A heartfelt donation
A heartfelt donation
by Janine R. Lardizabal

For some, heart’s day is about the exchange of gifts, flowers, and “I love you’s”. But for the UPLB Class of 1972, the recent heart’s day was about extending their love for the community through the UPLB University Health Service Heart Station.

With just a simple ECG and stethoscope in the past, the UHS had limited capability for diagnosis but now it can check a patient’s cardiac status. Thanks to Class of 1972, it now has a 2D echocardiogram that captures the parts of the heart in motion to check for any existing heart disease or abnormality.

2D echocardiography evaluates the flow of blood in the heart to determine the condition of the major arteries and veins. Vascular scans determine the presence of clots, constrictions, or other abnormalities, such as the presence or absence of peripheral artery disease in the legs.

“Given that the majority of our employees are in their 40s and stay with us until they retire at age 65, a big chunk of the population have conditions like hypertension and heart disease. It is high time that we offer a service that targets these top morbidities,” said Dr. Jessie Imelda Foronda-Walde, UHS Director.

Dr. Walde has envisioned that services such as 2D echocardiogram and vascular studies would be made accessible and affordable to the middle-aged and elderly UPLB employees. And finally, the vision turned into reality through the love and support of the UPLB Class of 1972 under the leadership of its president, Constante U. Adalla, who turned over the Heart Station facility to UHS exactly on heart’s day, Feb. 14, 2023.

The UPLB Class 1972 also provided an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for the UHS Heart to protect the top-of-the-line equipment from damage, especially during power failure. They have kept the donation stream flowing as they recently turned over a computer to the Heart Station.

Love is indeed in the air as one enters the pink and calming room.  Funds that went into the renovation of the Heart Station was donated by UPLB Class 1971 through Dr. Rosalina M. Lapitan for the comfort of patients undergoing diagnostic procedures.

The UHS Heart Station paved the way for cardiology consultants to join and be accredited in the UHS. Having cardiology consultants in the team of attending physicians would result in a more comprehensive management which will improve the quality of care for the patient. 

Through the donations and different initiatives that help fund the facility, the cardiac diagnostic procedures available at the UHS are around 50% cheaper than the going rate in the community.

As of March 2023, the heart station has served around 70 patients, or more than one patient per day availing themselves of accessible and more affordable cardiac health care.

As part of the program of the OVCCA, the UHS Heart Station is true to its objectives to become a SHIELD (Safety, Health, and Intra-community Engagements for Lifesaving Defense) of the community and constituents against cardiovascular diseases that are likely to be experienced given the age group of the UPLB population.

The UHS is aiming to make the Heart Station’s services sustainable given its marked-down rates. The operating costs should be able to cover supplies, maintain the equipment, and avail of preventive maintenance services. 

Just as how blood circulates through the body and ensures a person’s life, the UHS Heart Station must be provided with the resources it needs to continue the service it provides. As of now, it is provided by the alumni who once called UPLB their home. They are returning the favor by extending the community’s lifeline through heartfelt service.

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