Felicidad T. Sy Mother and Child Care Center opens at Tala

Dr. Edgardo SA. Javillonar, Medical Center Chief; Director Ariel Valencia; SM Foundation Executive Director for Health and Medical Programs Connie Angeles; Engr. Dennis Martel, SM Supermalls Regional Operations Manager of Central North; and Joey Guanzon Tanyag, SM Fairview Mall Manager.

SM Foundation, turned over its 93rd Felicidad T. Sy Wellness Center to the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Tala, Caloocan City.  The Center is also the maiden Felicidad T. Sy Mother and Child Care Center with a breastfeeding facility.

The Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, formerly known as Tala Hospital established in 1940, is the premier hospital for leprosy patients in Central Luzon and currently operates as a secondary general health care facility.  It has also been named the pilot hospital in the National Capital Region for the Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) Program.  Occupying 130 hectares, the hospital started serving non-Hansen disease patients in 1970. The hospital currently dispenses medical services to community members of Tala and nearby areas among them Barangays 185, 186, 187, & 188 of Caloocan.

In support for the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals, the hospital administration recognized the need to upgrade its facilities. Thus, it sought the assistance of SM Foundation, the socio-civic arm of the SM Group of Companies.

The collaboration made possible the renovation of the hospital director’s office, including its technology and statistics division, to become now the Felicidad Sy Mother and Child Center – MNCHN Facility. With a floor area of 300 square meters, the new facility has a lounge for pregnant mothers, a breastfeeding area, a mother and child-friendly ward, a labor and delivery room, laboratory, newborn/hearing screening room, family planning unit, and gender-sensitive comfort rooms.

“Most maternal and infant deaths could have been prevented had there been health facilities accessible to the victims,” said Department of Health Director Ariel Valencia. He thanked the Sy family for the new facility that will make health services accessible especially to mothers and their children.

“The Philippine government aims to reduce maternal deaths from 166 to 52 per 100,000 live births and infant mortality from 32 to 19 deaths per 1,000 live births.  Aside from proper nutrition and birth spacing, it is essential that there are available health facilities where deliveries can be assisted and monitored by health professionals,” according to Dr. Fortunato Boto of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital.  “There are 5-8 deliveries daily with an average delivery of 140 per month although last November’s registry showed 212 deliveries,” he continued.

Dr. Edgardo SA. Javillonar, the hospital’s Medical Center Chief presented plaques of appreciation to SM Foundation and Mrs. Felicidad T. Sy.  Present during the turnover were SM Foundation Executive Director for Health and Medical Programs Connie Angeles; Engr. Dennis Martel, SM Supermalls Regional Operations Manager of Central North & Joey Guanzon Tanyag, SM Fairview Mall Manager, and officials and representatives of LuzonHealth, a five-year USAID health service strengthening project.

By end 2014, SM Foundation has renovated and rehabilitated 10 health centers into FTS Wellness Centers including the Yolanda-devastated Tacloban City Hospital and nearby Tabontabon Rural Health Center. By the first quarter of 2015, the Foundation will renovate its 100th FTS Center to date.