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Generosity Amidst Adversity: AFI Annual Report 2021

Written by Ms. Anna Maria Gloria S. Ward, Executive Director

2021 was a much awaited year for the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery as it celebrates its Sesquicentennial. However, 2021 was also a year into the pandemic, where we saw daily infections in the Philippines and in many other countries at their peak and highly contagious variants of the COVID-19 virus were sweeping the nation and the world. Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc. had to put on hold several of its projects as it was difficult to implement them with the lockdowns. To expect more support for our projects, the Regent Scholarship Program and the Sts. Cosmas & Damian Simulation Laboratory and Research Center during these uncertain times, was improbable. However, AFI still found itself recipient of alumni generosity. Thus, words of appreciation are in order.

You can read about these and more in our recent annual report which you can access here:

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Newsletter Simulation & Research Center Simulation Laboratory and Research Development Building

Notes from the Architects

written by Archs. Rodolfo and Ana Ventura

The UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, headed by the Regent Rev. Fr.  Angel Aparicio, O.P. and Dean Dra. Maria Lourdes Maglinao, and with Dr. Larry King as the FMS Simulation director, will begin the construction of the St. Cosmas and St. Damian Simulation and Research Building very soon.  

Despite the several twists and turns in its planning in the past years and some uncertainty during the pandemic, it is finally a go. The primary objective for the Building is to provide Thomasian medical students with state-of-the-art facilities for the simulation of hospital activities and patient care using medical manikins as learning tools. There will be provisions for simulation of ICUs, wards, OB delivery room, operating theatre, and consultation rooms.  Students will be able to take active participation in an environment of experiential learning while being closely monitored by the esteemed faculty.  There will also be provision for offices and activity areas for the Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc., medical academic researchers, and the alumni.

The proposed Simulation and Research Building will be located at the empty rectangular lot adjacent to the Tan Yan Kee Student Center, the Miguel de Benavides Central Library and the Benavides High School Building.  With roads along the perimeter of the lot, the Building is an island setting with the opportunity to feature four different but related façade designs.

Located parallel and adjacent to the busy Dapitan Street, the 7-floor Building will be a standout structure visible to all passers-by.  The Building features a prominent Latin inscription on the façade along Dapitan Street, which translates to “Honor the physician; his works are necessary, but God is the one who brings the power of life and death.” This Building will be a tribute to the Catholic medical education of the University of Santo Tomas, where it was first offered in the Philippines and has since been recognized as the country’s premier medical school. 

The corner of its façade along Osmena drive and parallel to Dapitan St. will be the focal point that greets all who enters the campus through the Dapitan gate. The use of reflective corner glass will provide the hint of student activity within and outside the Building, complemented by the random vertical silver gray aluminum fins that create the impression of positive upward movement. This focal corner will be distinctly outlined by the University’s trademark yellow.

With the extensive use of glass for all facades, the Building will evoke transparency from within, modernity and innovation – the direction that the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is now actively pursuing.  The Building exteriors will also feature vertical aluminum sun breakers, which while being functional in itself, will evoke verticality and suggest growth and reaching up to new heights with the innovation in the study of medicine. Expanses of concrete walls will evoke stability, solidity and timelessness. The use of horizontal and vertical concrete fins extending up and around the facades interrelates and embraces the building’s exterior facades into a cohesive design.

The Building interiors will simulate the feel and ambiance of a modern hospital in order to provide the proper setting of learning for future doctors.  Transparency by the use of glass will provide the feeling of expanse and space despite the limitation in the Building’s footprint. Careful and thoughtful study of utilities was done to ensure that the Building’s functionality will be easily maintained in the years to come. 

 

About the writers:

Ar. Rodolfo P. Ventura, MS is currently the Dean of UST’s College of Architecture. Together with his wife, Ar. Ana Ventura, he heads his architectural firm CA Ventura and Partners. Their team is in charge of the design of the upcoming Sts. Cosmas and Damian Simulation and Research Building.

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Newsletter Simulation & Research Center Simulation Laboratory and Research Development Building

Be one of the first 400!

“You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can’t count the apples in a seed.”

Dr. Peter Fang shared this proverb during the signing ceremony of the Deed of his Donation for the Sts. Cosmas and Damian Simulation and Research Center held last March 18, 2022 at the UST Rector’s Hall.

Indeed, no words can better describe the bountiful generosity that has flowed from him and his wife, Dr. Linda Sy-Fang, in the name of gratitude and trust towards their alma mater UST-FMS. They are among the many Thomasian alumni who contribute to the scholarship fund now being enjoyed by more future Thomasian physicians. And now, with their donation of 4 million US dollars towards the Center, their generosity can assure that these future doctors will be trained with the latest technology and interventions in healthcare.

But as the proverb goes, generosity does not end there.

To encourage more UST-FMS alumni to give back to their alma mater by paying forward to the future Thomasian doctors, Drs. Peter and Linda Fang will donate 250 US dollars in honor of each of the first 400 US-based donors who will make a donation through a donor-advised fund towards the St. Cosmas and St. Damian Simulation and Research Lab campaign. 

This inspired the new fundraising endeavor of AFI: the Seeds of Generosity Campaign.

This campaign is open to all US-based Thomasian alumni who wish to share their gift of resources to the current students of UST-FMS. For those who are interested in partaking of this mission, here is a brief step-by-step process in opening a donor-advised fund so you can begin your donation process:

Step 1:

  1. Go to the website of Schwab Charitable to access the Application Form: https://www.schwabcharitable.org/new-account-application
  2. You may choose to apply online or manually.

Key points:

  • Minimum grant is $50.
  • You may skip pages 3,4,5,6, and 7 and leave blank because there is no need to name any Secondary Account Holder (unless you want to.) No need to choose any Succession Plan option or Legacy Charitable Beneficiary option at this time.
  • On Page 8, choose CORE ACCOUNT, then choose MONEY MARKET POOL – 100%,
  • On Page 9 under source of funds, choose SALARY/WAGES/SAVINGS.
  • Under CONTRIBUTIONS TO YOUR ACCOUNT, choose CASH CONTRIBUTION, then specify amount.
  • For those applying manually, the simplest way is to choose Core Account; print out the application form; fill out manually and enclose a Check as Cash contribution and send to address given on page 12. However, if you wish to transfer non-cash assets from another institution, you need to fill out the Transfer of Assets Form.
  • Administrative fee: 0.6% of asset or $100 whichever is greater per year. (Subject to change.)

Step 2:

  1. Call 800-746-6216 and ask for assistance.  Make sure to say you only have a DAF and would like to receive the acknowlegement of contribution letter.  Verify who you are and ask to have the letter e-mailed to you. Save the letter for tax purposes.
  2. Ask to have your account to be web enabled.  Make sure to ask for your full account number.
  3. Log in to the Schwab Charitable Client Center. Operator will walk you through the log in process.   Be ready to have thought of a screen name and password of your choice.
  4. Inform operator/donor specialist that you are going to use NGOSource to grant ANARGYROI:FMS FOUNDATION, INC and connect you with a “Schwab charitable international granting” officer who will send you a separate e-mail with required form to fill once you are ready to grant.

Step 3:

  1. Download SCHWAB MOBILE app and register your phone/tablet as a trusted devise.
  2. On your app, tap on Charitable Gift Account when you are ready to grant.

AFI — the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery foundation and the aggregator of donated funds for the FMS — is now recognized as a U.S. public charity through equivalency determination. This means that US-based donors can now streamline their donations to AFI and be eligible for tax deduction, as we are now recognized as a U.S. public charity under Section 501(c)(3) by virtue of this Equivalency Determination certification.

Interested donors and partners may contact AFI for more information on projects and programs that can be supported through our email address developmentoffice@anargyroifoundation.org.

Let us sow the seeds of generosity today, and harvest limitless fruits in the future!

 

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Pumped Up For New Beginnings

 

Last February 20, 2022, Edwin V. Rodriguez, MD, was officially inducted as the new president of the UST Medical Alumni Association (USTMAA) through a hybrid-type Inaugural Ceremonies. Dr. Edwin is also now a member of the Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc. Fundraising Committee.

A proud alumnus of both the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Surgery and Medicine of the University of Santo Tomas, Dr. Edwin has been using his expertise and leadership skills to serve in government hospitals, private hospitals, private sector, NGOs, and the academe within and beyond his alma mater. He is an associate professor at the Department of Pharmacology in the Chinese General Hospital College of Medicine, and a Dr. Jorge C. Peralta Honorary Lecturer for the Philippine Blood Coordinating Council.

He has multiple hospital affiliations, sitting in different committees in each of them. He also serves in the Hemophilia Association of the Philippines for Love and Service (HAPLOS), and the Total Pediatric Nutritional Rehabilitation Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. He also sits as a Medical Advisor for Novartis Oncology.

Dr. Edwin is a Fellow in several medical societies including the Philippine Society of Pediatric Hematology and the Philippine Society of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology. With more than 20 years of experience in his field and valuable contribution to society, he is indeed a true embodiment of the Thomasian values of competence, commitment, and compassion.

Despite his busy schedule, Dr. Edwin was gracious enough to answer some questions for us. In this interview, we were able to hear about his thoughts on his new appointment, his vision for USTMAA and AFI, and a glimpse of his lighter side.

 

How do you feel about your new appointment as USTMAA President?

It is an honor to be elected as President of the UST Medical Alumni Association. Looking back from where I started as an appointed member of the Board in 2008, I had the opportunity to see how things worked on the ground.

I saw how unique the dynamics of the Organization were, what worked and what did not. I was exposed to USTMAA as a microcosm of Thomasian medical physicians who operate with highly individualized approaches, sometimes in unison, sometimes in conflict and yet thriving in an environment bound by a common goal to put the best interest of the Thomasian medical alumni on the agenda.

To be included in the roster of illustrious men and women who at one point in time held the leadership of this Organization is a distinct privilege I am very thankful to have.

 

What is your vision for USTMAA during your term?

As I mentioned in my inaugural address, I see myself as a “leader at the foot of the ladder”, building the organization through a solid foundation of servant leadership.

I intend to (1) impose stricter operational diligence and spending efficiency by introducing budget caps/ceilings and expanding possible funding sources (2) deepen and bolden institutional loyalty to the Thomasian attributes of competence, commitment, and compassion by introducing concrete alumni-centric and medical learner-centric programs that will assist them in their more challenging life stages (3) finding Thomasian exemplars who can motivate and inspire the next generation of Thomasian medical alumni and (4) create a robust succession plan of future Thomasian physician leaders to assure the continuation of Thomasian excellence in medicine and the health professions.

 

How do you think USTMAA and AFI can better collaborate?

As organizations both serving the Thomasian medical alumni, I think it is best to revisit our common goals and objectives and see where programs and projects can be streamlined, finetuned and harmonized for a stronger and more solid collaboration. I believe that non-duplication of tasks should be executed to widen our reach and broaden our impact to as many Thomasian medical alumni as possible.

Likewise, reminding ourselves of our common heritage, our single cord of life and our binding aspiration towards a strong and self-sustaining Thomasian medical community should be at the center of everything we think, say, and do.

 

What are your leisure hobbies outside of your profession?

I am not really one who plans vacations or schedule recreation activities. I find time to rest. I think rest has become a leisurely activity with the many things I do. I also do not have hobbies that keep me hooked intensely.

But I like to [write] poems, essays, short sayings of how I feel, what I feel about certain people or situations. Watching interesting shows and movies can also be quite entertaining with me. Spending time with family and friends is purely joy for me.

 

What is your message to our UST Med alumni?

Every Thomasian medical alumnus must at one point in his or her life look back and pay forward. Looking back brings you to where everything started. It keeps you grounded, real, and attached to your deepest core.

As our Alma Mater paved paths of numerous opportunities to us, in our personal and professional lives, we must not forget the pivotal role she played in everything that we ever became. So, as we thank God for the blessing of life, let us also remember fondly the institutions from which we owe a part of who we are today. Let us not forget that the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery allowed us to explore the world armed with the medical education and training we needed to make our marks and find our niches in any place we desire to go. Aside from God and our dear families, it is our Alma Mater that helped us achieve our lifelong goals and dreams.

And when a chance is presented to us to pay homage to her, let us not forget that we are part of her history and that our role is to link the present to the future. Let us support our Alma Mater in any way, all the way.

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Celebrating Milestones and New Beginnings

Undeterred by the challenges of being a medical student amidst a pandemic, our pioneer group of scholars — aptly representing the Sesquicentennial graduates of Thomasian doctors — emerged as strong and highly capable future doctors who are ready to take on the mission of their chosen field. We gathered their stories of hope and success as we celebrate the journey we shared in making their dreams possible.

We also celebrate the gift of life of Dr. Arturo Tecson who played a huge role in encouraging young minds to enter the medical field through his inspiration and donation to the Regents’ Scholarship Program.

Our shared dream of missioning great doctors into the world is slowly becoming a reality. Through the help of the many alumni and friends in the different parts of the world, and with Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc., in full support to FMS, no dream is too hard to build.

You can read about these and more in our recent bi-annual report which you can access here: