April 20, 2024
MODERNIZED — The Lucban health center, which serves more than 38,000 residents from 16 barangays, underwent repair and upgrade of medical equipment with help from SM Foundation led by Executive Director for Health and Medical Programs Connie Angeles as part of its mission to uplift the provision of health services in the communities. Angeles led the turnover of the newly renovated health facility on Dec. 19 along with City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, SM City Baguio Mall Manager John Philip Baysac and Assistant Mall Manager Michael Jason Pena, SM Regional Operations Manager Rona Vida Correa, City Health Services Office staff headed by Dr. Celia Flor Brillantes, and the Lucban health center medical team. — Hanna Lacsamana

The Lucban Health Center, which serves more than 38,000 individuals from 16 barangays in Baguio, has been rehabilitated, courtesy of the health and wellness program of SM Foundation.

The newly refurbished facility at T. Alonzo St. at the back of the City Health Services Office was turned over by the SM Foundation headed by its executive director for Health and Medical Programs Connie Angeles and SM Supermalls and SM City Baguio administration officials on Dec. 18 to the city government through Mayor Benjamin Magalong, CHSO acting head Dr. Celia Flor Brillantes, and the Lucban health center staff.

The improved Lucban health center serves 16 barangays with a population of 38,163 residents. Services would include general consultation, prenatal check-up, child immunization, TB DOTS, and family planning.

The newly-renovated health center has a consultation and post consultation room, pharmacy, triage area, minor operation/treatment room, autoclave area, sputum collection corner, physician’s room, pantry, lounge, handwashing area, nursing office and garbage collection area on the first floor while the second floor has a family planning room, prenatal and vaccination room, dental and adolescent room, and a midwife office.

Angeles said SM Foundation introduced sustainable features at the Lucban health center to make a positive impact upon health and the environment.

They have installed a rainwater catchment system as an alternative water source for efficient water management. It uses energy efficient LED lighting fixtures to help reduce ecological footprint, as well as inverter appliances to optimize energy consumption and support a greener future. Air cleaning paints were also used to coat 80 percent of the facility to create a healthier environment for its clients.

The foundation also provided the health center with a mobile play cabinet for children and a breastfeeding room to ensure the comfort of mothers as they breastfeed their babies in the center.

The health center’s renovation took less than two months to complete.  

The Lucban Health Center is SM Foundation’s 201st improved facility in the country and the third wellness center in Baguio.

“This number stands as a testament to the organization’s unwavering dedication to the wellbeing of communities and its members. The SM Foundation believes that health is wealth. Healthcare as we all know is an essential aspect of human wellbeing. It serves as a cornerstone of strong and resilient  communities,” Angeles said.

She said unfortunately access to adequate healthcare remains quite a challenge, and so for several years now, SM Foundation has been maintaining and improving public healthcare facilities not only to enhance their capabilities by way of improvement and donation of equipment, but also to make these facilities more responsive and conducive to the health needs and recovery of those it serve.

“To date, SM Foundation has achieved an impressive milestone of establishing 201 health centers and wellness centers serving more than five million patients.And we are very happy to be able to assist in the improvement of Lucban health center. For us in the SM Foundation, each center that we renovate represents a lifeline for those in need, offering not just medical care but also a renewed sense of hope and dignity,” Angeles added.

She also acknowledged the health center’s medical team, saying their commitment and work along with their fellow health teams have been instrumental in transforming the lives of millions of individuals and communities across the nation.

Aside from health and wellness programs, Angeles said SM Foundation as the charity arm of SM Group of Companies has remained steadfast in its commitment to transforming lives and creating lasting impact especially in communities. The foundation also provides education and scholarship programs which takes care of more than 1,000 deserving college scholars annually and helps augment the government’s problem on lack of classrooms by constructing SM high school buildings across the country.

It also has a farmers’ training program which provides livelihood to thousands of farmers through organic farming. Angeles said farmers who underwent training are assured that their harvests of organic fruits and vegetables are bought and sold at SM supermarkets.

The foundation also constructs churches and parishes and helps rebuild structures damaged by calamities.

SM Regional Operations Manager Rona Vida Correa said SM shares the mission and responsibility of the government to attain and maintain good health and well-being by uplifting health centers like the Lucban health center, health stations, and rural health units in localities.

She thanked the city government for allowing them to help the communities covered by the Lucban health center by improving the facility.

“May this encourage more residents to avail of services that the CHSO provides through the health facility and to prioritize their and their families’ health since we believe that a healthy community is a wealthy community,” Correa said. 

Magalong said the rehabilitation of the Lucban health center is a testament to putting in place of three components: innovation, sustainability and resilience in health care and would surely help the city achieve its Universal Health Care targets.

“Those who will go here, they know they will get the service they need just by the appearance of the facility, not to mention the staff inside it. In behalf of the city, I would like to thank SM Foundation for its assistance to the city as well as the CHSO leadership for coming up with this initiative by coordinating with SM,” the mayor said.

He also instructed the CHSO to identify five health centers in the city that also need to undergo improvement and to make the Lucban health center as its standard for the other 15 health districts of the city. – Hanna C. Lacsamana