In the recent celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the PCEDM, its focus on excellence was showcased by its Diamond Awardees. Meet our members who were recognized for their precious contributions to our College.
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By Edrome Hernandez, MD, FPCP, DPCEDM
“Leadership is not about the titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another”. This statement by John Maxwell truly lives in the life of our Diamond Awardee for Distinguished Leader, Dr. Cecilia A. Jimeno. Above all the accomplishments and recognition she received in her career as a specialist, researcher, and educator, she has always shown humility. Dr. Jimeno is a testament of what a world-class endocrinologist should be. Her works and active involvement in relevant researches and making of clinical practice guidelines of different endocrinologic disorders in the country demonstrated her commitment to serving and improving the quality of life of Filipino patients. As a matter of fact, she is currently spearheading the making of the latest Philippine Clinical practice guidelines for the screening, diagnosis and management of diabetes. She has made valuable contributions to PCEDM through her leadership and by protecting our College from the challenges it has faced in the past years. She is an effective and excellent educator in her own right as being one of the most awarded teachers in the UP College of Medicine. Some people see her as a tough mentor, but behind this, is a person with soft heart and genuine intentions to bring out the best in her trainees. She leads by example, fights for what is right, and has always shown integrity and excellence in whatever she does. Indeed, she is an embodiment of what a great leader is – a leader with a purpose, and an inspiration to many.
By April Melody Abcede, MD, FPCP, FPCEDM
One beacon made PCEDM more of what it is now, after 60 years of shaping and re-shaping Filipino endocrinologists. Dr. Jeremy Jones F. Robles, who hails from Cebu, has garnered much acclaim for his relentless work and leadership.
It was in 2013 when he became an indispensable addition to the society’s engine towards excellence. When asked what was his motivation and guiding principles, “I thought it was a duty and an opportunity for me to serve and give back to my society. I wanted to help because it was a difficult time for PCEDM.” His guiding principles include transparency, engagement and excellence.
He served as the President for a remarkable 2 years full of advocacies, amendments and re-shaping measures to adapt thru pandemic challenges, extending towards digitalization of activities and core advocacies. He considers “..leading PCEDM through the COVID-19 pandemic and the IDF recognizing PCEDM as a full member” as his biggest accomplishments. Still actively taking part in the College’s plans moving forward, he represented and aided in making PCEDM an affiliate member in the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). This is paving more opportunities for Filipino Endocrinologists to participate internationally and allow more collaborations in the future years. He spearheaded accreditation of institutions to offer endocrinology training at par to the College’s aspirations of having more endocrinologists serving the underserved areas in the Philippines.
Presently, he is the President of the Philippine Thyroid Association and is the Chair of the PCP Leaders Circle. Internationally, he represents PCEDM seating as part of the ASEAN Federation of Endocrine Societies (AFES) Executive Committee, and is an active member of the International Society of Endocrinology (ISE) Advocacy Working Group.
Dr. Jeremy Jones Robles is truly a diamond that shines among us. His light has shone a brighter path for us as we face the coming years with much hope, unity and excellence.
By Jereel Sahagun, MD, FPCP, DPCEDM
If the UK has Queen Elizabeth II, PCEDM has Dr. Elizabeth Paz-Pacheco. Dr. Paz-Pacheco, or EPP as she’s fondly called, boasts a decorated career as a meticulous scientist-researcher. No wonder she is considered royalty – a queen in her own right.
She first demonstrated her love for research when she pursued multiple research fellowships at esteemed international institutions such as the Joslin Diabetes Center in Harvard University & Mount Sinai Medical Center. With unprecedented passion, she authored and co-authored over a hundred excellent studies in different fields such as diabetes, thyroid diseases, obesity, bone health and genomics. Most recently, she has been dedicating her time exploring precision medicine and genomics in diabetes care. Being a prolific researcher, she serves as a peer reviewer in journals such as Preventive Medicine, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, Journal of Diabetes, and Acta Medica Philippina, as well as a member of the editorial board of the Diabetes and Metabolism Journal. Most notably, she has been serving as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the ASEAN Federation of Endocrine Societies for more than a decade, steering it to worldwide relevance. As a mentor, she has been inspiring generations of internists and endocrinologists to pursue relevant research.
With her excellent portfolio, she is indubitably PCEDM’s Diamond Awardee for Research.
By Jim Paulo Sarsagat, MD, FPCP, DPCEDM
Dr. Frances Lina Lantion-Ang is an inspiring mentor to generations of medical students, internists, and endocrinologists. She taught them the science and art of medicine—meticulous history taking, including the social circumstances that would have an impact in the life of the patient, as well as astute physical examination. Having been the only training officer of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the University of the Philippines–Philippine General Hospital since 1983, she has trained 151 endocrinologists serving in the different regions of the country. As testament to her dedication, she was awarded the Most Distinguished Teacher by the Philippine College of Physicians in 2007, and Outstanding Educator Award by the University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society in 2017. Even the pandemic did not stop her from her passion for medical education. She continued to teach online in conferences as well as general endocrine rounds during quarantine. She continues to inspire internists and endocrinologists with her teaching style. Dr. Lantion-Ang imparts to her students the values of good clinicians and medical educators in the future.
By Imelda Bilocura, MD, FPCEDM
Dr. Gorgonia Padilla Panilagao, also known as “Doc Goni” is one of the pillars of Endocrinology in Cebu, being one of the first endocrinologists to practice in the city and eventually became the first chairman of the only Endocrinology fellowship training program in the Visayas and Mindanao region.
Doc Goni always has time to spare for social activities and community service despite her busy schedule. Her most memorable was during the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda, when she led a group of doctors and paramedics on a medical mission to the severely hit town of Tabogon, far north in Cebu province. She saw that their presence brought joy and hope in peoples’ faces despite the typhoon devastation. This experience was indeed fulfilling and heartwarming.
While an officer of the Cebu Medical Society, she traveled to Olango, a small islet ravaged by super typhoon Odette. This islet was accessible only by boat ride from Mactan island. She vividly recalled the strong winds and huge waves they had to conquer just to bring and distribute relief packages. Despite fearing for their safety, they persisted to get these people the help that they needed.
During the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the people of Cebu were hesitant to receive the vaccine. To entice people to be vaccinated, and in partnership with local government units and the private sector, she volunteered to give lectures in different industrial companies and to multiple local government units in Talisay City, Medellin, Balamban, Bogo, and Guadalupe in Cebu City. She was also active in social media to spread vaccine awareness while spending valuable time at vaccination sites fulfilling any role given to her.
It is quite amazing and inspirational to see Dr. Panilagao live her day. She is not only an endocrinologist, but also a mother, grandmother, a devout Catholic, a persistent health advocate, a very effective community mobilizer, and now a PCEDM Diamond Awardee as Distinguished Community Leader and Healthcare Advocate. She is truly everything, everywhere, all at once.