press release attachment

The Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) held the inauguration and blessing of its new Cardiovascular Operating Unit (CVOU) on July 28, 2022, led by incoming Department of National Defense Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Reserve Affairs (USCVRA) Franco Nemesio Gacal, who represented DND Officer-in-Charge Jose Faustino Jr as Guest of Honor and Speaker, and VMMC Director Dominador Chiong Jr.

According to Dir. Chiong, the CVOU, which is considered their biggest project so far, is a huge step in upgrading the hospital facilities of VMMC as part of its modernization program. Before having the CVOU, patients brought to the VMMC with cardiovascular diseases that require surgical procedures were referred to the Philippine Heart Center because of the lack of facility. With the launching of CVOU, the VMMC can now conduct open heart surgeries and treat cardiovascular diseases along with its existing Heart and Catheterization Laboratories.

Dir. Chiong recognized the difficulties that the veterans and patients of VMMC had to go through because of this issue. As such, despite the challenges, VMMC decided to push through with the establishment of the CVOU. “It is actually our patients, the veterans who suffer most because once transferred, they are on their own. It’s an out-of-their-own-pocket expense,” he said.

As he ended his speech, Dir. Chiong promised to continue the plans of modernizing the hospital to improve its services for the benefit of the Filipino veterans and their families. “We will continuously find ways to improve our services. We will strive to give the highest standard of clinical care and treatment,” he added.

Meanwhile, incoming Usec. Gacal read the speech of DND OIC Faustino who was unable to attend the program. OIC Faustino highlighted the importance of giving priority to the improvement and development of healthcare facilities particularly those that will provide better care and treatment for cardiovascular diseases, as it remains the top cause of death in the Philippines, according to the report of the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2021.

He also congratulated the VMMC for being better equipped in providing top grade medical services for the veterans and their families through this significant initiative. “Rest assured that the DND will continue to support the VMMC in improving the capacity of its dedicated medical staff and modernizing its facilities and equipment to be at par with the best hospitals in the country because our veterans deserve no less,” Usec. Gacal read.

The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Officer-in-Charge, Atty. Rolando Villaflor attended the event along with the former PVAO Administrator Usec. Ernesto G. Carolina, former Deputy Administrator Asec. Raul Z. Caballes and other officials of the DND. The officers and members of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) and other veterans organizations also witnessed the inauguration of the VMMC’s CVOU.