By ALFARETTA LUISA T. REYES, MD
Dean, College of Medicine

THE 23RD ANNUAL CONVENTION AND Reunion of the UERMMMC-Medical Alumni Association of America, Inc. (MAAA, Inc.) and the 30th Anniversary of the UERM Alumni Foundation USA, Inc. (AFUSA, Inc.) were held at Chicago Marriott Downtown Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, USA on July 21 to 25, 2011. This was co-hosted by the MAAAI-Midwest Chapter led by its President, Dr. Zosimo Herrera.

More than 400 alumni and their guests from the various states attended this memorable occasion, which was highlighted by the golden jubilee celebration of the Pioneer Class of Medicine 1961 and the silver anniversary of Medicine Class 1986, as well as the celebration of other jubilarians from Classes '66, '71, 76, '81, '86, '91, '96, 2001 and 2006. It was a momentous occasion to rekindle friendships, reminisce the good old days in UERMMMC and enjoy the camaraderie with alumni and friends.

Dean Alfaretta T. Reyes and the Medical Director, Dr. Andres D. Borromeo, were the official representatives of the Medical Center to this event. Also in attendance was Dr. Jesus Adelo Inciong, President of the UERM College of Medicine Alumni Association, Inc.

The dean is invited annually to this event to deliver reports on programs and projects supported by the alumni and friends, and to actively participate in their various activities and meetings.

This also served as an opportunity for the UERM delegates to strengthen ties with the internationally based alumni and to give updates on the current status of the College of Medicine (COM) as well as on infrastructure development in the Medical Center.

Separate general annual assemblies were conducted by the MAAA and AFUSA.

The Dean presented the details on the status of monetary funds released by AFUSA to the COM as of SY 2010-2011. These included total donations (USD65,699.88), total disbursement (USD60,331.79) and the remaining balance (USD5,768.09) as of July 15, 2011. These were earmarked for the various programs and projects supported by the Foundation mostly geared to promote quality medical education through faculty capacity-building and recognition, student scholarships, library and facilities development, community service and research awards.

All accomplished acknowledgement of donation forms from our recipients and official receipts were submitted to the AFUSA officers. Likewise, as endorsed by Ms. Iris B. Militar, UERM Assistant Treasurer and Budget Officer, the summary of expenses and supporting receipts on the release of the AFUSA donation for the Disaster Relief Fund, in response to the calamity caused by tropical storm "Ondoy," was submitted to the AFUSA President, Dr. Isabelita Casibang. Two copies of the UERMMMCI Annual Report 2009-2010 were also endorsed to Dr. Elmer Gilo, AFUSA Treasurer, as required by the US Internal Revenue Service.

The AFUSA adopted policies and guidelines regarding the Gifts in Kind (GIK) donations to UERMMMCIi after the challenging and learning experience of the MARVADC Chapter project.The GIK Committee was tasked to ensure that the GIK must be of absolute use to the facility in its operations in the field of medical education, service, research and business operations relevant to the Medical Center 's mission and function. They will revisit their policy for possible amendments. There may be a need to come up with a Memorandum of Understanding with UERMMMCI since it did not include the responsibility of the consignee.

For SY 2009-2011, a total of USD27,460.00 was funded by AFUSA for faculty development and recognition awards. these included the Basic and clinical sciences Best teacher awards given to deserving faculty members during the Opening Exercises and Recognition Day held on June 4, 2011; educational study grant, funding assistance for the participation of six faculty members to the 8th Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference (APMEC); and workshops held in Singapore. AFUSA reiterated that the process for grant application for funding has been posted on their website.

For SY 2010-2011, a total of USD30,450.00 was funded by AFUSA for student scholarships, book awards and recognition for academic excellence (top 10 per year levels) and clinical excellence (outstanding clinical clerks). AFUSA's original concept of "assisting the financially challenged but deserving students" in screening the student grantees were considered in the selection by the COM's Scholarship and Academic Honors Committee. The Committee pledged to solicit more sponsors for student scholarships.

Only two individuals qualified for the AFUSA Outstanding Residents' Award 2011 due to the strict criteria set by the UERM Selection Committee. Dr. Renato Raymundo, AFUSA Committee Chair, suggested an increase in the percentage of involvement of the undergraduate students in the evaluation

AFUSA will continue to support the community Medicine Service projects with the COM: Multidisciplinary Urban Community Health Service extension Program (MUCHSEP) in Barangay Doña Imelda, Quezon City, the Community Medicine Student Excellence and Service Awards for Clinical Clerks, and the community-based health program in Antipolo which will be transferred to Taytay within this school year.

The AFUSA Community Service Committee reiterated that AFUSA has no defined role in the development of the Green Building project of the UERM Alumni and Friends Foundation. AFUSA stated that the alumni are free to individually and voluntarily support this project, but not through AFUSA.

Dr. Renato Querubin, AFUSA Chairman, mentioned the abolition of the "Wish Lists" auction effective this year, as requested by the UERM administration.

The members of the Fund-Raising Committee (FRC) reported on their activities, including the contributions from the MAAA Alliance and Friends Foundation.

Dr. Elmer Gilo, AFUSA Treasurer, reported on the overall status of donations received by AFUSA from alumni and friends.

Dr. Gilo handed over to Dean Reyes a check amounting to USD43,750.00 earmarked for AFUSA's continued support for the various programs and projects of the College of Medicine. He informed the body that regarding donations per capita with at least 20 donors, Class '67 was on top of the list, followed by Class '73 and Class '63. The highest contributor to the AFUSA was Class '73, followed by Class '67.

The well-attended tri-celebration was ushered with a Welcome and Fellowship Night. Certificates of Appreciation from both the AFUSA and the COM were awarded to donors/sponsors who have given generous contributions to help the Medical Center achieve its mission and objectives.

The theme of this year's continuing Medical Education activity was "Obesity & Cardiometabolic Syndrome." It focused on the impact of obesity on the various cardiovascular risk factors and its association with co-morbidities, as well as therapeutic approaches in its management. Speakers were our alumni led by the well-renowned Dr. Emmanuel Bravo of Class '61.

Dr. Roger F. Lucas of Class '61 delivered the Dr. Jose M. Cuyegkeng Memorial Lecture, on "Coping with Cancer and Other Serious Illnesses: My Personal Experience." He expounded on the process of and fundamentals in coping with serious illnesses.

The Dean presented the Medical School Updates during the MAAA, Inc. General Assembly which was presided by their President, Dr. Susan Perez-Suntay. The presentation was based on the accomplishment of the COM's objectives in relation to faculty, students and facilities development; providing an excellent and socially relevant academic program that is locally and globally competitive-sustaining to be among the top three preferred medical schools for aspiring physicians.

The Dean also reported on the status of MAAA donations for the programs and projects supported by the organization.

The dean mentioned that the COM received an award of Merit from the Professional Regulation Commission and the Board of Medicine as among the Top Performing Schools in the August 2010 Physician Licensure Examination (PLE) and that UERMMMCI COM graduate Dr. Donna Lea S. Pepito placed No. 10 in the February 2011 PLE.

Dr. A. Borromeo also showed pictures in his report during the general meetings of AFUSA and MAAAI on Updates in Infrastructure Development in the Medical Center. It included the groundbreaking ceremonies for the construction of the Bs in Prosthetics and Orthotics Building.

The awarding of commemorative medallions by the Dean, assisted by Dr. Suntay, for the golden, ruby and silver jubilarians was held during the Jubilarian Night.

The Convention and Reunion was highlighted by the Gala Night. The Inspirational Message was delivered by the Dean. This was followed by the Candlelighting Ceremony of the Silver Jubilarians.

Dr. Ma. Felicidad Soto of Class '71 represented her class and the UERM College of Medicine Alumni Association.

The 24th National Convention and Reunion will be hosted by the MAAA-Northern California Chapter in San Francisco, California on July 4 to 8, 2012.

On behalf of the Medical Center community, Dean Reyes and Dr. Borromeo sincerely thank the UERMMMC-MAAA, Inc., AFUSA, Inc. and MAAA- Midwest Chapter for inviting them to this event and for MAAA's support for the Dean's trip, which have strengthened our linkage with the alumni.

Our sincere gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to all our alumni, friends and benefactors for their unrelenting support and significant contributions to help our Alma Mater achieve our shared goals.

The Dean visited the affiliated institutions, namely St. John's Episcopal Hospital-South Shore (SJEH) in New York and the Affiliated Institute for Medical education (AIME) in Chicago, where our current clinical clerks are doing some core clinical clerkship rotations. She was introduced to Mr. Nelson Toebbe, the new CEO of SJEH, by Dr. Gilbert Makabali, Chair of SJEH's Department of Surgery and our Associate Clinical faculty member. The Dean, together with Dr. Suntay, met the fourth-year students to get feedback regarding their clinical electives in the USA.

On behalf of Dr. Borromeo, the Dean also expresses her heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the UERMMMCI administration for its assistance in making this trip possible and for its full support in our efforts to continuously provide excellent quality education and health care services in the Medical Center.

 

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