. Together they provided medical and surgical services worth an estimated P12.10 Million rendered for free as their labor of love. FAMI has been conducting missions in the Philippines for some years now and has made available some funds for medical aid for indigents at the Philippine General Hospital administered by Rotary International District 3810 through the Rotary Club of Intramuros, the home club of District Gov. Lyne. The informal medical surgical mission team of Makati Medical Center has partnered with FAMI for three years now but has been conducting bi-monthly medical missions nationwide without fanfare nor publicity. The Manila Adventist Medical Center has been providing free medical care to indigents for decades and is popularly known as the former Manila Sanitarium Hospital. It has a network of hospitals nationwide. The Manila Adventist Medical Center, along Donada St. , Pasay City, was the theater of operations during the 3-day mission. The medical teams operated on 156 indigent patients involving 68 major surgeries and 88 minor surgeries, such as cholecystectomy, thyroidectomy, herniorraphy, herniotomy, cyst/mass excision, mastectomy, and gall bladder removal, among others.
At the same time, the mission provided various medical services and dispensed medicines to more than 3,800 of the ailing poor who flocked to community centers in Maricaban on February 21, Tramo on February 22 and Malibay on February 23.
Nurse Track Are you on the” Nurse Track"? A journal of nursing issues from the Nurse Alliance of New York State/1199 SEIU (Fall 2004)
The caring, energy, and professionalism of 1199 SEIU registered nurse Bennie Muldong doesn't stop at the end of her shift at St. Clare's Hospital in Manhattan . Bennie came to the United States from the Philippines , and despite the difficulties that come with nursing in America today, she still finds time to give something back to her homeland. In fact, every February since 1999, Bennie has volunteered a week of her time to work with Filipino American Medical Incorporated (FAMI) and has returned to her native country to share her OR. expertise with those most in need.
FAMI brings Filipino American physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals together to serve the poor in the Philippines . The organization provides surgery and medical care to those who need it the most but can afford it the least, in addition to conducting surgical and medical workshops for local medical professionals. Many of the people whom they treat would not be able to afford surgery or treatment if dedicated health care providers like Bennie did not donate their time and resources.
In 2000, Bennie was joined by fellow Nurse Alliance member Miriam Kho , a post-anesthesia recovery nurse. Miriam hopes to be able to go on future medical missions with Bennie and is thankful for all that FAMI does. If you are interested in helping FAMI by donating your time or by helping to collect resources, please contact Bennie through the 1199 SEIU Nurse Alliance at 315-424-1743, ext. 123 (Upstate) or 212-603-1141 (downstate), or go to www.ifami.org for information about what supplies and services are needed. We are honored to have many extraordinary, dedicated and thoughtful members like Bennie and Miriam in the Nurse Alliance of New York State/1199 SEIU, and to highlight their valuable work in Nursetrak.
Putting a Face on Global Need (2003) By Angelica Cecilia Cu, RN, PACU Editor's By Angelica Cu, RN
Editor's Note: Angelica Cu, RN (EPS Lab) and Tina Johnson (Bed Coordinator for Cardiac Service Line) recently completed a medical mission to the Philippines. Ms. Maggie Smith, RN, volunteered her services by packing medicine and supplies for the trip. The trip is described in the article that follows.
Borrowing a caption from a publication of AIMS (Accelerated International Mission Strategies), we had the opportunity to once again participate in a humanitarian endeavor in” putting a face on the global need." In partnership with a New York City based non-profit organization called Filipino American Medical Incorporated, volunteers from NYPH (Tina Johnson, RN, Winda Pilapil, RN and I) joined FAMI's 2003 medical missions to the Philippines. We worked alongside volunteers from HSS, Lenox Hill, Memorial, St.Clare's, Flushing and Mt Sinai Hospitals as well as from the Mayo Clinic. We served 2 government hospitals on the island of Luzon, the largest of the 7107 Philippine islands.
February 7 8th “'Mabuhay! Welcome!" Safety became an overwhelming concern prior to our departure, nevertheless on February 7th; the team took the challenge to brave the 6745-mile non-stop flight to Japan. It had started to snow the day before, and our plane wasdelayed for de icing. We breathed a sigh of relief when we finally took off. We had a lay over in Tokyo and then flew an additional 1893 miles and landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, after traveling for more than 22 hours.
February 10 11: "The adventure begins..." At the airport we were met by FAMI's Philippine Coordinator, Ms. Marietta Santos. We drove to our hotel for a short rest and later boarded a bus carrying boxes of medicine destined for the north. In the middle of the night we arrived at our destination nestled in the northern remnant of Cordillera Mountains. Another 20-minute drive brought us to the city of Vigan in the province of Ilocos Sur. Vigan, the oldest surviving Spanish colonial city in the country, was a vital stop on the old Silk Route that connected Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Gabriela Siland General Hospital was our first mission site, a mere 10 minutes from the compound where we stayed. After observing the customary formality with our hosts, we quickly transformed the hospital's front open space into a triage area (for admissions and blood sugar testing), a waiting area, a clinic, and a pharmacy. How can I describe that first day? All around us stood people of all ages, waiting to be seen. Crucial to the strength of teamwork lies the continual assessment and reassessment of the need to put a sense of order to seemingly impossible tasks. Yet by 4 pm, we had seen 1028 patients.
February 11th: It was a clear, fresh, cool morning. Despite our efforts to set up the clinic earlier than usual, 45 patients had already arrived before us! How our doctors managed to see 910 patients by 12 noon is beyond me. The changing voices of the volunteers (growing more and more hoarse as the day progressed) became a source of fun. Scarcely had we finished our lunch break when another sea of people materialized. We were invigorated by an afternoon walk and after dinner we honored our local hosts and volunteers. We left Vigan at 9 pm that night to return to Manila.
February 12th: "A Time of Refreshing" We arrived in Manila at 4:30 am, and the streets were already alive with people. Today was more carefree and we had a social dinner with our local sponsors.
February 13th 14th: Our mission site was St. Martin de Porres Charity Hospital. Building relationships with the local medical professionals was an integral part of our mission. More than 116 volunteer nurses, nursing students, medical doctors and surgeons helped us provide care. These days were a learning experience for me. I am confronted by the realization that physical healing is not simply a secular exercise. It is total care because it is a personal event focusing on one individual or family. One cannot discount the simple acts of checking someone's blood pressure, blood sugar, and weighing and measuring babies, educating a pregnant woman on the importance of prenatal vitamins, providing basic health information to communities and marginalized people who do not have access to such or simply sharing a new gleam of hope with a parent who is taking care of a handicapped child.
February 15: "The adventure continued..." The mission’s trip is over but the journey continues. FAMI hosted an appreciation dinner to honor all the volunteers (foreign and local) and sponsors. Ms. Niles Perlas, CRNA (Hospital for Special Surgery) and founder of FAMI reflected on the past accomplishments of the organization and talked about the vision and challenges that lie ahead. Overall, we treated a total of 4750 patients in 4 days, per formed 250 glucose tests, distributed $1.2 million worth of medicines in addition to various medical supplies and pieces of equipment to the 2 hospitals and 8 other non-government organizations.
Joining a medical mission brought me to a new dimension of caring. The NYPH logo has the Good Samaritan saying, "Go and Do Thou Likewise." One simply has to look at the large sign at the entrance to our hospital "at the gate of the temple which is called BEALJTIFUL..."to know our dedication to community service. Our concern for healing is not an option, but an opportunity. And so, I pause to salute the volunteers who are dedicating their expertise, time and energy to bring a message of hope and healing to others. Indeed, if we can just extend our hearts and our hands, together, we can put a face on the global need. Maggie Smith, RN (Peri Operative Services) on the left and Tina Johnson, RN (Cardiac Cluster Bed Coordinator) on the right help pack medicines at the Philippine Center, In New York. 2003 FAMI Volunteers
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