SPSA Holds Surgical Mission To Legaspi

Amidst the fire and fury of the Mayon Vocano which erupted before the arrival of the SPSA missionaries, the 3 day surgical mission to Legaspi, Albay went on January 21-24, 2017. Almost a year in planning the logistics of the event which was sponsored by the United Bicolandia of Los Angeles, together with the Governor and Provincial Board of Albay who signed on the MOA with SPSA, the surgical venue was held at the Bicol Regional Training Hospital, site of the previous mission in 2007.

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SPSA Celebrates 45th Anniversary in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Society of Philippine Surgeons in America celebrated its 45th founding in Las Vegas, Nevada August 22-25, 2017 at the South Point Hotel and Casino. In conjunction with the celebration, the Society also held its 43rd Annual Continuing Medical Seminar in Surgery, entitled “Standards of Medical Practice, Diagnosis, Complications and Management”. Keynote speaker was Vice-Admiral Raquel Cruz-Bono who spoke on “ The Military Health System-A Model for National Health Care Reform”. Admiral Cruz is the highest ranking Filipino-American officer in the US Navy, the director of the Department of Defense Military Health Care system and the daughter of Anatolio Cruz MD FACS, a former president of the Society.

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SPSA Fellows Award Recipients

Four Fellows of the Society, all former presidents of the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America, were recently awarded different awards for their exemplary achievements in their chosen field of medicine.

Dr. Reynaldo Lee-Llacer, a general and trauma surgeon from Maryland was recognized as University of Santo Tomas 2016 Outstanding Thomasian Alumni for Health-Medical, TOTAL Awards last November 2016. The University grants the award to an alumnus who has become leader in their field and has made a “notable difference in people’s lives”. Dr. Llacer is a UST Doctor of Medicine graduate in 1958. He underwent his training at National Childrens Hospital, and University of Maryland . He has been presidents of several State organizations and a recipient of several distinctive awards by several Maryland governors, the Maryland Senate, the Philippine Medical Association of Metropolitan Washington and many different associations . He was also one of the founders of the UST Alumni Association in America. Dr. Llacer is presently the Chairman of the By-laws and Constitution Committee of the SPSA.

At the recent Congress of the Philippine College of surgeons December 4-7 2016, Dr. Rolando Mendiola and Dr. Thomas Y. Chua, were recognized by the Philippine Association of Laparoscopic and Endoscopic Surgeons (PALES) for having taught and performed the first laparoscopic surgery in the Philippines. Many laparoscopic surgeons went to Midwest Laser Institute to learn how to do laparoscopic procedures under the tutelage of both surgeons. Dr. Alex Erasmo, former PCS President and presently the President of PALES presented both the awards to both Drs. Mendiola and Chua, both of who still in active practice; Dr Mendiola in the Philippines where he actively teaches other surgeons in laparoscopy, and Dr. Chua, who practices laparoscopic bariatric surgery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Dr. Eduardo Barcelona, a general, thoracic and vascular surgeon in Palmdale California, was recently awarded by the High Desert Surgical Group, Practitioner of the Year. Dr. Barcelona who is the head of the surgical group, was given the distinction of being the most approachable and respected member of the surgical staff. He is a 1972 graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, actively involved in the UP Alumni association in the United States and presently co-chairs the Surgical Mission Committee of the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America.

Some members of the surgical mission group in front of Betania Retreat housed where most stayed

SPSA Conducts Cebu Surgical MissionAs one of its avowed mission, the Society of {Philippine Surgeons in America just concluded its annual surgical mission to the Philippines, This time it was in Cebu, the second largest city in the Philippines, January 22-28 2017. Logistical arrangements for the surgical mission was through the efforts of Dr. Edgardo Gamboa and his wife Dr. Lucy Gamboa, both of whom practice in California and who are from Cebu.

The mission was sponsored by the Cebu Institute of Medicine and the Velez General Hospital, the Perpetual Succour Hospital , and the Santo Nino Charity Clinic in Pasil, Cebu. Despite some logistical snafus that materialized during the mission week, 364 procedures were performed by the surgical mission group that included dental, ophthalmological, general and obstetrics surgeries as well as anesthesia , nursing and volunteer groups most of whom came from US and Canada as well as local missionaries from the Philippines.

Several businesses and civic organizations as well as local NGOs contributed to the mission. Dr. Ed Barcelona and Dr. Ed Quiros, co-chairs of the Surgical Mission Committee thanked all who participated giving everyone certificates of appreciation during one of the dinner events. Next surgical mission venue will be either Palawan or Legaspi, Albay. Definite location will be decided at the SPSA,s Spring Board Meeting next month.

SPSA Founder to Receive Presidential Award

Dr. Hernan Reyes, founder and first president and CME chairman of the Society of the Philippine Surgeons in America will be conferred the PamanangPilipinasaward by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte this December at Malacanang Palace. Dr. Reyes, an internationally recognized pediatric surgeon led the establishment of the SPSA and the impetus for it’s surgical mission committee which has served the medically poor areas in the Philippines every year since 1986. He was formerly the chairman of the Department of Surgery at Cook County Hospital, Professor of Surgery at Rush Medical College where he was also an Assistant Dean. He taught and was a professor of University of Illinois medical school and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, among the many achievements since he graduated from the University of Sto. Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in 1957.

Dr. Reyes plans to meet with the new Secretary of Health and President Duterte next month together with US contingent to discuss several aspects of foreign surgical missions to the Philippines and some of the solutions proposed in an attempt to solve the problems that has beset humanitarian endeavors to the homeland by Filipino expatriates.

The Presidential Awards institutionalized since 1991 is a biennial search for overseas organizations and individuals who have dedicated their work for the service of Filipinos. It is done by four different committees of Philippine Diplomatic Posts, inter-agency committee which screened this year’s 103 nominations from 22 countries to come up with this year’s 23 outstanding individuals and organizations. The Presidential Awards have four categories: LingkodsaKapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL) where SPSA’s late Manny Cacdac was a recipient, Kaanibng Bayan Award, Banaag Award, and Pamanang Pilipino Award.

Nevada Doc Assumes SPSA Presidency

Corazon P. Quiros, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist from Texas but now resides in Nevada, assumed the Presidency of the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America, 2016-2017. Dr. Quiros was inducted together with the elected and re-elected members of the Board of Governors at the recent SPSA annual convention and continuing medical education activities at the recent cruise aboard the Anthem of the Seas last July 23, 2017. The new set of officers were inducted by Dr. Ed Barcelona, a general and vascular surgeon from Palmdale, California and a past president of the Society. Dr. Carl Calica whose tenure as president Dr. Quiros followed, was not able to attend the turnover ceremonies because of unforeseen events relative to his group practice in upstate New York.

Dr. Corazon Quiros, together with Dr. Ben Zamora, SPSA’s CME and Convention chair are busy preparing for next year’s 45th Sapphire Anniversary celebration and convention festivities in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Text of C.P. Quiros Short Acceptance Speech

This year has been a year of surprises, of things that were thought as unexpected and unpredictable. First, there was the election of the new  President of the Philippines who was not thought to be that of a serious candidate considering the political elites that he eventually defeated and vanquished from the political landscape. In a very few weeks, he has started to make an impact on the lives of the Filipinos and the contorted and convoluted government bureaucracy.

Second, as you probably have watched on TV, a political outsider by the name of Donald Trump became last night the official Republican nominee for President of the United States. When he announced last June 2015 he was running for the presidential nomination, no one gave him a chance to win. But he did, demolishing his 16 establishment oponents.

Third, here I am before you assuming the presidency of one of the most prestigious Filipino-American organizations in the United States. Now I do not to want to imply for any moment that I am as important and of equal footing as President Duterte and Donald Trump because I am jus a very small and unknown small fry.

However, you have placed your confidence in me to lead this Society, especially on the SPSA ce;ebratory year, its 45th year and the possibility that its ACCME accreditation will soon end after it expires in 2017 after more than 3 decades of continued accreditation, under the leadership of the Society’s founder and first CME chairman, Dr. Hernan Reyes. As most of you know, for the past 30 some years, Dr. Ben Zamora who has continuously served as CME chair, and of course with the able assistance of his wife Mary, has indicated his intention of retiring the gavel unless we could change his mind or p[rod him to reconsider.

I will assure you however that with your help and especially of the President-Elect, that this year and the years to come, despite the problems—and you all know what these are—that our Society faces, SPSA will continue and survive. We will have an exceptional as always an annual convention and continuing surgical education meeting next year in Las Vegas. We will continue with our yearly surgical missions, one of the reasons our Society was founded and continue to exist. Most importantly, the camaraderie that we have all these years will surely be a part of the cornerstone of our lives.

I look forward to this tenure you have honored me with and will promise to you all that despite my shortcomings, I will work hard to meet your expectations and that of the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America.

Marami pong salamat.

Cebu, the second largest  metropolitan city in the Philippines , will be the site of the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America surgical mission next January 22-28, 2017. The proposed mission is coordinated by Dr. Ed Gamboa , a general and robotic surgeon from California , and his wife Dr. Lucie Gamboa, an internist in conjunction with Drs. Ed Barcelona and Ed Quiros, SPSA Surgical Mission co-chair.

The surgical foray into the city is being sponsored and undertaken by the Cebu Institute of Medicine and its teaching hospitals as well as the different hospital venues accommodating general, obstetrics-gynecology, plastic, orthopedic, ophthalmology and dental teams that have signed up for the event. Additional local support for the mission for the medically underserved patients in the city are  the Diocese of Cebu, the Redemptorist nuns, and local people and NGOs contacted by Dr. Gamboa. Tentative schedule including the departure for Cebu and other logistics of the mission will be given to the missionaries  to give them time to prepare for the undertaking.

The Society of the Philippine Surgeons in America, a 501-c3 organization, has been undertaking a yearly, occasionally twice a year, surgical mission to the Philippines for over 30 years. ors, nurses, and ancillary personnel.

SPSA Spring Meeting and CME Cruise
aboard Nautica’s Homage to the Orient
March 24-April 11, 2018

For details, call Mary Zamora

My Opinion
PBM February 7, 2011
Rey Cordeor second stint as PMSNC President
"Finally, we've done it". The Hydrocephalus Foundation of the Philippines is up and running. (April-May 2010).
Newsletter for Fellows
Update - Fellowship Application
Medical Mission Agreement
Healthcare Assistance Act
Palomares Assumes Presidency
Peace Honors SPSA Fellows
I Shall be Around
The View From My Seat
Hydrocephalus Foundation of the Philippines
SPSA Mission Agreement Form
Hydrocephalus Mission Report
SPSA Surgical Mission


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