“Our Foundation came to the areas of local leaders burdened by serious health challenges. We tried to strengthen their health leadership and governance. They did not fail us,” said Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) Trustee Daniel Zuellig in his closing remarks during the first National Health Leaders Conference (HELECON).
A primary example of good health leadership and governance that led to better health outcomes is the rural municipality of Tinambac, Camarines Sur. One of ZFF’s 72 partner local government units (LGUs) under its Community Health Partnership Program, Tinambac received the Foundation’s first Excellence Awards for Leadership in Public Health during the conference.
ZFF also recognized the following “Outstanding Bridging Leaders”: Mayor Daisy Sayangda (Santol, La Union), Mayor Melchor Petracorta (Limasawa, Southern Leyte), Mayor Alfredo Coro (Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte), Mayor Candelario Viola (Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur), Dr. Mignon Andrada (Ivisan Capiz), Mayor Belman Mantos and Dr. Hermeraldo Catubig (San Pablo, Zamboanga del Sur), Mayor Timoteo Capoquian (Gamay, Northern Samar), Dr. Perlie Langi (Motiong, Samar), Mayor Daylinda Sulong (Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur) and Mayor Joselito Escutin (Dao, Capiz).
Municipalities of Looc (Romblon), San Vicente (Northern Samar), Limasawa (Southern Leyte), Ivisan (Capiz), Bacolod (Lanao del Norte) and Ragay (Camarines Sur) on the other hand, were recognized for having no maternal death for five consecutive years or more.
After the awarding, Health Secretary Janet Loreto-Garin acknowledged the importance of ZFF’s strategy in addressing health inequities in the country during her closing keynote address.
“The Health Change Model of ZFF has been proven to be a catalyst in harnessing the energies, talents, and commitment of the Local Chief Executives (LCEs), Municipal Health Officers (MHOs), and community leaders in improving the health outcomes of Filipinos. For these achievements and on behalf of the Department of Health, I congratulate all of you,” said Garin.
HELECON gathered ZFF partner LGUs, and representatives of government agencies, academe and other non-government organizations to share and discuss success stories in improving health systems.
Conference speakers included LCEs, MHOs and health leaders under various programs of ZFF like Lanao del Norte Governor Khalid Dimaporo and Del Carmen Mayor Alfredo Coro. Dimaporo shared the relevance of active leadership in facilitating reforms in hospitals which ensured continuity of care for his constituents, while Coro discussed about their town’s Seal of Health Governance, a means to communicate transformative leadership at the barangay level.
National Scientist and Professor Emeritus Ernesto Domingo, together with his Universal Health Care (UHC) Study group members, presented the future status of the country’s primary health care (PHC), and the gains and issues of primary healthcare evolution from pre-primary healthcare era up to the present.
Participants of the conference also showed their support for the improvement of public healthcare by signing the “Declaration of Support for the Sustained Commitment to Health Reforms.”
The two-day event, held in SMX Convention Center, Taguig City was attended by over 200 delegates.