St. Luke’s Medical Center President and CEO, Dr. Edgardo R. Cortez, admits that the hospital could easily be mistaken for just another facility for VIPs. However, by ensuring that those with little or no money get equal access to world-class health care, the best experts, and most advanced technologies,
St. Luke’s has proven that it is so much more.
“You might be surprised, but we are actually not the most expensive hospital in the Philippines. Moreover, St. Luke’s has continued its mission of providing access for the marginalized to private medical care. Through the St. Luke’s Medical Center Foundation, Inc. (SLMCFI), we are able to give the less privileged Filipinos equitable access to world-class medical services of St. Luke’s at little or no cost to them. In fact, out of the 90,000 outpatients served by the St. Luke’s Medical Social Services Department, about 3,000 are admitted as in-patients, with cases ranging from cataract to cancer,” says Dr. Cortez.
SLMCFI was established on August 28, 2012 to serve as the corporate social responsibility arm of St. Luke’s. “While the Foundation may just be five years old, it actually continues the hospital’s long tradition of caring for the marginalized,” says Ms. Olivia B. Yao, VP and Head for Resource Development.
St. Luke’s Foundation’s vision is to have equal access to quality healthcare, greater opportunities for medical education, and sustained support for medical research and training to benefit the underprivileged Filipinos. “We provide assistance to low-income families to have greater access to excellent healthcare. We fund medical and surgical outreach programs that allow our practitioners to interact with urban and rural villages who have no access to medical services. In addition, we provide full scholarship to promising students from the lower income brackets to pursue their medical education at St. Luke’s College of Medicine – William H. Quasha Memorial (SLCM-WHQM). We also help our doctors update and upgrade their knowledge through training and fellowships here and abroad, as well as provide funding for medical researches that seek to understand and address illnesses prevalent in the country,” notes Ms. Yao.
The Resource Development Group, which serves as the fundraising arm of the Foundation, generates donations to fund its various programs. It has developed various ways for individuals, corporations, and organizations to give donation that would benefit the Foundation’s beneficiaries. “These donations need not be large because when pooled together, they add up to something substantial to sustain our four flagship programs: Medical Social Service; Medical Scholarship and Continuing Medical Education; Medical Outreach; and Research and Development,” adds Ms. Yao.
By forging partnerships with the doctors and nurses of St. Luke’s, government agencies, and other foundations, SLMCFI is able extend the reach to thousands of people in need. The Foundation’s medical assistance goes beyond the metropolis and reaches far-flung areas like Laoag, Batangas, Bulacan, Romblon, Palawan, and Tarlac where access to healthcare is always a big challenge to the people.
With the scarcity of funding for medical research in the country, SLMCFI also supports Filipino scientists through the Research Management Office of the College of Medicine in their pursuit to find new cure or improve management of diseases that would benefit many Filipinos.
“We would like to thank our generous donors who have funded our programs and extend our heartfelt gratitude to all altruistic spirits who continue to give the gift of health through the Foundation. When we work together, the light of our generosity will continue to reach more people” Ms. Yao adds.