Dr. Alexander Tuazon took his oath of office as the President of the Philippine Pediatric Society, Inc. last April 6, 2016 at Sofitel Manila. This was his inaugural address delivered during the Annual Dinner and Induction Ceremonies.
One Vision, One Purpose, One Community. One PPS.
My dear friends, colleagues and mentors in the PPS, it is with deep humility that I accept the challenge of leading the Board of Trustees in charting the course of the PPS and steering it…. I am humbled by the trust given to me by our members. A trust that I can only repay with total commitment and dedication.
I see Dr. Aguila, Dr. Chua. I see Dr. Rene Maguinsay, and I see their dedication and deep love for the PPS. They show us that truly, it is when you look weak that you are strongest.
I have been with the Board now for 15 years since the time Dr. Alfiler invited me to become the Assistant Secretary, and thus I have had the opportunity to serve under eight PPS Presidents, all of whom together with the other Past Presidents have been my role models and mentors: dedication, professionalism, ingenuity and the courage to take unfamiliar paths.
For 15 years, I have seen the PPS grow and how it has been nurtured. I had the privilege to have a close-up view of how our PPS building was planned, finally completed and now retrofitted. I have seen the dynamic nature of a medical society intent on improving itself, and the services it provides to its members and the communities it serves.
Now the reins have been transferred to us the new Board. Large shoes to fill. What now? Where to?
A day after having been given the challenge, I can only give some indication of where our focus should be. Except when dire circumstances cannot allow, I have always believed in consultation. I will name two general directions.
Ensuring Continuous Improvement, Continuity and Growth
The first is about keeping our house in good order. It is about preserving and improving on our gains. It is about improving ourselves.It is about moving the paradigm from small group management to the reality that now we have to manage a community of almost 6000 and 12 different chapter offices; a challenge but also an opportunity. We need to communicate with our younger colleagues in the language mode they prefer. We will further our use of current technology, with emphasis on online digital and mobile technologies to improve our Financial systems, Member management, Systems and Processes, CPD programs and the like that should make learning, working and communicating easy and at the same delight our members. While we have been quite successful with some improvement projects in the last 15 years, such as our house data management and the election system, we have come to realize in our recent efforts in the Annual Convention that change is accompanied with challenges and risks. But to achieve our vision for a highly efficient and effective system, we must have the courage to face the risks.Projects that are relevant and beneficial to our children must be sustained and even enhanced, such as HOME, Disaster Preparedness and Accident Prevention. We shall revisit areas of improvement: the entire CPD program, the Annual Convention, HMO/PhilHealth concerns, building finances, HAB and SB.
Developing and, importantly, Projecting The PPS as a Community of Pediatricians, with A Deep Sense of Purpose
The second is about a conscious endeavor to develop and project the PPS as a community with a deep sense of purpose.As a self-organized community of pediatricians we share common values. Our PPS Creed embodies these values: professionalism, excellence, integrity, the shared conviction in the aspirations of the PPS and the trust we place in our Lord for grace and guidance. These define who we are.Our Articles of Incorporation include the purposes of the PPS: (1) To promote the science and art of Pediatrics and the betterment of Child Maternal health; (2) To foster and maintain a high plane pf professional skill in the practice of Pediatrics; (3) To engage in research for the improvement of child and maternal hygiene; and (4) To help the government form its policy on child and maternal hygiene. These are all statements of laudable and important activities. If we then drill it down to the important question, “What for?”, the singular answer will be FOR THE BETTERMENT OF OUR CHILDREN AND THEIR HEALTH. We have an enormous menu of discussions, forums, workshops, conventions and training programs that helps promote the science and art of Pediatrics. But knowing is not enough, we must Apply not only as individual Pediatricians but as PPS. As a community, we must walk the talk. In this aspect, I draw inspiration from our chapters whose activities and programs have touched and benefitted their communities. I am convinced that we now have the opportunity and capacity for the whole of PPS to do the same.
We must strive to place the PPS AT CENTER STAGE in matters related to Child Health. We should be the natural PARTNER of the DOH and other agencies involved in Child Health. We should be the PREFERRED source of information of our nation’s citizens, viewed as THE ADVOCATE for children’s health. We must have sustained and focused attention and EFFORT to issues confronting the current generation of infants, children and adolescents. We must challenge ourselves in helping to address a major issue, or even several issues, in child health. If our chapters and individual members can do it as seen in the Chapter Reports and demonstrated in today’s plenary by Julius Lecciones on Childhood Cancer and Alexis Reyes on Autism Spectrum Disorders, imagine how much more impact can a community of about 6000 Pediatricians around the country BUT ACTING TOGETHER can make in improving the health of our nation’s children.
We have a PPS Hymn. This should not remain as just a song, a hymn. This should be OUR PLEDGE. Allow me to quote a part of our Hymn.
Pediatricians we are
Gathered here and afar
Called to offer our lives for a cause
For our children we strive
To sustain health and life
Dedicated we rise to this cause
To the call we respond
With one vision we bond
All the children of the land
We vow to serve and far beyond
And TOGETHER WE SHALL.
With One Vision, One Purpose, One Community.
As One PPS.