The UPMASA Board of Governors Winter 2020 e-meeting commenced on Tuesday, January 21 at 7 am PST. The virtual meeting allows members of the UPMASA BOG from different states and time zones to deliberate and vote on issues included in the agenda set by the BOG Chairman Dr. Henry Echiverri. BOG members log in to the UPMASA website and join the Forum, where files containing reports by UPMASA President Dr. Susan Echiverri, Treasurer Dr. Edwin Palileo, the various committees and chapters have been uploaded. Using the Forum, BOG members can sign in, add comments, and cast votes. Daily meetings end at 12 mn PST. The e-meeting was adjourned at midnight of January 26.  The Fall 2019 e-meeting held in October 2019 used the same format.

     UPMASA BOG Chairman Dr. Henry Echiverri moderated the discussions and gave the following synopsis:
1. The minutes from last fall e-meeting, excellently prepared by our recording secretary, was approved without controversy.
2. The President’s Report generated exciting mid-winter discussions.
3. The Treasurer’s and Finance Committee Reports brought good news. The Budget is set. Total Assets as of the end of December 2019 are $10,190,722.20, an increase of 41.3% over our end of 2018 Assets of $ 7,212,784.25.
4. UPCM and PGH Wish List:
a. UPMASA is being tasked to contribute because, according to the PGH Director, durable goods are subject to a long bidding process that delays the procurement of the requested items. He reassured us that there will be transparency, collaboration, and sharing of information. Any gift will be allocated to benefit the requesting Departments .5
b. There were no specific actions made by the Board but we all agreed that the items in the wish list be published and disseminated and be adopted by Classes, Chapters, and or individuals who are willing to adopt them. One spin-off idea is the creation of a “bantay’s nook” in between the pavilions of Pediatrics where they can have a decent place to sleep, eat, clean up or just a quiet rest. This is a project worthy of class sponsorship.
c. Cadaver Freezer at the College is very much needed. They do not have one that is operational at this time.
d. We are going to request the Editor of Acta Medica Philippina to submit a project proposal through the UPMASA Project Coordination Committee (PCC), to include a list of the available resources at the UP system that they have exhaustively used, to justify why they are reaching out to UPMASA for support. The BOG Chairman will mentor him on how to go through the process.
e. We are going to instruct the UPCM Anatomy Department to do the same thing about the Virtual Microscope and Slide Scanner, which will also be used by Pathology to collaborate with colleagues in situations needing second opinions. Alternatively, we would like to get any Class, Greek Organization, Chapter or individual sponsors for this project. The cost is roughly $85,000.00. By combining support from different groups, the amount should not be insurmountable.  Supporting documents are available upon request.
5. The Scholarship Committee of PEF under Dr. Henry Gan-Co will convene others to come up with the P&P on Scholarship vetting and tracking. This document on paper will serve as a template for our Internet Services Committee to create a Scholarship Work Collaborative Board to be accessible by the UPCM and UPMASA. This will facilitate tracking and make sure that our scholars are properly cared for. It will also serve as a way for scholars to give us feedback.
6. The ISC under the leadership of Dr. Henry Ty, is planning to increase the functionality within the website with the goals of facilitating communication and making UPMASA processes more efficient, transparent and collaborative in nature.
7. We read the Membership Committee report and the cooperation between the ISC and Membership Committee is appreciated.
8. Publications Committee will also move on to have a Journal Editor outside of the committee, not only to unburden the committee chair and members but allow them to focus on collecting and collating more materials for the members. Newsletters and the journal BLOG are being planned.
9. The Post Graduate Education and Faculty Development submitted a commendable report that led to:
a. Revision and improvement of the vetting process as well as a more attainable tenure of the Visiting Teacher’s Program.
b. A request to add P&P on the manner of handling Student Exchanges.
c. A discussion to recognize and to recommend a workflow for the UPMASA members who are traveling to the Philippines who would like to give an hour or 2 of lectures or workshops to different Departments of the UPCM and PGH based on private arrangements. Guided by the principle of Collaboration and Transparency, it was discussed that these individuals should submit intended plans to the PGEFD Chairman along with the name and position of their counterpart in Manila. An endorsement by UPMASA will hopefully be an incentive to do so and allow them to deduct a portion of their travels from applicable taxes. It requires the lecturer to submit back to the PGEFD a short report of their experience. We will re-visit this on the next Face to Face meeting in Spring or the AGC. In our discussion, we have the endorsement of this initiative by our UPMASA President.
We should all keep in mind that the UP system has a set schedule already in place in their curriculum (for UPCM) and Departments (PGH -scheduled Consultant Physicians running the different sections). UPMASA’s program should not become “intrusive” to their set schedules. Therefore, vetting, transparency, and collaboration are extremely necessary. Planning of talks is encouraged. It will feel good to go to PGH and UPCM with the stamp of approval of UPMASA.
10. We got excited by the prospect of a UP Mindanao College of Medicine but for the moment, we are getting more details into this matter. What is important is to trailblaze the path of partnership towards UPMASA helping them get up on their feet. We can start by helping with scholarships at the undergraduate level of the current UP Mindanao. Our President will help mentor its proponent, Dr. Celia Castillo on how to request scholarship funding through our PCC.
11. The BOG Decisions Compilation Initiative of Dr. Silverio Cabellon is going to be a treasure and repository of history and guideline decisions for future UPMASA Discussions. It is a work in progress
12. Southern Illinois and Missouri Chapter (St. Louis) is not fading but just resting. Thanks to Dr. Buddy Ligot, Chair of the Class and Chapter Development along with Dr. Winston Umali, we are praying for a good report after the chapter meeting takes place in March.
13. Our very own battle against HIV through the Mars Custodio HIV Memorial Fund is ongoing but we need nourishment for ammunition. We may be taking our battle at the trenches to a bigger scope by tackling the bigger picture. Maybe financing of billboards around Manila encouraging people to get diagnosed and treated is my own idea of Public Education. Where do they go? We continue to welcome discussions. UPMASA treasury will top-off the yearly fundraising shortfall of the target $25,000.00. We will do more write-ups on our website and encourage the UPMASA FACEBOOK page to publish more relevant action items like these big HIV problems. This will be a relevant future topic of our Facebook Presence and we need to establish house rules on postings.
14. The Medical Science Building broke ground and posts have been driven to the ground last December. Fundraising is ongoing and our target is to raise up to P50M (raised last Fall e-meeting) to fund the UPMASA Auditorium. Ed VA Lim PEF General fund transfer of $100,000 to the PEF restricted fund for MSB Maintenance fund is awaiting signatures of MOA and DOD.
15. The April 17-18 2020 Spring BOG meeting will be held in Chicago at Loews’ Chicago O’Hare. The Friday session will be 9 am to noon QB Tutorials with the Treasurers. 1-3 pm will be for an additional workshop and possible walkthrough website navigation and a demonstration of the Workflow which is under construction. CME on Opioid addiction will follow at 3 PM and the additional topics will either be updates on Dementia by Dr. Patricio Reyes or Acute Ischemic Stroke by Dr. H Echiverri and Dr. Archie Ong. Friday night is a welcome fellowship night dinner. The BOG meeting will be from 7:30 AM to 3 PM on Saturday. 5:30 PM will be UPMASA Chicago Gala Dinner fundraising for the benefit of the PGH Pediatric Neurosurgery and Craniofacial Operating Unit.
16. Preparations for the 2020 AGC is in full blast. A second mailing of brochures is upcoming and the deadline for early-bird registration is March 31, 2020.
17. We have tabled the idea of the Finance Committee Co-Chair for future discussion.
18. Because of the implementation of the electronic Voting for next year’s election, Dr. Cabellon reminded us to create the Adhoc Committee on Elections early to come up with P&P on conducting electronic voting.
19. The Disaster Relief P&P is now in place as a guide for future responses of UPMASA.