In providing the Lasallian community with quality medical services, the Health Services Office (HSO), one of the offices under the Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services (OAVCCS), ensures the wellness of the University’s constituents by setting standards for their office.
Through interview, The LaSallian looks into the regular operations and their office’s system of services, and as well its impact to the community.
Provision of services
The HSO oversees the overall well-being of the Lasallian community by offering various health care services and programs. Some of these are responding to medical emergencies, dispensing medication to minor symptoms, providing medical assistance and first aid kits inside and outside the University, and conducting the annual Periodic Health Examinations and Drug Tests.
Aside from these services, the HSO is also in charge of validating medical certificates, and of clearing students to participate in fitness activities and physical education classes. With regards to preventive programs, the HSO offers immunization against various diseases. The LaSallian was able to interview Dr. Lily Ann Cabuling, HSO director, regarding the offer of this service. “The vaccines are of the same price with those that come directly from the distributor,” Cabuling confirms.
The LaSallian was also able to interview Ms. Karen Hebron, associate vice chancellor for campus services regarding the matter. “In keeping with the Department of Health’s (DOH’s) commitment to eliminate the emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases, HSO offers vaccines against influenza, pneumonia, hepatitis B, human papilloma virus, and dengue fever,” said Hebron.
According to the Vice Chancellor, students and employees alike can avail of the vaccines at cost from pharmaceutical suppliers, with the employees being able to pay through salary deduction, if availing for their dependents. Immunizations are done every first and third Friday of each month.
Their office is also in charge of monitoring the number of occurrences of communicable diseases in the University, and disseminating medical bulletins to inform the community of such. The services and programs being implemented by the HSO are developed in coordination with the OAVCCS in the Campus Service Council Meeting, which is held every month.
In response to whether the office will be opening another satellite clinic within the Manila campus, HSO had confirmed that such is not being planned by their office as of the moment.
Aside from the programs directed at the Lasallian community, the HSO also carries out projects for the betterment of their employees and their office as a whole. For one, HSO employees are encouraged to attend conventions and symposia to keep them updated with the current medical, nursing, and dental trends, making them better equipped to deal with their patients.
A training entitled “First Aid and Basic Life Support with External Defibrillator Training” is also held for the University physicians, nurses, clinic assistants, dentists, and ambulance drivers to ensure that all clinic staff have a deeper understanding of the cardio-pulmonary resuscitation well-being of all the members of the academic community.
The HSO also participates in planning workshops with other members of the Campus Services and Administration group members to do strategic planning.
Reviewing the hiring process
In terms of the hiring process for the HSO, Cabuling stated that the vacancy for any position in their office is announced by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and that their office welcomes any interested applicant for the position. She also mentioned that interested applicants for the positions of being a University physician, dentist, or nurse should be licensed professionals. “For physicians, applicants should either be a specialist in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, or Occupational Medicine,” Cabuling further explains.
When asked about whether or not HSO hires medical professionals from different specializations, Cabuling pointed out that it is not necessary to hire from different specializations. “Since the University Clinic is a primary care setting, it is not necessary to hire [from] different specialization[s],” she states. Despite this, Cabuling clarified that there is a specialist who drops by every Tuesday of each month for four hours to cater to patients who have cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and endocrine concerns.
For the first Tuesday of the month, a cardiologist stations at the clinic; on the second Tuesday, a gastroenterologist; on the next, an endocrinologist; and on the last Tuesday of the month, a pulmonologist stands by at the clinic for concerns that may need their help.
On student feedback, experiences
Apart from the interview from HSO, The LaSallian was also able to take note of the students’ insights and experiences with regard to availing the services HSO offers – the services offered by the University Clinic in particular.
Samantha Torres* (III, PHY-PMD) availed of the HSO’s services two times, both being negative experiences for her. According to Torres, her symptoms were downplayed upon consultation, resulting to adverse outcomes. She also claimed that her blood pressure and heart rate were not checked during both visits. “I advise that the clinic personnel not take students’ concerns lightly,” she remarked.
Christine Uy* (V, BS-ECE2S), on the other hand, commends the clinic for being “convenient, accessible, [and] accommodating,” as all her needs and expectations were met with after every visit.
According to Michael Tan* (III, OSD-MKT), information dissemination is one aspect that the HSO can still improve on, recounting finding out about the clinic’s vaccination service only by skimming through his DLSU email. “I suggest that college government pages should share health-related information and concerns on social media,” Tan concludes. Louise Santos* (III, AB-OCM) shared the same sentiments. “Okay na yung service na meron tayo sa DLSU, ngunit, hindi ito masyadong na-cocommunicate sa mga estudyante kaya hindi masyadong na-uutilize o namamaximize,” she explained. (The service that we have in DLSU is okay, although, it is not properly utilized or maximized because the students are clueless about it.)
Coordination with University offices, organizations
Aside from the regular operations of their office, HSO also teams up with fellow units in the University for the extension of their services. One of the offices they team up with, especially for advocacies and programs, is the Office of Counseling and Career Services (OCCS), who involve the services of the HSO in mental health issues and concerns. Other offices they collaborate with are the OPM, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academics (OVCA), with regard to health concerns of the personnel under the offices, as well as the conducting of drug tests of the employees.
Student organizations have also tried partnering with HSO in conducting their activities. De La Salle – Red Cross Youth (DLS-RCY) in particular, according to HSO, conduct courtesy calls in the time of their activities, that once included bloodletting inside the University through the efforts of the student organization. “We appreciate this so we can be made aware of their activities, and anticipate and respond to unwanted eventualities,” expressed Cabuling.
Their office offers health services for the Lasallian community while making sure that their employees are competent to take care of the Lasallian community. Whenever a partnership with a University office or organization is needed, HSO grabs the opportunity to tie-up with them so as to provide more services that the students could utilize at their own expense.
The University Clinic continues to hold operations at the ground floor of the Br. Connon Hall, which also serves as the main office of the HSO.
*The names were altered for anonymity.