Largest annual medical mission to the Philippines at 45

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Congratulations to the Philippine Medical Society of Northern California (PMSNC) on its 45th Anniversary and Inaugural Ball and the incoming officers for 2017-2019 led by Dr. Pedro Cajator last April 22 at the Marriot San Francisco Waterfront Hotel in Burlingame.

The newly installed PMSNC Officers were: Dr. Pedro Cajator, MD, president; Dr. Ria San Valentine Calinga, president-elect; Dr. Peter Bretan, immediate past president; Dr. Teresita Degamo, recording secretary; Dr. Lucia Cabreros, corresponding secretary; Dr. Mary Ann Fernandez, treasurer; Dr. Ramon Ortaliz, auditor; Dr. Carmelo Roco, public relations officer; Regional vice-presidents Dr. Rachelle Rebong (San Francisco/San Mateo), Dr. Maria Araceli de Guzman (Alameda/Contra Costa), Dr. Narciso Thad Padua (San Jose/Santa Clara), Dr. Cecilia Loleng (Monterey, Napa/Solano/San Luis Obispo); and regional board representatives Dr. Giselda Tan (San Francisco/San Mateo), Dr. Vanessa Wilson (Alameda/Contra Costa), Dr. Judy Del Mundo (San Jose/Santa Clara), and Dr. Vilma Aguas Sripramong (Monterey/Napa/Solano/San Luis Obispo).

PMSNC is now 45 years old, first established in 1972 with the main goal of developing personal and professional relationship among the Filipino American medical community in the Bay Area. This has been achieved by starting continuing medical education programs. As the ties developed, the other goals of the society were set:
• To help the next generation in their pursuit of a medical education by providing scholarships and mentorships;
• To establish a medical presence in the community through health fairs and flu clinics;
• To give back to their motherland in the form of annual medical-surgical missions to the underserved areas in the Philippines

PMSNC’s members and volunteers have gone to the Philippines every January to hold medical missions and provide much-needed medical/surgical, optometry and dental services to the underserved population in the homeland.

Outgoing President 2015-2017, Dr Bretan, emphasized that in the past two years, this society has had a rich history of saving lives through its work in California and served more than a quarter million patients in the Philippines over the past a half century. But it needed to reorganize for modern times and to grow in this internet-based information superhighway era, not just for the next generation of physicians but to build a durable foundation for adaptability in these rapidly changing times.

PMSNC is the largest annual medical mission in the world because of their political and cultural ties to the Philippines, he added.

In his inaugural address, Cajator said he was humbled to serve as president for the next two years. He thanked the outgoing president, Bretan for his time and energy, as well as those who served in medical missions, giving their time, money, expertise and in return, receiving the boundless love and gratitude of their kababayans.

Cajator’s simple goal as a president is to encourage the young Filipino-American physicians to join PMSNC, so they can continue the traditions set by their predecessors. (photos by Gary De Guzman)

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