Bohol – Rotary Club of Tagbilaran Supports Operation Smile

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A clip of my first article published in Bohol Chronicle last Sunday, September 18, 2016  – Operation Smile for Cleft Lip and Palate Surgical Mission.

Another remarkable and life-changing activity that the Rotary Club of Tagbilaran has been tirelessly supporting all these years is the Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Surgical Mission commonly dubbed as “Operation Smile.”

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Rotary Club of Tagbilaran CICO Joanne Phillips with 9 months old patient Mira Jane de la Cerna before her first cleft lip/palate surgery

Last September 3-9, the Rotary Club of Tagbilaran headed by President Tony Maquindang and Former President and current International Service Director Fancy Baluyot was in full support of giving back confident smiles to several locals affected by the dilemma of having a cleft palate or a cleft lip. US based medical group, JP Clawson Medical Missions Foundation, led by its founder, Dr. Joseph P. Clawson, took charge of the “fixing and mending” of oral and facial deformities among indigent patients through surgical procedures, FREE OF CHARGE.

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Rotary Club of Tagbilaran Headed by President Tony Maquindang with FP Fancy Baluyot (Philippine Gift Of Life CEO) with the JP Clawson Medical Mission team superheaded by Dr. Paul Clawson

The surgical mission was held in Borja Family Hospital from September 3 to September 5. Medical team members include Dr. George Go, Dr. Martin Muller, Dr. Tak-Ming Ko, Dr. Elisa Burgess, registered nurse Elizabeth Wood and Bonnie Hillard, CRNA.

The Rotary Club of Tagbilaran has always been passionate about helping its fellow Boholanos and extending help and utmost support to whoever is in need in Bohol and beyond the province. Their charitable projects and causes are never left unnoticed because their philanthropic gestures have touched millions, saved and changed lives. For such reason, I am proud to be a Rotarian.

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The Rotary Club of Tagbilaran Witnessing the life changing operation of the Cleft Lip and Palate Surgical Mission superheaded by Dr. Paul Clawson and his JP Clawson Medical Mission Team

It was a privileged to be part of something important, like such medical mission that brought (back) not only smiles but confidence of the patients we helped. And the event would not be that successful without the support of other agencies and individuals namely:

– Philippine Gift of Life headed by CEO Fancy Baluyot (also a Former President and the current International Service Director of the Rotary Club Of Tagbilaran).

– Department of Health headed by Sec. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial and Undersecretary Elmer Punzalan,
– Dr. Kazan Baluyot of Bohol Medical Society,
– Mayor John Geesnell Yap II and Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso of the Tagbilaran City Government,
– Governor Edgar Chatto and Vice Governor Dionisio Balite of Provincial Government of Bohol,
– Board Member Jade Bautista from the Committee on Health,
– Doctors Pepe Borja and Melinda Borja of Borja Family Hospital,

– Bohol Medical Society.

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The Rotary Club of Tagbilaran: President Tony Maquindang, AGR Cynthia Pedralba, IP Jhun Pedralba, Treasurer Joisa Cayanong, Secretary Mabelle Saniel, Rtn. Christiane Theraube, Rtn. Gladys Gallentes, Rtn. Leonora Okumura

In gratitude to the medical team who made it possible, a thanksgiving party was given to the Clawson group and its local volunteers last September 9 at the JJ’s Seafood Village. It also served as a “sending off” party for the skilled and kind-hearted medical practitioners before they flew back to the US the following day.

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Assistant Secretary Jaybe Salces with his referred 4-month old patient from Talibon, Bohol – Farley Funetebella III. Parents were extremely happy for the successful operation.

The event was a huge success. Big thanks to everyone who came, helped, volunteered and to all who were not able to personally grace with their presence but their full moral support was apparent. Spread the SMILE people!

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Father Bompat, Executive Secretary Victor Bantol, Philippine Gift of Life CEO (also RC Tagbilaran Internation Service Director) Francy Baluyot, President Tony Maquindang, Assistant Governor Louella Bantol & Sgt. At Arms Armin Koglin with Dr. Joseph Paul Clawson and his JP Clawson Medical Mission Foundation team during the Recognition & Fellowship Night for the Surgical Mission Team.

iBoholana