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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Philippines

University of Santo Tomas Hospital raises two trophies at Healthcare Asia Awards 2020

The hospital continued with its indigency programs to bring quality healthcare to the smallest of communities.

Last year’s “A Starfish Story: The USTH Outreach and Indigency Programs” seems like a prequel to University of Santo Tomas Hospital’s recent recognition at this year’s Healthcare Asia Awards.

Snagging the Corporate Social Responsibility of the Year to represent the Philippines for 2 years in a row, the hospital picked up right where they left off a year ago by launching the Acts of Random Kindness (or ARK) Center, a hub where simple donations can be paid forward to aid in the treatment of the less fortunate.

In an inspirational message during the Annual Alumni Gathering, Fr. Manuel Roux, CEO of USTH, urged hospital consultants and staff “to change the world, with one simple Act of Random Kindness, at a time,” in reference to the Hollywood movie “Evan Almighty.”

After receiving an award for their outreach and indigency programs in 2019, the USTH continued to provide free diagnostic and therapeutic services to indigent patients.

Amongst the programs completed by USTH were free gynecologic ultrasound, thyroid ultrasound, prostate screening, scoliosis screening, spirometry, ophthalmologic screening for diabetic retinopathy, and adult wellness missions.

Free clinics for pediatric and adult patients were also conducted as well as major intervention missions, including radioiodine therapy for thyroid mass, breast cancer surgery, gynecologic tumor surgery, prostate surgery, creation of arteriovenous fistulas for hemodialysis, coronary angiography and intervention, and permanent pacemaker implantation.

From the 1,700 patients who benefitted from December 2017 to May 2019, the number of beneficiaries has ballooned to more than 2,800 as of January 2020.

Health Promotion Initiative of the Year
Uplifting vulnerable groups by providing access to essential medical services, the USTH Department of Surgery, together with the USTH Outreach and Indigency Program, organised “Octobreast Fest” in October 2019, a month-long celebration of breast cancer awareness and women empowerment. The campaign focused on prevention of disease, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment, where participants learned the nature of breast cancer, misconceptions about the disease, and how to perform self-examination.

In one day, 15 out of 69 the participants (aged 18 years and above) had positive breast examinations and were recommended for annual screening. “Virginia,” a 63-year-old, stage-II breast cancer survivor, spoke about her battle and shared her story with humor and grace. “There can be life after breast cancer, the prerequisite is early detection,” she said.

According to the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, 1 in 13 Filipino women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. In line with the USTH Indigency Programs, the 15 women who were tested positive during “Octobreast Fest” underwent free mammography in collaboration with the Department of Radiology-Breast Unit from 3-8 October 2019. After the evaluation and tests, four patients were indicated for and underwent free core-needle biopsy which confirmed malignancy. All four underwent successful Breast Cancer Surgeryfor free, in line with the indigency program, and in collaboration with the Department of Anesthesia and Operating Room staff.

Watch the interview below to know more about their winning strategy:

The Healthcare Asia Awards 2020 was originally scheduled on 14 April. Recognition of winners was held via video conferences throughout 14-17 April and 14 May.

This year's nominations were judged by Chris Hardesty, Director, Healthcare & Life Sciences Practice, KPMG; Abhay Bangi, Partner, Life Sciences & Healthcare Lead, Ernst & Young; Tan Boon Kai, Partner, Audit & Assurance, BDO LLP; Mairin Reid, Director, Life Sciences & Healthcare, Deloitte.

If you would like to join the 2021 awards and be awarded as one of the most outstanding healthcare companies in the region, please email Julie Anne Nuñez at 

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