There truly comes a time in life when one must give back.
It is an unwritten commandment phrased is so many ways. The Bible says, “When someone has been given much; much will be required in return” (Luke 12:48). Buddha: “You can only lose what you cling to.” And Mahatma Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Steered by Makati Medical Center Foundation (MMCF) chair Manuel V. Pangilinan, we, members of MMCF, were challenged to find an advocacy geared toward nation-building and helping government hospitals give quality, competent and efficient care to the constituencies they serve.
Without hesitancy, and volunteering of their own resources, the board members passed a resolution adopting a government-run hospital as its flagship program. The MMCF trustees include chair Pangilinan, vice chair Judy Araneta Roxas, vice president Dr. Victor L. Gisbert and treasurer Augusto P. Palisoc Jr.
Board members include Endika M. Aboitiz, Dr. Benjamin N. Alimurung, Tessie Sy Coson, Loida Nicolas Lewis, Susana A.S. Madrigal, Marixi R. Prieto, Angeles T. Quimson, Washington Z. Sycip, Ambassador Jesus P. Tambunting and Andrew L. Tan.
Yours truly sits as president of the MMCF to keep the memory of Dr. Carlos L. Sevilla alive and present in the hospital he loved, and of which he was one of the founders. Dr. Sevilla is my father.
Why is this program unique? Simply because, for the first time, private individuals, all renowned in their respective fields and stalwarts in the world of business and the medical professions, have synergized with an established and respected hospital—the Makati Medical Center—to form a flagship corporate social responsibility (CSR) program designed to help extend a hand to government hospitals, particularly in terms of organizational strengthening.
In partnership with the First Pacific Leadership Academy, and after the allotted training time, there will be a blueprint for effective, efficient and professional hospital management worked on by the hospital personnel themselves, together with their facilitators, toward effectively managing and redesigning their existing structure.
The objective is to empower government hospitals to use government funding more efficiently, now that they have the tools and templates to manage their hospitals in a quasi-corporate manner.
This is a public-private partnership that differs slightly from the rest. There will be no doleouts from the partner foundation, or any money dispensed for structures, buildings, equipment and hardware.
We opted to focus our resources on software and management training. The MMC Foundation seeks to be the first to pioneer this type of partnership, in an effort to contribute to nation-building and a healthier Filipino population. National health, after all, is a national concern. Healthy Filipinos translate to a healthier Philippines.
The Makati Medical Center, under the leadership of its president Rose Montenegro, has expressed full support and will extend financial, human and technical support to its CSR arm—the MMCF.
The hospital’s commitment brings with it the expertise, values and commitment of its entire team of medical staff and doctors, true to its mission of supporting its CSR initiatives.
On June 19—an auspicious date, as it was the birth date of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal—the Rizal Medical Center (RMC) in Pasig City became the first partner public hospital of the MMCF, formalized in a memorandum of agreement between MMCF and the Department of Health.
The RMC met all the requirements set up by the board of trustees. Foremost, there had to be a “buy-in” from the recipient hospital and its leaders, meaning full cooperation from both the hospital and DOH.
There was much enthusiasm from Dr. Relito Saquilayan, medical director of RMC, and his team, as well as from Dr. Teodoro Herbosa, Health Undersecretary for Public-Private Partnerships, on behalf of Health Secretary Dr. Enrique T. Ona.
Why Rizal Medical Center?
Among the chief reasons Rizal Medical Center was chosen was its “catchment” area, which encompasses and reaches out to other cities and municipalities within NCR, including Mandaluyong, Makati, Manila, Pasig, Antipolo and Taguig-Pateros and district hospitals of the province of Rizal.
Thus, the benefits of an organizational strengthening program like this would be felt by a larger majority of the population that frequent the hospital.
MMCF executive director Marge Macasaet-Barro has given the assurance that by Dec. 30—the anniversary of the execution of Dr. Jose P. Rizal—program milestones and key result areas will be accomplished.
Karen O. Torres, MMC program officer and an organizational diagnosis and training specialist, is also ensuring that all training modules are completed—all in conjunction with the First Pacific Leadership Academy.
The MMCF has a lofty dream, but it is a shared dream of a group of big-hearted philanthropists who have reached the pinnacle because they dared to dream. This flagship CSR program of the MMCF is the translation of their combined effort towards fulfilling our dream of a healthier Philippines—the dream of every Filipino.