Good afternoon my colleagues,
At the start of the year, a strategic planning was conducted early for another fruitful term. The preparations were done but admittedly these plans did not include provisions for the global pandemic.
Despite this, we were still able to meet with our pharmaceutical partners to discuss the logistics on how we can accomplish our remaining programs for the year. The executive council was able to meet with the different chapters and organizations to review important matters, specifically the “ONE PUA” memorandum of agreement and address the ratification of the amendments of the PUA constitution. I want to thank the different chapters for accommodating the council during our visits. They gave us a warm welcome and the meetings were productive. Meetings were also held pre-quarantine with committee chairs and top executives of pharmaceutical companies for all remaining preparations of our societies activities.
We also purchased a property for the future PUA office. Several discussions were made before the decision was approved by the executive council – taking several factors into consideration such as accessibility, and future developments, especially the need for an adequate parking area. This venue will help us in providing members with activities like conferences, seminars, and skills and training workshops.
In March 2020, the start of the lockdown halted all our physical activities, and in the interest of the safety and health of our members, the executive council decided to cancel the midyear convention and other events. I would still like to thank the mid year committee chairs for their effort in making the program. It was at this time that we shifted to virtual operations, conducting several teleconferences with key committees and seeking counsel with senior members.
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The PUA website, headed by Dr. Karl Tan is a big help in boosting our operations. It will be instrumental in connecting with members in both local and international levels. This will serve as a catalyst to fast pace our goal of an independent and well-known organization.
The Men’s health committee headed by Dr Raymond Cablitas, held a successful teleconsultation last June despite the limited time. They are planning to host a larger event this September.
The committee on practice guidelines headed by Dr. Art Castro produced the recommendations on dealing with the practice of urology during this pandemic. Several subspecialties adapted by making use of webinars to continue our educational courses, for this I would like to thank Drs. JV Prodigalidad, Dr. Godofredo Gasa and immediate past president, Dr. Sam Yrastorza. Our relationship with other societies such as the Philippine College of Surgeons, have strengthened amidst the national issues. The executive council strongly recommends that we update our membership with PCS to have a more influential voice in the national arena.
There is strength in numbers. This pandemic will not hinder us from learning new ideas, hence we decided to shift to a virtual congress. We were fortunate that most of the pharmaceutical companies were able to realign their programs and funds to support us in these times. I am excited for the virtual convention as Dr. Patrick Tuliao and company are going the extra mile to make this an event to remember.
The biggest event of the PUA has always been our annual convention, but all preparations will be in vain without the members participation. We will still push through with other activities.
I would like to appeal to all, to patronize the webinars, especially the PUA sanctioned webinars. We need everyone’s support and involvement. This health crisis is an example of the grave threats we will encounter in the future. This will be a test of how, we, as an organization can hold up. I ask all members to keep the fire of fellowship burning. Let us be one with other societies, to accept the challenge of change and adapt to our new normal. Collaboration of all subspecialties, chapters, and organizations is imperative now more than ever. Only together can we make a positive impact on society and the world.
Thank you for your support.
Harry G. Longno, MD, FPUA