~THERESA MARIE VALDEZ-FALLER, MD FACE~
It seemed just like yesterday that I was invited to run as Board of Director and now fast forward 7 years I am now the top honcho!! I cant believe that time truly flies when you love what you do. Serving this organization had really made me appreciate colleagues and friends, and it never really became work for me. Let me tell you about this pretty amazing group, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists - Philippine Chapter. We are affiliated with the mother AACE in the US. We are a 119-strong membership of endocrinologists, diabetes specialists and a cardiologist, coming from all over the Philippines from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. We have a common goal in mind and that is to harness each others knowledge and talent to be better physicians to our patients in our respective localities and place of practice. In the process, we became a FAMILY and this is what we cherish and look forward to in our quarterly General Assemblies and projects.
When i assumed leadership in September 2019, the Board of Directors and I had a lot of grandiose plans for AACE-PC. These included an expanded POPTFN, our longest running project in which lifestyle awareness is instilled in grade 5 students in various schools all over our country. There were also plans of starting a basic endocrine class for our primary care providers in far flung areas where there are no subspecialists available. We also explored the idea of adopting a group of ethnic minorities to help in their basic needs. We also explored the idea of starting a Diabetic Foot Registry since we already have a rich source of subjects from the patient pool of the members. These were all being prepared, aside from the Insulin For Life and the Thyroid Indigent Program wherein free medications are given to our less fortunate fellow Filipinos. The usual Diabetes Awareness and Thyroid Awareness Campaigns were also placed in the calendar.
But it seems like 2020, the year of the Rat, was not the favorable year we anticipated it to be. The strong earthquakes in Mindanao in January became a recurring event bringing chaos to the lives of the people who eventually lost a big chunk of their households. And then the Taal Volcano erupted and this brought a temporary stop to our plans. Helping the calamity victims and the evacuees became the most important thing to be dealt with. And just when we thought that things were starting to settle down by February, the SARS-CoV2 reared its ugly head in the Philippines. And this was when we finally realized that yes, everyone and everything had to come to a halt and we need to reexamine our priorities. The health and safety of every
Filipino became the most important item on the agenda. The doctors had to take arms and man the frontlines against the enemy virus. ECQ and social distancing has become the new norm.
So folks, for now, AACE-PC will let its presence be felt in the virtual world. We will still continue to try to be of service to all our patients in a safe and timely manner through the social media. Let’s wait and see what the Lord has in store for us in the coming days. We put all our trust in Him.
Keep safe my dear family. God bless us all.
Theresa Marie Valdez-Faller, MD, FACE