News from the STARS

Emily Noche-Cabungcal, MD

Since its inception in 2013, PARM South Luzon Chapter, also known as PARM-STARS (Southern Tagalog Association of Rehabilitation Specialists), has been in the forefront of rehabilitative care in the region. 2018 was no different, with the goal of maximum exposure of the field of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine in all nooks and crannies of Southern Luzon and beyond.

2018 activities started last March 15, 2018 when STARS Laguna hosted a hands-on adult and pediatric spasticity workshop at MCI Unihealth Southwoods Hospital and Medical Center. Under the expert guidance of STARS Dr. Romil Martinez, STARS doctors were able to improve their skills in spasticity management with their own patients in tow.

As part of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week 2018, STARS Batangas led an Exercise for Children (PARM KIDS MOVE) in Batangas on July 25, 2018. In August, PARM STARS participated in Pain and Mobility Clinic in Batangas, assisting in recruitment, evaluation and follow-up care of recipients of 25 wheelchairs and 7 BKA prostheses from World Rehabilitation Foundation, Physicians for Peace Walking Free, PGH Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Latter Day Saints Charities. Last August 23, 2018, STARS Bicol Drs. Greg Diaz and Venggie Ong spearheaded a hands-on STARS Spasticity Workshop with Botulinum Toxin A held in Naga City, Camarines Sur. Also last August, 2018 STARS Mindoro hosted an Osteoarthritis Rehabilitation dialogue with the Mindoro Medical Society in Calapan City, Mindoro, highlighting the role of Physiatry in pain management in osteoarthritis.

September, 2018 was marked by the first ever “PARM North & South: Meeting of Great Minds” which was held in Aureo Hotel, San Fernando, La Union. Hosted by PARM North Luzon, STARS Drs. Svetlana Maris Aycardo, Michael Joseph Magabo and Romil Martinez served as speakers on advances in rehabilitation technologies.

STARS provincial subchapters actively participated in the PARM Physiatry Day and subsequently World Physiatry Day celebrations last October, 2018. Various activities were organized touching base with demographics across all ages: with children, with the elderly, with the parents, teachers and therapists, with the cooperative groups, with our co-doctors, with our hospitals and even with the millennials in social media. Truly, a wide array of approaches unique to our specialty. In Batangas, “Exercise is Medicine: PARM Move Across the Ages” a pre-sportsfest activity and a lecture on “The Need for Pediatric Rehabilitation” to parents, teachers and therapists of children with special needs were held through the initiative of STARS Dr. Emily Noche-Cabungcal. At Quezon Medical Center, STARS Quezon Dr. Nixon Cabo Chanpongco lectured on “Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Its Role in Health and Wellness” to the residents of Lucena City, Quezon Province. STARS Bicol Dr.Venggie Ong of Bicol Medical Center led a Wellness and Disability Awareness Program entitled “Kapansanan ay Maiiwasan kung Sakit ay Maaagapan” to the residents of Naga City. Moreover, STARS Mindoro Dr. Rhoda Goco discussed “Paano Mapananatiling Malusog ang Buto at Kasu-kasuan? A Bone & Joint Awareness Program” for Coop Philippines. Further, she spearheaded an activity called, “Gift Giving to Aruga Kapatid Foundation for the Elderly”, also in Calapan, Mindoro and shared an informational video by Angel Goco entitled “Physiatry” in You Tube, assuring our exposure with today’s millennials in social media.

Laguna is home to one of the biggest populations of industrial centers in the country. STARS Laguna Dr. Michael Joseph Magabo conducted a forum in the industrial community with a “Lecture on Low Back Pain” to the Industrial Medicine practitioners in the province, being the resource speaker for the musculoskeletal module of the Philippine College Occupational Medicine course.

As a pioneering effort, STARS Cavite spearheaded “Orthopedic Pearls in Greyscale” which was held last October 20-21, 2018. This was STARS’ first joint activity with the Philippine Orthopedic Association South Luzon Chapter. The Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine and Orthopedics of De La Salle University Medical Center co-chaired this activity. 50 orthopods and 25 physiatrists in attendance benefitted from the wisdom and expertise of Ms. Lisa Hackett of Australia, who energetically lectured and facilitated the workshops on scanning of the upper and lower extremities, including nerve tracking techniques. Dr. Mae Angeleine Ongchuan discussed “Scanning for Joint Infection” while Dr. Jeimylo De Castro shared his expertise in “Scanning a Pediatric Patient”. Dr. Miguel Enrique Valencia focused on “Ultrasound Mapping for Minimally Invasive Surgery”. Scientific Chair STARS Dr. Michael Francis Obispo presented “Ultrasound guided PM&R interventions”. The stellar cast of STARS Drs. Franklin Domingo, Myrna Estrada, Svetlana Maris Aycardo, Sherwin Gan, Jan Michael Lleva, June Ann De Vera, and Lauren Liao shared their MSK ultrasonology expertise with the participants along with orthopod Dr. Ruperto Estrada, Jr. and radiologist Dr. Paul Perez.

2019 entered with a bang from PARM STARS with the successful ARUY! The Low Back Pain Summit held last January 6, 2019 at the University of Perpetual Help System Performing Arts Theatre Auditorium in Binan, Laguna. STARS Laguna Dr. Ananias Gilbuena Jr. served as over-all chair of the scientific meeting attended by students, therapists and doctors. CPD units were provided with lectures from the STARS Drs. Michael Joseph Magabo, Ma. Elena Tan, Fatima Cara Regala, Emily Noche-Cabungcal and Michael Francis Obispo. The other lecturers were Dr. Rodell Miguel Mayuga and Dr. Valentin Dones. The workshops were provided by Mr. Antonio Mari and Mr. Arnold Dalusong of Amang Rodriguez Medical Center.

The PARM year ended on a high note with STARS’ active representation and participation in the annual assembly of the Southern Tagalog Association of Medical Practitioners (STAMP), the regional arm of the Philippine Medical Association held last January 13, 2019 in Tagaytay City, Cavite. The fire that is PARM will continue to burn brightly in CALABARZON and MIMAROPA with STARS and industry partners as their torch in carrying out its mission of promoting and advancing the field of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine to the highest standards of practice. Mabuhay ang PARM!