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The newly organized Organ Donation Advocacy Committee of Rizal Medical Center, spearheaded by Dr. Amerigo Bautista, Jr., was welcomed by the Rizal Med Community on October 2019 as ODAC spokesperson Dr.Camille M. Sta.Cruz introduced the committee and its members.  The ODAC spokesperson then took the opportunity to invite everyone to the committee’s upcoming activities. The main objective of this committee is to help spread awareness regarding organ donation through lectures, workshops and trainings as well as through organizing lay fora for the non-medical audience.

The committee went into immediate action regarding its organ donation awareness activities in November 2019 by organizing an Organ Donation Advocacy Week which was held on November 4-8, 2019 at the newly renovated RMC Auditorium on the 5th floor. The activity started off with a twin event --- a poster-making contest and a T-shirt design making contest that took place simultaneously. Both activities were met with enthusiasm as 15 teams (with 3 members each) battled among themselves with their respective talents in poster-making and shirt design making using art materials provided for the contests by the committee. Members of the Rizal Med Executive Committee who were invited to judge the twin event had a difficult time in determining the winners as all art works were eye-catching and relevantly in-keeping with the theme “Ako Kabahagi Mo,” the Organ Donation Advocacy Campaign of DOH-PhilNOS.

The team of Mr.Melvin Sube, Mr. Francis Fadriquela and Mr. Elrom Basilio of the Nursing Division championed the T-shirt Design-Making Contest while First Place in the Poster-Making Contest was snagged by the team of Ms. Anna Liza Maragay, Mr. Laurence Bulalaque and Ms. Derlyn Guanez.

An Organ Donation Workshop for Health Care Professionals was then held the next day and attended by the post graduate interns, first- and second-year residents from the departments of Emergency Medicine, Surgery, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics and Anesthesia. Ms. Arlene, a deceased organ recipient, shared her wonderful life journey with the group and enlightened the doctors about her experience as a patient. The doctors also learned from the experts – Dr. Lex Castillo on “How to Diagnose Brain Death” and Dr. Tricia Bautista on “How to Break Bad News the Proper Way.”

Day 3 of ODA Week unfolded with a Lay Forum on Organ Donation for allied and non-medical staff of Rizal Med. The activity was successfully concluded with the showing of “Going in Style,” the renowned movie of Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine that centered on the theme of organ donation.

During the closing of the ODA Week, an Art Exhibit was held at the hospital lobby, showcasing the different artworks made by the 15 talented teams who had earlier participated in the poster-making and shirt design making contests. (See Photos below)

July 22 & 27, 2020, August 18 & 31, 2020 and September 9, 2020

By: Dermatology Department

A year since its establishment, the Rizal Medical Center Eczema and Allergy Center (RizalMed-EAC) launched its first ever webinar series to educate physicians on the common eczemas, including its diagnosis and management. Specifically, the webinar series was intended for general practitioners and other subspecialties who also frequently encounter these conditions.

The webinar series began last July 22, 2020 with an educational grant by Mylan.  The first in the webinar series was entitled “Atopic Eczema 101”, where a comprehensive discussion on the diagnosis of atopic dermatitis was given by Dr. Mae R. Quizon. The head of the RizalMed-EAC, Dr. Cecilia Rosete, likewise shared her expertise on the management of eczema, especially when shifting from the use of topical corticosteroids to topical calcineurin inhibitors.

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Last July 27,2020, the EAC launched the “Peerkonnect program” with Glenmark Philippines. The five-week program aimed to enhance the knowledge of pediatricians in the diagnosis and management of Atopic Dermatitis. A total of 55 pediatricians from different parts of the Philippines were enrolled in this peer-to-peer program. They were subsequently divided into small teams and were assigned a facilitator specialist who guided them in managing difficult cases of atopic dermatitis, which they saw in practice. The assigned facilitators included members of the RizalMed-EAC, namely Dr. Francisco DC. Rivera,IV, Chairman of the Rizal Medical Center Department of Dermatology, and Dr. Cecilia R. Rosete, the head of the RizalMed-EAC. The team was also comprised of Dr. Mary Charmaine G. Castillo, Dr. Mae R. Quizon, Dr. Alma Gay Concepcion Amado, Dr. Martha B. Tapales, Dr. Sharlene P. Temblique and Dr. Czarina P. Chavez.  To open the program, Dr. Niña G. Ticzon, a Pediatric Allergologist, shared her expertise on atopic dermatitis and the atopic march. This was followed by an extensive discussion on the diagnosis and management of atopic dermatitis as shared by Dr. Kimberly Anne Tantuco, a pediatric dermatologist. The program ended last August 31, 2020 through an engaging and fruitful program where consultant facilitators presented lectures with topics ranging from disease mimickers to the management of atopic dermatitis.

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For the third leg of the webinar series, the RizalMed-EAC partnered with Bayer Phiippines for two (2) separate webinars. The first webinar was held last August 18, 2020 with Dr. Hanna Lucero-Orillaza discussing the basic features of endogenous and exogenous eczemas, including the general approach to its management. On the other hand, Dr. Martha B. Tapales, a licensed dermatologist and pharmacologist, talked about the different types of moisturizers as a cornerstone in the treatment of endogenous and exogenous eczemas. The succeeding webinar sponsored by Bayer Philippines was held last September 9, 2020. Dr. Alma Gay Concepcion Amado gave an extensive discussion on the common allergens that cause contact dermatitis in the household and in the workplace, including a special talk on patch testing and its contribution to the management of Atopic Dermatitis. She then ended the talk by highlighting the significance of contact dermatitis as a public health concern. The webinar series then culminated in a thorough discussion of urticaria presided by Dr. Mary Charmaine Castillo. Her presentation emphasized the importance of identifying the underlying causes of urticaria in order to eliminate the triggers and provide the most appropriate pharmacologic treatment of this difficult-to-control disease.

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Throughout the series, the attendance consistently reached an average of 300 physicians from various specialties, with an 89% interest rating—a testament to the shared interest in advancing the quality of care for patients with eczema. Truly, the RizalMed-EAC intends to continue this pursuit of equipping our physician colleagues with the knowledge and skills that are essential in the diagnosis and management of eczematous disease in the coming years.

Despite the leaps in its diagnosis and treatment, psoriasis remains a disease with a profound impact on patients’ lives. Thus, in celebration of psoriasis month, the Rizal Medical Center Department of Dermatology decided to put together a web conference entitled, “EXPAND: EXpanding Psoriasis cAre by Networking and Developing Capacities.”  EXPAND was a 3-day event that tackled various topics from setting up a service delivery network, creating a locally adaptable clinical pathways to addressing psoriasis on a multidisciplinary approach. Local and international psoriasis experts were invited to share their knowledge on the different aspects of psoriasis.

The first webinar, held on October 20, focused on the foundations of psoriasis care. Dr. Czarina Chavez started the webinar by exploring the considerations of psoriasis care and relaying the experience of the department in establishing a psoriasis referral center. This was then followed by a discussion led by Dr. Lily Lyralin Tumalad on a stepwise approach to psoriasis management adapted to the local setting. Prof. Giuseppe Micali then ended the webinar by generously sharing his thorough review and updates on the cornerstone of psoriasis treatment, topical medications. This first session was moderated by Dr. Cecilia Rosete.

The second webinar, held on October 22, focused on the management of moderate to severe psoriasis and its comorbidities.  Renowned psoriasis expert, Dr. Colin Theng, shared his experience on managing moderate to severe psoriasis cases during the pandemic and advised on what treatments could be provided for such cases. Afterward, Dr. Andrew Francisco gave an extensive discourse on the cardiovascular effects of psoriasis. This was followed by a panel discussion on the myriad of other systemic effects by a multidisciplinary panel of experts: joining cardiologist Dr. Francisco were endocrinologist Dr. Michelle Co, dermatologist-rheumatologist Dr. Rogelio Balagat, and dermatologist-psychiatrist Dr. Antonio Sison. This second session was moderated by Dr. Patricia Tinio.

The third webinar, held on October 24, focused on adjustment to remote medicine. Dr. Jacqueline Melendres relayed the framework and growth of the teledermatology system at Rizal Medical Center and was followed by Dr. Alma Amado who shared her experience of treating psoriasis patients during the pandemic through telemedicine. The webinar was concluded with a discussion conducted by Dr. Patricia Tinio on the importance of targeting the anti-inflammatory cytokines. This final session was moderated by Dr. Martha Bruan-Tapales.

Throughout the series, attendance averaged 400 physicians from various specialties, a testament to the shared interest in advancing the quality of care for psoriasis patients. This webinar series will continue in November with the Psoriasis Health Agenda Forum which will focus on the service delivery network of Rizal Medical Center.

October 20, 22, and 24, 2020

By: Miyahra Haniko P. Lopez, MD-MBA

Despite the leaps in its diagnosis and treatment, psoriasis remains a disease with a profound impact on patients’ lives. Thus, in celebration of psoriasis month, the Rizal Medical Center Department of Dermatology decided to put together a web conference entitled, “EXPAND: EXpanding Psoriasis cAre by Networking and Developing Capacities.”  EXPAND was a 3-day event that tackled various topics from setting up a service delivery network, creating a locally adaptable clinical pathways to addressing psoriasis on a multidisciplinary approach. Local and international psoriasis experts where invited to share their knowledge on the different aspects of psoriasis.

The first webinar, held on October 20, focused on the foundations of psoriasis care. Dr. Czarina Chavez started the webinar by exploring the considerations of psoriasis care and relaying the experience of the department in establishing a psoriasis referral center. This was then followed by a discussion led by Dr. Lily Lyralin Tumalad on a stepwise approach to psoriasis management adapted to the local setting. Prof. Giuseppe Micali then ended the webinar by generously sharing his thorough review and updates on the cornerstone of psoriasis treatment, topical medications. This first session was moderated by Dr. Cecilia Rosete.

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The second webinar, held on October 22, focused on the management of moderate to severe psoriasis and its comorbidities.  Renowned psoriasis expert, Dr. Colin Theng, shared his experience on managing moderate to severe psoriasis cases during the pandemic and advised on what treatments could be provided for such cases. Afterward, Dr. Andrew Francisco gave an extensive discourse on the cardiovascular effects of psoriasis. This was followed by a panel discussion on the myriad of other systemic effects by a multidisciplinary panel of experts: joining cardiologist Dr. Francisco were endocrinologist Dr. Michelle Co, dermatologist-rheumatologist Dr. Rogelio Balagat, and dermatologist-psychiatrist Dr. Antonio Sison. This second session was moderated by Dr. Patricia Tinio.

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The third webinar, held on October 24, focused on adjustment to remote medicine. Dr. Jacqueline Melendres relayed the framework and growth of the teledermatology system at Rizal Medical Center and was followed by Dr. Alma Amado who shared her experience of treating psoriasis patients during the pandemic through telemedicine. The webinar was concluded with a discussion conducted by Dr. Patricia Tinio on the importance of targeting the anti-inflammatory cytokines. This final session was moderated by Dr. Martha Bruan-Tapales.

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Throughout the series, attendance averaged 400 physicians from various specialties, a testament to the shared interest in advancing the quality of care for psoriasis patients. This webinar series will continue in November with the Psoriasis Health Agenda Forum which will focus on the service delivery network of Rizal Medical Center.

-Photos courtesy of Arbie Sofia P. Merilleno, MD