Every January, a team of physicians, dentists, optometrists, nurses, prosthetists, students and other allied health professionals travel to various locations in the Philippines to complete a five-day mission.
Medical services are composed of primary care, various surgical specialties, ophthalmology and dentistry. Health education for patients and continuing medical education for practitioners are also provided during these missions.
Volunter and Patient Count Over the years
Report by Fely Lao, MD
The 33rd annual medical mission was held in Candon City, Ilocos Sur. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to the generous people of Candon City for stepping up, with short notice, to host our mission. (The medical mission was originally going to be held in Nueva Vizcaya, but was later changed at the request of its city officials.)
This year, we had 186 volunteers, composed of 45 physicians, 4 dentists, 1 chiropractor, 3 optometrists, 45 nurses, 4 pharmacists, 57 support group volunteers and 27 students. For the first ime, we also had a very busy rehabilitation team led by Dr. Kimbal Wong with Victoria Seno and Francis Tanjuatco.
The medical mission is not only about our surgical, medical, dental and optometry services. We also had a team of educators, led by Dr. Carmen Agcaoili , Gerardo Caritan, RN and Janice Pasion, RN. The educational team went to the town of Santiago, Ilocos Sur to teach a course on basic life support services. They taught CPR and first-aid treatment for choking, drowning, snake bites and bleeding to ambulance drivers, lifeguards, mid-wives and other health care workers from approximately 35 barangays [?]
Dr. Krish Umapathy and Hattie Hyman Hughes donated the CPR mannequin used for the training course to the city of Santiago. The mannequin will continue to be an important tool for teaching CPR skills to the locals.
Another aspect of our medical missions is to provide continuing medical education (CME) for both volunteers and local health care providers. Our incredible CME coordinator, Dr. Janice Manjuck together with Dr. Thad Padua and Dr. Gildy Babiera held lectures on Urinary Tract Infection in children and Breast Cancer.
Baby Alexha by Araceli DeGuzman, MD
Every medical mission that the PMSNC has held over the years has its poignant, unforgettable moments. Such was the case in Candon, Ilocos Sur. The shining star of this mission our youngest patient, baby Alexha, a four and a half month old little girl born with congenital club feet (talipes equinovarus).
"So much to be thankful to God! To PMSNC and to all the staff who helped our little angel baby Alexha you're beautiful, good people with big hearts that God sent to our family...May God continue to shower you with more blessings and protect you always in everthing you do..."
"Thank you to all the staff of PMSNC especially to Dr. Kevin Miller, God bless your team...Alexha now is doing better and her feet are very beautiful. After her casting she can wear already her shoes. Salamat at mabuhay sa inyong lahat."
A Poem by Rosemarie R. Padua, MD, FAAP
Inspired by all the dedicated volunteers at the PMSNC Medical Mission, the hospitality of City of Candon, and the gratitude of our patients in Candon
Maraming araw ng paghahanda ukol sa
Mapayapang paglalakbay at
Matagumpay na panggagamot ng
Medical Society of the Philippines of Northern California.
Ilocos Sur, bayan ng Candon ang aming tungo,
Isa sa mapalad na poblacion,
Ipinahintulot ng kapalaran,
Isa-isa sa libo-libong katauhan ang aming pinaglingkuran.
Sama-samang lahat kaming mga boluntaryo,
Sa simbahan may misa kami ay nag-umpisa,
Sumampalataya sa Diyos sa araw-araw sa Civic Center,
Siklab ng aming pag-asa ay aming lakas para sa masaganang panggagamot.
Salamat sa pagkakataon na makilala ang bayan ng Candon,
Salamat sa pagkakataon na makapagdulot ng ginhawa at kalusugan sa maraming katauhan doon sa Candon,
Salamat sa Vitalis Villas, White Sands, Staylite at CBR, ang aming tahanan sa Candon,
Salamat sa PMSNC, ang sanggalan at matatag na pinuno ng aming misyon!
Ibinigay ng bayan ng Candon ang magiliw na pagtanggap sa aming lahat,
Isang ugali ng maraming katauhan ay napakagalang,
Isaisip na kahit may maliit na pagkukulang sa ano mang kalagayan,
Isang milyon naman ang kapalit na kasayahan na magamot ang kanilang mga karamdaman.
O, napakasaya na magkasama kaming lahat sa araw-araw,
O, napakasarap sa hapag ng pagkain na kami ay salo-salo,
O, napakaganda ng mga aplaya sa umaga o kahit sa gabi,
O, napakapakipakinabang na mapagaling ang mga karamdaman ng bayan ng Candon!
Nakalulungkot na magwagas ang aming Medical Mission,
Naging matatag ang aming kaisahan na maglingkod sa mga taong nangangailangan,
Nakilalang mabuti ang mga boluntaryo ng PMSNC,
Napakasarap na alaala na kami ay naging bahagi sa panggagamot sa bayan ng Candon!