Creating healthier communities through accessible medical services
In 2015, SM Foundation further strengthened its health programs by focusing on the needs of its host communities. During the year, SM Foundation renovated 14 health centers and conducted a total of 114 medical missions which benefitted 90,932 patients nationwide.
SM Foundation extended its support to the health and medical needs of the military last year. An example of this is the renovated Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF) Training Batch Dispensary in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. The room-turned-health facility now serves the members of SAF, branch employees, their dependents, as well as the 471 SAF commando students who are currently undertaking their training in the center.
Aside from the renovated structure, SM Foundation donated brand new equipment such as oxygen tanks with regulators and carriage, nebulizers, stethoscopes, surgical sets, and sterilizers. SM Foundation also donated new beds and other furnishings for the additional comfort of its patients and staff.
Other health facilities completed by the Foundation in 2015 include the La Trinidad Main Health Center, Tuy Main Health Center, Indang Main Health Center, the Soldier’s ward at the Camp Aquino Station Hospital, the Pediatric ward at the Laguna Provincial Hospital, the Out-patient ward at the Philippine General Hospital, and the Pediatric ward at the Ospital ng Paranaque to name a few.
Through upgraded health centers, these facilities can now serve more patients and increase their scope in accommodating different kinds of health and medical needs.
From its inception up to the end of December 2015, SM Foundation’s medical program renovated a total of 115 health centers.
Also supporting its aim of providing free and accessible health services, SM Foundation conducts medical missions throughout the country especially in areas where medical care may be too scarce or expensive.
Especially in times of calamities, SM Foundation conducts medical missions in tandem with its immediate disaster response program. In the aftermath of 2015’s Typhoon Lando, SM Foundation rolled out 14 medical missions to affected communities in Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Pampanga, La Union and Tarlac. SM Foundation also continued its medical support for the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda by conducting 9 medical missions for Yolanda-survivors in Leyte, Samar and Cebu.
SM Foundation likewise strengthened its efforts in combating specific diseases. In August 2015, it conducted a joint medical mission with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) at the Sisters of Mary Girlstown Campus in Silang, Cavite. Here, students received free medical services from SM Foundation and also underwent check-ups for possible cases of tuberculosis through the joint effort of PBSP and local government units.
2015 also marked another milestone for SM Foundation’s medical mission program as it welcomed its fourth mobile clinic. The new mobile clinic will increase the number of communities served by its medical missions nationwide.
As of end 2015, SM Foundation’s medical missions have conducted a total of 1,131 medical missions which benefitted 840,313 patients since it started.
Another health and medical initiative of SM Foundation is its Oral Health Project in Nasugbu, Batangas. This project aims to create awareness among children in Kinder and Grade 1, as well as their families, on good oral health and hygiene. The project is slated to run for five years, and started with an initial batch of 109 students in 2012. Dental check-ups and awareness seminars for the community are done in tandem with SM Foundation’s quarterly medical missions in Nasugbu.
This project is in partnership with the UP Pahinungod Society which helps deploy dentists to conduct the oral examinations, preventive and restorative treatment, and health education to the children.
As of end 2015, SM Foundation supported 271 students, now attending Grade 2.
The SM group, through SM Foundation, also believes in extending its health and wellness initiatives to its employees through the SM Employee Blood Bank. Established in 2011 and in partnership with the Department of Health Philippine Blood Center (DOH-PBC) and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), the project holds bloodletting activities across the SM group and its subsidiaries. Collections are shared among the two blood banks of DOH-PBC and PRC and are made available to SM employees and their immediate relatives, free of charge.
In 2015, SM Foundation was able to collect 321,300 ml of blood or 714 bags from successful SM employee-volunteers. SM Foundation also received its fourth Jose Rizal Award from the Department of Health for this project last year.
SM Foundation believes that in order to empower communities, quality health care must be in reach. Decades after its establishment, SM Foundation continues to create more opportunities for its health and wellness programs to widen its reach and support the growth of even more communities.