Driven by its invaluable participation and contribution in achieving safe and quality blood supply for the community, the Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine, Inc. through the MHAM Student Council has been awarded by the Department Of Health (DOH)-Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) Region VII Blood Center with the Pantaleon Villegas Award last April 27, 2018 at RLC, Summit Circle-Cebu, Fuente Osmeña Circle, Cebu City.
Also known as Leon Kilat Award, the plaque and certificate of appreciation were received by the former Visayas Regional Organizational Development Committee Chair and MHAM representative to the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges-Student Network (APMC-SN) and now the National Executive Vice President for APMC-SN, William Tiu Jr.
Tiu, who made history as he was voted for National Executive Vice President among other aspiring doctors in the country, was also joined by another student-leader and Regional Chairman for the Blood Donation Campaign, Andrea Marie Tortugo, who represented the APMC-SN.
Popularly known by his byname Leon Kilat, the Pantaleon Villegas Award given to MHAM was in honor to a Cebuano hero known as Pantaleón Villegas y Soldi- a leader of the Katipunan during the Philippine Revolution against Spain.
Gracing the remarkable event includes Chief of Region VII Blood Center, Dr. Reynette Christine Ligaray; Medical Center Chief II of VSMMC, Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr.; VSMMC Chief of Clinics, Dr. Anthony Roque Paradela; and Regional Blood Program Coordinator, Ms. Lucy Aguiman.
According to the first Cebuano to hold the APMC-SN vice presidency position in the national level, the Pantaleon Villegas Award conferred to MHAM was indebted for collecting two hundred sixty (260) blood bags in its various blood donation campaigns throughout the year 2017. The award was the second highest award given to partner agencies that have collected 251 to 350 blood bags, respectively.
“This is a reflection of the MHAM Student Council and Student Body’s commitment to alleviate the shortage of blood faced by our hospitals. It is even made more special by the fact that MHAM collected the most number of bags among all education institutions in Cebu. Only a handful of LGUs were able to collect more than MHAM”, said Tiu who received the invaluable award.
Rooted from his principle that leadership does not depend on one’s location but the willingness to serve for a greater cause, the new National Executive VP in the APMC-SN added that each year, the DOH-7 Regional Blood Center awards top performing institutions who participated in the blood drive campaign. Befittingly divided into Platinum, Gold, Silver and Gold from the previous years, this year has been changed as the awards were renamed using Cebuano heroes.
“It was my first time to represent MHAM in such event. I felt honored to have been representing the school especially since I personally spearheaded the blood drives for the school year. This year, MHAM as one of the recipients, received the Pantaleon Villegas Award which was given to institutions who have collected 251-350 blood bags”, he added.
As one of the top ten agencies in Cebu who contributed bags of blood units in the 2017 community-based blood donation drive, student-leaders William Tiu Jr. and Andrea Marie Tortugo led the blood letting activity dubbed as “Abuno 2017” in a record-breaking mobile blood donation in partnership with DOH participated by two hundred fifty-nine (259) MHAM students in September to give hope for those who have battled and won for life.
In February this year, the same MHAM-pioneered life saving project broke its own record in the APMC-SN National Blood Drive with two hundred (200) bags of blood units being collected from 200 cheerful Matias donors within the school campus in just a single day.
Dubbed as “Juan Blood, Juan Life”, the life saving project was spearheaded by Tiu and Tortugo who sustained the MHAM mission to save lives of the needing patients.
Set to ablaze excellence and camaraderie as the torch runners of the upcoming APMC-SN’s National Planning and Evaluation Seminar (PLEVSEM) on June 15 to 17, 2018 to reignite the role of the Filipino medical students in nation building, the APMC-SN National Executive Vice President-elect will embark another medical year with his junior clerkship journey.
“I think a lot of students have noticed by the effort that the Student Council and I have given throughout this school year. I hope that our example will encourage our students to be more proactive in the different organizations we have in school. You don’t have to be in the Student Council in order to lead. Leadeship has many venues. Whether it may be in school organizations, sports teams, or inside the classroom, there are always opportunities for one to step up and lead. Leadership isn’t always about grand gestures or high positions”, he concluded.
With immensed pride and honor of the achievements he had reaped, sowed and shared driven by his pasion to lead and serve, Tiu aims to connect and bring the APMC-SN closer to the regions and the schools through the APMC activities to encourage the medical students to be more aware of their membership to their organizations, their rights and their obligations.
With the DOH’ thrust to save lives of millions of Filipinos who are in need of blood transfusion in the National Volunteer Blood Services Program, the DOH-7 Regional Blood Center is always coping for the demand for blood transfusion and to lessen the deficiency. With the blood units being forwarded to VSMMC where patients with financial constraints can pay at a later time, the Mobile Blood Donation has indeed saved multiple lives in the community over the years.
Bringing silent heroism to bring a ray of hope to someone’s life, the MHAM student-donors are now called the silent heroes of the present times. As good deeds know no limit in man’s most glorious task in various ways, the award was indeed a reflection that the noble mission that MHAM has pioneered and has been adopted over the years by other medical schools in Cebu City have helped those who are battling between life and death. A commitment to sustain and a gift to give, each MHAM mission becomes a new page. (Ana Liza Abao)