Philstar.com

November 29, 2023 | 3:52pm

MANILA, Philippines — After more than three years of battle, the world has moved past the acute phase of the pandemic. However, the lingering effects of COVID-19 continue to pose challenges, particularly in the realm of health and well-being.

One of COVID-19’s many concerning aspects is its long-term health consequences, or the so-called "long COVID,” where patients manifest persistent respiratory symptoms, neurological complications, cardiovascular issues, and mental health challenges.

SM Foundation, the social good arm of the SM Group, continues to extend its helping hand, especially in areas where support is crucial. From providing various assistance during the height of the pandemic, it now breathed new life into UP-PGH’s post-COVID & PulmoCare HUB.

Breathing better together 

Prior to the rehabilitation of the facility, UP-PGH Division of Pulmonary Medicine chief Dr. Lenora Fernandez recalled that the facility has struggled to expand its services to meet the growing needs of the community.

“PGH does have many donors but has so many competing priorities, too. Those patients who continued to suffer from debilitating shortness of breath in silence still lacked essential services such as pulmonary rehabilitation equipment,” Dr. Fernandez shared. 

Inside the new vibrant and spacious hub, UP-PGH Division of Pulmonary Medicine chief Dr. Lenora Fernandez (third from left) and her colleagues simultaneously are able to attend to patients simultaneously.

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Driven by their staunch commitment to patient care, they have explored solutions, sought partnerships with supportive organizations, and continuously adapted their services to meet the evolving needs of their patients.

“These hurdles made it a little challenging but we always try to find ways to overcome these challenges as there always are people and organizations willing to help,” she added.

Today, through UP-PGH’s social good collaboration with the SM group, the hub can serve the community around it and reach other patients virtually in other parts of the Philippines.

The hub was prudently built with a vibrant lobby to increase patients’ comfort. It also has spacious rooms, with dedicated areas for rehabilitation, ultrasound, cardiopulmonary exercise testing and virtual consultation.

Through UP-PGH and SM group’s collab for social good, the hub was laid out with rooms that will help the Division of Pulmonary Medicine staff comfortably perform their tasks.

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The collaboration for social good also equipped the facility with state-of-the-art equipment that will complement the expertise of UP-PGH Pulmonary Division’s doctors and staff.

With the new facility as a solid stepping stone, Dr. Fernandez is optimistic about the future of the hub, aiming to increase the number of patients served by 100% every year. With this milestone, she hopes to spread social good by extending assistance to other centers beyond PGH that would like to set up similar services to further strengthen pulmonary health throughout the country.



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