UST Captures Jomaligan ‘s Heart!!
The University of Santo Tomas Nurses Association International (USTNAI), together with other nursing and various civic and humanitarian organizations in the USA and the Philippines, have answered the call of service through a Medical, Surgical, Dental and Outreach Program dubbed, “Alay ng Puso” to the municipality of Jomalig, Quezon. The island of Jomalig is a fifth-class municipality and is considered as one of the smallest and farthest island municipalities of Quezon Province. Situated at the easternmost part of the Polilio Group of Islands, almost at the Pacific borderline. A group of 40 Thomasian doctors, nurses and other volunteers headed by Reginald Antonio, MSN, RN, PCCN of the UST College of Nursing batch ‘93 based in Houston, Texas and Amory Godwin Grijaldo, MSN, AGACNP-BC, APRN batch ’94 from Peoria, Arizona traveled 5 hours by bus from UST campus to the Port of Real, Quezon and another 5 hours boat ride to reach the island.
About 500 patients were seen during the two-day mission. Over 300 patients received medical services, and approximately a third of those were children. The surgical team, headed by Dr. Tatad H. Kalbit, MD, a Urologist, BSN batch 1993, performed a total of 71 minor surgical procedures, which primarily involved cyst excision and circumcision. In addition, over a hundred dental patients were seen by the sole dentist in the group, Dr. Victorino Medrano III from Shelter for Mankind Foundation, and performed over 150 tooth extractions. Furthermore, Dr. Kerwin Gubantes, MD, an ENT, BSN batch 1993 also provided ear screening on more than 200 school children. Moreover, the team travelled to barangay of Apad, the farthest barangay in the municipality, and distributed school bags with supplies, conducted oral hygiene education, and dispensed dental and personal hygiene kits to 200 elementary students as part of the outreach program. Finally, the group donated medicines, medical supplies and equipment like patient monitors, defibrillator, nebulizers, surgical supplies and equipment to help equip the Rural Health Unit in the island.
“God is on our side!”, according to Alfredo Sagisi, BSN batch of ’91, one of the USTNAI Executive Board Member. From its conceptualization to its full implementation, support from various individuals and other organizations have been truly an inspiration. Volunteers from different regions of the United States, Australia, and the Philippines have banded together to share their knowledge and expertise to provide service to our underserved fellow Filipinos in this remote island community. A genuine demonstration of a Thomasian - Nurses with Excellence and Heart.
The Alay ng Puso Outreach program express gratitude to the following: Shelter for Mankind Foundation, PNATexas Golden Triangle, Philippine Association of Beaumont Texas, Kidlat Shooters of Texas, USTNAA of Metro Houston, Samahan Bayanihan of Arizona, NVP1world Entertainment, Filipino-Cultural Society of Mid-Missouri, Triangle Therapeutics, Medline Dialysis Philippines, Nestle Philippines, Fratres Lampadis and other individuals who collaborated for a successful mission. RBA