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Fundraising Newsletter Simulation & Research Center

Where Will We Go From Here?

A Message From the Development Office/Alumni Relations Director, the implementing arm of Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc.
Anna Maria Gloria S. Ward

Another year has ended, and the pandemic is still in our midst which has affected all of us one way or the other, whether physically, socially, psychologically, or financially. No one has been spared, even the Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc. with its fundraising activities lined up for 2021 that had to be on hold.  Much as we want to move faster, it is very difficult as most offices operate on online submissions. The temporary loosening of restrictions before the Christmas Holidays was welcoming, and it made us cautiously hopeful that numbers of those affected by COVID would continue to go down. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

For we have waited long enough, and we do not see an abrupt end to the pandemic soon, the AFI Fundraising Committee has decided to start its major campaign for the Sts. Cosmas and Damian Simulation Laboratory and Research Center. This is an optimistic move. We look forward to early 2022 for the start of the building construction. The University has set aside a budget to start the edifice, but the amount would not be able to address the whole cost of the shell of the building. The fittings and furnishings are to be considered, too.  We anticipate that we would have to work harder looking for generous donors in exchange of a naming right. It might be challenging at these times, but armed with optimism and a good cause, we embark on this ambitious project. In fact, we thank several classes and organizations who not only have pledged but already have given their donations.

The Sts. Cosmas and Damian Simulation Laboratory and Research Center will be a seven-floor edifice located along Dapitan St. with three floors solely allocated to the simulation laboratory.

As this will most probably be the last edifice to be erected in the Sampaloc campus, and the proud owner would be the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, this should be a source of pride among its alumni. There are 52 rooms available for naming rights and that of the building. The naming rights would range from 5 million to 50 million for the rooms, where a class or individual could leave behind a legacy for the future Thomasian doctors of this country. It would assure them of a competitive quality education, keeping true to one of the qualities of a Thomasian doctor- being competent.

We encourage everyone to come and be part of this historical narrative… that in UST FMS’ celebration of its sesquicentennial, its alumni and friends, sourced and gathered its resources to assure that it remains to be one of the best medical schools in the Philippines. After all, not anyone can claim to be the cradle of medical education in the country.

2022, we hope, will be a memorable year for the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. Through the help of the many alumni and friends in the different parts of the world who have been witnessed to the contribution of FMS in the field of medical education, and with Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc., in full support to FMS, as it stays true to its mission and vision, then nothing is impossible. Collaboratively, we can make the building a reality.

Our flagship project, the Regent Scholarship Program (RSP), continues to attract prospective doctor applicants. Your support to the Project has been fruitful as we saw the first five graduates who are now interns in different Manila hospitals. AFI hopes that through your help it can continue sending financially challenged but deserving students to medical school.

If you wish to be part of this sesquicentennial project and the RSP, we gladly will respond to your queries. You may visit us  at Room 118 St. Martin de Porres Building, University of Santo Tomas, España, Manila, Philippines 1008, however, feel free to reach us at developmentoffice@anargyroifoundation.org or (+63 2) 84061611 loc. 8566. Your donation will impact not only the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery but also the country, and the world. What this pandemic has shown is that we need more doctors.

Wishing you all a Blessed and Happy New Year! Praying that we all stay safe!

 

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Fundraising Newsletter Simulation & Research Center

The Road to Harmony

Antonio R. Penilla, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I., K.H.S.

A retired Interventional Cardiologist with a passionate dream of having a successful and vibrant Anargyroi Foundation for the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

He is a member of the Anargyroi Board of Trustees; the USTMAAA Board of Directors and PRO of the USTMAAA Foundation in 2019-2020.

My annual visit to the Philippines in 2015 was unlike any other. In addition to the yearly medical mission trip, I was to make a presentation to establish a development office for the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, a concept recently conceived by three thoughtful alumni. Although I had not done anything like this before, I was inspired by my desire to help my Alma Mater.

On Friday, January 30, 2015, then FMS Dean, Dr. Jesus Valencia, Regent, Fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P., Faculty Secretary, Dr. Edwin Rodriguez, and Dr. Corazon Gemil, one of the early proponents of the concept, were in attendance for the presentation.

The concept of establishing a development office for the FMS, similar to what is common in institutions of learning in the United States, was presented, including the advantages of such an office, the way it might function, and how it could support the Faculty’s continued quest to be the premier medical school in the Philippines and in all of Asia. It was emphasized that, if it became a reality, it would be a Gift to the FMS that would keep on giving in perpetuity.

The initial response was one of excitement and epiphany! Dr. Gemil, who was seated next to Father Aparicio, repeatedly whispered, “Carpe Diem” to him. Dr. Valencia uttered, “A once in a million chance to happen.” Dr. Rodriguez was similarly in awe. The sole agenda was to have a successful, vibrant foundation with a Development Office able to take care of the needs of FMS.

Unknown to me, my journey with Anargyroi, had just begun! From then on, I have been designated as spokesperson, facilitator, negotiator, diplomat, and even ambassador. It is a complex and uncertain role which I have honorably accepted for the sake of the Alma Mater and for which I have no regret.

At the onset, the proponents and founders recognized the necessity of alumni alignment, participation, and support, for the idea to succeed. In 2015, at the USTMAAA Convention in Florida, the concept was presented to the USTMAAA leadership in the presence of then Father Rector, Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P., the Dean, Regent, and USTMAA officers. The response was like the original presentation in Manila, positive and encouraging, akin to an “Epiphany.”

In May 2016, to show sincere, genuine desire to encourage alumni participation in the plan, the major benefactor met with the powers of USTMAAA in Las Vegas, Nevada. The concept was clearly laid out. There was an immediate meeting of the minds leading to the creation of a Matching Fund for the Regent’s Scholarship Program.  Sadly, later, the USTMAAA Board failed to approve this resolution, but the Regent Scholarship Funding graciously was assumed totally by the major benefactor, a most generous alumnus. Subsequently, the USTMAAA did embark on fund raising for the Simulation and Research Center.

Since 2015, Anargyroi had been a subject of conversations at the Annual USTMAAA Conventions, whether officially or unofficially. Commencing that year in Florida, Anargyroi has had a presence in succeeding years at the Long Beach, CA, Vancouver, BC, Las Vegas, NV, and Washington, DC conventions. Most notable was the Washington DC 2019 meeting wherein there was a clear show of support for Anargyroi. All the important and vital players were present including the Regent, the incumbent Dean, Dr. Ma. Lourdes Maglinao, then UST Secretary General, Rev. Fr. Jesus Jay Miranda, O.P., the USTMAAA and USTMAA hierarchy. The atmosphere and reaction were so favorable that I thought the real and true Epiphany had descended upon the group!

This journey has been long and complex with the road frequently bumpy, rugged, and full of obstacles, thus, it was frustration and disappointments for everyone along the way. It was a two-year process for Father Rector Dagohoy to approve and establish Anargyroi as an independent foundation. Certainly, it has been a learning process, not only for the proponents, but also for the early followers and believers as well. Struggles continue. Father Aparicio has enumerated and described the difficulties encountered in his article on the FMS Foundation, published two issues earlier in this Newsletter.

What do I see along the way of my own journey with Anargyroi: FMS Foundation, Inc.?

Everyone agrees that it is the best thing that could happen to the UST Faculty of Medicine, to have a mechanism in support of its initiatives to maintain excellence in medical education. I have made numerous presentations to officials, individuals, groups, and organizations to discuss and promote the idea with uniform favorable response.

The FMS officials, particularly Fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P., showed genuine interest in the project early on, shortly after hearing the initial presentation. Father Aparicio has coordinated to have persons in important positions, not only in the FMS but also from within the University, to be aware of and to participate in the Foundation’s organization and establishment, as well as eventual support. The former and current Deans welcomed the idea of the independent foundation for FMS, although most recently, Dean Maglinao and Father Aparicio have undeniably owned it for FMS.

The alumni segment has also shown its interest and involvement. They are kept abreast of the developments in the Foundation. They are represented on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation. The USTMAAA supports the Anargyroi Foundation and disseminates relevant information to its members.  It acts as a Pass-Through entity with waived fee for donations coming from the US to avail those in the States of US Tax benefits for donations. It helps Anargyroi in its activities geared toward the US based alumni, having partnered with Anargyroi in its successful Launch in Vancouver, BC in 2017, and generating over $430,000.00 in pledges during the Meet and Greet event hosted by Anargyroi. USTMAAA and its officers coordinated Anargyroi activities during their convention, providing information to the attendees, assisting in the establishment of an Anargyroi Exhibit Booth during conventions, including waiving of Exhibit fees. Finally, the continued monetary donations to Anargyroi and its initiatives coming from the Organization and its members. Notable is the recent fundraising campaign by USTMAAA from its members raising 1M dollars for the Simulation and Research Center project. Unfortunately, a proposal to partner with one of the Anargyroi founders for construction of the Simulation and Research Building with USTMAAA Naming Rights for the facility, did not pass approval by its BOD.

AFI Launch in Vancouver

AFI Launch in Manila

In 2018, Anargyroi Foundation was formally introduced in its Philippine Launch in Manila. It was a well- planned event. The relatively silent response was likely due to the unfamiliarity of the practice locally. However, it served as a steppingstone for further activities planned and undertaken by the Foundation. A donation of 500,000 pesos was received during the event.

The USTMAA in the Philippines is aware of the Foundation and its objectives since its inception. The response is always positive to the presentations made at local meetings. They were active participants in the Sesquicentennial activities of FMS, serving on committees and participating in the fund-raising activities. Most notable is the Sesquicentennial Commemorative Watch Drive initiated by local alumni, resulting in a successful fund raising for the Simulation Project. Other activities included the Sesquicentennial Walk/Run, the successful Sesquicentennial Gala and the Golf Tournament. USTMAA has also made a direct donation to Anargyroi in addition to individual donations from its members. Recently, the USTMAA administration had as its important project the active promotion of the Anargyroi Foundation to its members, including to the provincial chapters.

I am also proud to say that the FMS faculty members are actively involved with Anargyroi, serving as officers and as members of the BOT. Others are serving on various committees, as chairs and members. I saw their interest and commitment as I interacted with many during my two stints of working-week visits to assist the Development Office in its early formative years. Undoubtedly, they have remained convinced and are unwavering in their desire to promote Anargyroi to all alumni.

It is clear from what is heard, observed, and seen, that there is near unanimous, if not unanimous opinion that the Anargyroi Foundation is beneficial and essential to the FMS. There is no conflict of interest with any of the alumni organizations or alumni classes in their mission to assist and support the FMS. Rather, the existence of Anargyroi should and will facilitate their process in supporting the Alma Mater in whatever way desired. There is no intent to compete with other organizations, who has other missions. Supporting the FMS is the sole reason for Anargyroi’s existence. 

Father Regent Angel Aparicio and Dean Lourdes Maglinao eloquently stated FMS ownership of the Anargyroi Foundation, as well as their confidence in the critical role it will play to ensure that the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, the Cradle of Medical Education in the Philippines, can remain not only competitive but also be a premier medical school in the country and abroad. They enjoin every alumnus to come aboard the Anargyroi train. This is especially important as FMS celebrates its Sesquicentennial and embarks on the most unprecedented project ever undertaken, the Simulation and Research Center Project, so vital to medical education in the future.

So, my dear friends and colleagues, we share a common bond of having had the opportunity and honor to receive a great medical education from the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. This undoubtedly has shaped, at least to a certain degree, our professional and perhaps, even our personal destiny. I join Father Aparicio and Dean Odette in asking everyone to come aboard, to put the differences aside, to give back and to give forward, to align together in harmony, and to show our love for the dear Alma Mater.

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Fundraising Newsletter Simulation & Research Center

Finding Paths, Purposes and Perspectives

We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end. – Woodrow T. Wilson

The landscape of medical education has significantly changed over the last decade or so and as we go through the challenges of contemporary times, there is an increasing demand to define new educational outcomes. The need to adapt to this complex and constantly changing global medical education environment faces prodigious obstacles. Being at the helm, it is my role to ensure that these challenges are met with uncompromised standards.

Though the years, we have basked in pride for every crowning achievement reaped by our medical school, its students, faculty and graduates. We are fortunate that they  have the depth of talent and ability to navigate these difficult waters. The phrase “proud to be a Thomasian MD” resonates for every triumph our alma mater brings.

Grateful with the different degrees of support from our cherished alumni groups in accordance with the intent of their organization, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is significantly anchored on the University’s spine.

However, the current exigencies are not just the ordinary, they are immense and urgent. Can we still stand the test of time, sustain, and survive in the next 150 years? Can we constantly keep up with our unrivaled stature? Can we challenge the status quo, soar high and fast? Can we still be at par with the world’s best, cognizant of the present day demands in medical education? Unless we make bold and collective undertakings, uncertainties, and great threats do exist.

What can we do for our alma mater? A question that has always been the battle cry of our alumni to be able to support and give back, and we are beyond gratitude and appreciation for the unwavering decades of support.

What can we do for our alma mater?  A very timely question a group of alumni dare asked themselves and provided an answer. The birth of Anargyroi is an opportune blessing to the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. It aims to exclusively support the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and her excellent initiatives involving administrations, faculty, students, support staff, and patients.

Anargyroi is bent on an all-out support for FMS initiatives. It is created to synergize efforts, establish engagements and not compete with other organizations with the same purpose. More so, it is well-aligned with the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery as it implicitly shares her aspiring vision. Representation from stakeholders are in place and I would greatly encourage you to be part of this foundation in whatever capacity.

In my second term in office, and being in the battleground, I have personally witnessed and experienced the struggles. The struggles are real. There are well-founded requisites that we are confronted with. Faced with the present-day challenges, admittedly, I cannot wrestle these alone. The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery needs you and me more than ever.

It is with purest intention to call upon your grateful hearts, not only for individual or fragmented support, but a collaborative and cooperative one. It will be a greater force to reckon with if we harmonize our strokes towards one goal.

The current predicament created an opportunity for us to confront our life’s purpose.

It has made us search our deepest selves to find the perspective that will make the future in sync with our true mission in life.

The present day situation has led us to discover the path that will bring us closer to our goal.

The threats and fear of uncertainties have never been so strong that in one stroke of luck, we realized that we needed faith more than fear, wanted hope more than hate, and needed charity more than enmity.

We may have different views of how things must be done. We may have different directions of how lives must be lived.

But the time to disagree and part ways is not today. Instead, today is the time to bind and unite in purpose.

We must concentrate on one goal, harness collective energy to arrive at one destination, and consider one another’s helping hands that will bring us there together.

The time to be united is now. The time to align and harmonize our purpose is now. Regardless of individual paths, let us meet at a common ground and that is to support the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, the institution responsible for who we are and where we are today. Let us be models for our future generations of Thomasian physicians to emulate as they will be the guardians and caretakers of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in the many years to come.

The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery needs you and me to fulfill its mission. No other medical school has the strength of crowd, caliber, and character that Faculty of Medicine and Surgery brings forth. This is something that all Thomasian medical graduates must take pride on.

NO other time in the history of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, that we have this golden opportunity to harness collective energy, forge alliance, and be able to make a huge difference to sustain the momentum of our aggregated efforts to keep the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery entrenched on top, and that will be etched in the annals of her history.

The collaborative deeds you will give will be timely and timeless.

Let us rise above our individual differences and personal preferences and move towards a higher cause – a cause beyond us, a cause beyond our seeing, a cause that will live across time.

The call for a strong and solid Thomasian medical community reverberates today.

As we celebrate the sesquicentennial year of our beloved Alma Mater, let us recall what we have in common - competence in what we promised to do, commitment in every endeavor we chose to undertake, and compassion to every human being we chance upon.

The legacy of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is not embedded in the past.

It is enshrined in the future – the future you and I will help build today.

Let us stand side by side believing in ourselves and sharing in gratitude life’s blessings, not to our Alma Mater, but to the future generations of Thomasian physicians who will continue the legacy you and I built today.

May God in His unending glory bless the Thomasian medical spirit and bring us together in unity, solidarity, and harmony.

A Grace-filled Christmas and a Happy, Peaceful New Year to All!

By: Ma. Lourdes P. Domingo-Maglinao, MD

President
Anargyori: FMS Foundation, Inc.

Dean
UST-Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

 

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Fundraising Newsletter Simulation & Research Center

USTMAA Paskong Alumni

It was a Saturday night full of happiness and cheers, despite having started with some technical difficulties as Typhoon Odette has just started its landfall in the Visayas. The USTMAA Pamaskong Handog showcased alumni talents in music and dance as we were treated by original compositions, interpretations, and even covers by our alumni here and abroad.

The event was centered around “Paskong Filipino”, as it showed videos of different USTMAA Chapters from Luzon to Mindanao, each region showcasing Filipino Christmas traditions, the semblance of “Simbang Gabi”, “Aguinaldo”, gift-giving and Christmas goodies is undeniably “Paskong Filipino”.

One highlight of the program was Dr. Norberto Martinez explaining the rationale of the project “Let the light of the Simulation & Research Center shine bright this Christmas night”, a donation drive by USTMAA in cooperation with AFI. Aimed to support the fundraising efforts for the Sts. Cosmas and Damian Simulation and Research Center that is set to break ground early 2022, it was warmly greeted by the audience, earning 147k on its first night. A special mention to Class ’82 for providing the seed money and sponsoring 40 stars to commemorate their Ruby Jubilee Celebration.

AFI is truly grateful for the constant support of the many Thomasian doctors, especially its partnership with USTMAA. We hope to do this with other alumni organizations, and philanthropic groups to help us realize this dream.

As of now, what we have gathered is a long way from our goal, and we hope an event like this would encourage alumni to share,1,000PhP or $25, as when added together, is a substantial amount for us to build the future of FMS.

Just imagine, if each alumni give 1,000PhP or $25—we shall make this new edifice a reality soon enough.

This donation drive is still ongoing until January 6, 2022. Donation channels are listed in the website; there is no limit as to how much you may donate. You may just click on this link to see the tree and donation channels.

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Fundraising Newsletter Simulation & Research Center

Tatag Tomasino Handa sa Bagong Mundo

Nothing could ever dampen a Thomasian’s spirit.

Even with the challenges of these past two years, being the most hard-hit in the frontlines, not once have they failed to honor what it means to be a Thomasian.

Held last Saturday, December 11, alumni from classes ending in ‘1 and ‘6 have gathered virtually for the 2021 Alumni Homecoming Launch. The room was checkered in yellow and red background, with their wide smiles and sometimes disbelief as friends they have not seen for so long were slowly filling up the room.

 

 

Classes were called on by the hosts, with each class greeting everyone with warm pleasantries. This was followed by Dr. Mariano’s welcoming speech which was inspired by a vibrant plea from a celebrating jubilarian, “We want to dance! We want to party!” She ended it with a hopeful remark that this can be celebrated altogether next year, December 2022.

The same sentiment was shared by Dr. Lasalla of Class ’96, as he presented the program of the Grand Alumni Homecoming for next year. This grand event will follow the usual activities, such as lectures, welcome walk, and a Gala night, as many expressed that this celebration should be greeted with open arms and warm hugs instead of celebrating this fully online. In proper recognition to all the awardees, they have also opted to bestow the awards in another ceremony next year. The details of the line-up will be finalized soon, and hopefully, even those who are unable to celebrate with them, can join this hybrid event.

Dr. Norberto Martinez of Anargyroi: FMS Foundation was also invited to share about the Foundation’s upcoming event on December 18, 2021. This event is a virtual lighting of a Christmas tree wherein any alumni may donate a star for only PhP 1000 or USD 25. This event is in support for fundraising of the Simulation and Research Center that is expected to break grounds on early 2022.

 

Regarded by many as the top medical school in the country, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is home to several faculty members and graduates who innovated Medicine and Medical Education as we know it. With a panel of esteemed alumni, each awardee was congratulated by the participants, but it was their respective class who clamored for their class’ winners.

List of THOMAS (Thomasian Outstanding Medical Alumni) Awardees:

Community Service: Dr. William Olalia of Class 1976

Government Service: Dr. Eduardo Janairo of Class 1981

Leadership in Public Health and Health Related Issues: Dr. Carmelita Banta-Belgica+ of Class 1976

Medical Education: Dr. Bee Giok Tan-Sales of Class 1976

Medical Research: Consuelo B. Gonzales-Suarez of Class 1986

A short greeting was given by Dr. Rodolfo Florentino of Class 1956, as one of the oldest celebrating jubilarians in attendance, celebrating 65 years graduating from UST-FMS. After which, a video roll prepared by each batch was shown on screen.

Along with the video presentations came speeches by their class representatives. It was truly like travelling back in time, from sepia-toned photographs, black and white and technicolor, one may feel overwhelmed with mixed-feelings of joy, and grief. Joy, in celebration of how far each one has gone in their chosen field of endeavor, and grief for those who are no longer with them.

However, one message remains clear: Thomasians will always Look back.

The event ended with a speech by Dr. Edwin Rodriguez, Vice-President of USTMAA, followed by the singing of the UST Hymn where UST’s unending grace was strongly felt.