Please find below my report on my visit to the US on May 14-28. I apologize for not coming up with
this report earlier. The past 2 weeks were full of school activities that I had to personally attend to. These include: 2013 and 2014 Performance Based Bonus reports, the 3-day UP Manila Faculty Development Seminar Workshop on Outcome-Based Learning, 2014 Merit Promotion related activities, the hosting of 8 students and staff from Khon Kaen University of Thailand and usual business at the office that until now I am still trying to catch up with.
May 17, 2014. The UPDAA USA get together was held at the beautiful residence of Dr. Ed and Tina Ramos in the upscale community of Palos Verdes, California. The meeting was attended by close to 30 of our alumni. Dr. Warren Yow delivered the welcome remarks. He thanked the hosts and those who attended, especially Dean Avelino Macasaet and Dr. James Young. To pay tribute to the efforts of Dr. James Young to organize the US-based alumni and form the UPDAA USA, he was nominated by Dr. Warren to be president emeritus of the group and the nomination was overwhelmingly approved. He then challenged the young members to be more active in leadership roles. I presented an update on the school facilities, the changes instituted to make the college
student-centered and the advocacies of the college to help improve the oral health of Filipinos. I also mentioned the tremendous support that the college has been receiving from alumni all over the world. Dr. Joji then presented the many plans of the UPCD centennial committee for a truly meaningful and nationally relevant centennial celebration. More important than celebrating the achievements of the college and its alumni are the plans to start an oral health awareness campaign, the call out for dentists all over the country to render free service to the public, and the implementation of a caries prevention program, the Unang Ngipin Patibayin Program, and its assessment research.
The alumni welcomed the report and the centennial plans. They also pledged their support for all the
activities for the centennial year and beyond. The get together and the reminiscing continued during dinner and the evening was capped with the group picture taking. I would say that the get together was a resounding success.
Credit should be given to the people responsible for the affair, and I am personally indebted to them and would like to thank them for their support.
Dr James Young for organizing the group and always thinking of ways to help the school. During the term of Dean
Edna Jimena, he led the UPDAA USA in raising a significant amount that was matched by an industry partner, and all the funds were donated to the college. During the term of Dean de Castro, he established the James Young Professorial Chair to be awarded to a faculty member that could come up with the best instructional
design. Presently, the professorial chair is now being tapped to fund calibration activities of the faculty. Since my appointment as dean, Dr. James has been a regular visitor and was instrumental in many ways in the realization of the digital radiography project with the purchase of the Dental Durr Scanner System and 2 portable X-ray machines. Currently and despite his frail health, he is coordinating with Dr. Angie Atienza, assistant to the dean, for the possible establishment of another professorial chair to support a financially needy student. All are enjoined to pray for his continued recovery so that he could continue to do what he loves doing. I would also like thank him for coordinating with Dr. Les Laddaran so that I could visit and talk with USC administrators on their clinical training.
Dr. Warren Yow who diligently invited and encouraged everyone to attend the get together. His contributions to the improvement of the college also dates back to the term of Dr. Jimena. More recently, he was able to solicit from friends 2 professorial chairs, the Dr. and Mrs. Dennis KW Liand the Tung Chuen Tang Professorial Chairs. He is now in talks with another donor to establish another professorial chair in time for the centennial year.
I would also like to thank him for sharing his house with me, giving up 2 days of his precious time (even driving me late at night from Loma Linda back to Lakewood) and accompanying me one whole day as I talked with and toured the campus of LLU. The visit and the talks we had were all very productive and now I have ideas as well as materials that would tremendously help us as we try to come up with a better system of clinical training. Thank you Dr. Warren for the pictures!
Dr. Ed Ramos and lovely wife Tina for being the ultimate hosts in welcoming the group in their beautiful home and keeping everyone well fed with food and drinks. I was told that they have been doing this-hosting the annual get together of the UPDAA USA for many years now.
Dr. Guada Lustre and Dr. Ces McKee for their wedding anniversary gift to my wife and me.
Dr. Josie Nieto and husband Mr.Lito Nieto for helping keep the group together and especially for making the
extra effort of bringing me to Loma Linda from LA. They helped me in more ways than one when I was there.
All the alumni in the get together whose presence and generosity made the affair a resounding success. I am sorry I cannot mention you all here but rest assured that God is aware of your generosity and will shower you with more blessings.
Dean Avelino Macasaet for gracing the affair and for drawing in many of the attendees. We are all happy to see you sir!
Dr. Ginny Dimayuga and the North California group for the warm welcome in San Francisco. Your generosity with time and treasure is much appreciated. Special thanks to Dr. Nancy Madera-Tan for taking time out to bring me to the Amtrak train station.
To my classmates, Drs. Guada, Ami, Gilda, Tina and Bob for the dinner (plus gift) and the warm welcome.
Dr. Les Laddaran, my new friend, for picking me up at the Long Beach airport and showing me around USC. He also facilitated my meetings with USC officials. The school visit was very productive for me as I gained many
insights on how to improve the current clinical training in UPCD.
Dr. Victor Valdez for the sumptuous dinner and tips on how to improve my financial standing and the 4 amalgamators.
Dr Joji Tan and Mr. Conrad Banal for taking good care of me, for the free “sosyal” meals, for showing the
probinsyano the nice places in LA and San Francisco. The trip was fun-filled because I was fortunate to have them as company. Thank you Dr Joji and Conrad for all the fun times!
Dr. Faye Uy and cousin Dr. Janice Cheng for welcoming me in their homes and for being the perfect hostesses. They took time out from their busy schedules to bring me around LA, Anaheim and Long Beach. Dr. Faye has been regularly soliciting materials from her suppliers and has been sending adhesives, composites, impression materials and other dental materials to donate to UPCD. My trip to Las Vegas was made possible by Dr. Faye. Special thanks to Faye’s fiancé for hosting my stay in Las Vegas and also for taking good care of my special friend, Faye.
My first trip to the US and meeting with the alumni will forever be etched in my memory. The support from the UPDAA-USA and the alumni in general has been a source of strength for me and has made my job significantly lighter. I hope and pray that aside from the UPDAA-USA and the alumni already helping their alma mater, more alumni will take the exhortation of Dr. Warren Yow that “everybody needs to get involved, to stand up and be counted and to stop and remember the source of our success in the profession every now and then”
VICENTE O. MEDINA III, DMD, Ph.D
College of Dentistry
University of the Philippines Manila
Tel. No. 3033603