New Lahug Wellness Center unveiled after renovation

By Doris Mae Mondragon February 24,2018

Councilor Margot Osmeña (from left), SM Prime Holdings SVP for Health Services Connie Angeles, Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos and SM Prime Holdings VP for Vis-Min Marissa Fernan pose inside the Felicidad Sy Wellness Center for the Elderly, one of the facilities in Lahug Wellness Center. CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO

The newly renovated Lahug Wellness Center-Premier was inaugurated on Thursday.

This is the 132nd wellness center of SM Foundation and the 36th to be renovated by the foundation nationwide.

The facility houses the health behavioral unit, a program under an ordinance sponsored by Cebu City Councilor and former Lahug Barangay Captain Mary Ann delos Santos.

Delos Santos said the behavioral center aims to bring health care services closer to the people with mental disorder who could not afford the services offered in private institutions because of poverty.

“We inaugurate our newly improved barangay health center which serves as a one stop, multi-service, multi-functional facility. This building is a fitting realization of the fulfillment and embodiment of the wishful advocacy of a comprehensive health service, to include mental health services,” she said.

“Councilor Margarita (Osmeña) and I rallied for the establishment of a barangay behavioral health unit (BBHU) hoping to address the very roots of the problems that hound our society like drugs, suicide, depression, homicide, domestic violence, juvenile delinquents, family and relational conflicts,” Delos Santos added.

“Educating the constituents about diseases and ways of prevent them is vital in order to decrease morbidity and mortality. Early signs of mental illness can now be initially addressed through the behavioral center,” she said.

She said the program will also help decongest public hospitals as it also offers free services to the patients.

At least 39,573 families from the 48 sitios of Barangay Lahug will benefit the most from the center.

The two-storey center also houses an activity center for children, a lounge for the senior citizens, a dental clinic and a consultation room.

It also has a nurses’ and midwives’ station, reception and waiting area, labor and recovery rooms, pharmacy, TB-Dots center and a birthing center designed to qualify for PhilHealth accreditation.

Connie Angeles, executive director for health and medical programs of SM, said SM Foundation is looking forward to extending the same services to the other barangays in Cebu City.

“We are again looking for another area where we can rehabilitate and renovate a wellness center as well as health centers and we will continue to do medical mission in the communities and in our malls where people can come and avail the services for free,” she told Cebu Daily News.

“We are very happy that we are a part of the improvement of Lahug Wellness Center. This is the first BBHU in the country that we helped establish and so we are happy to be one with the local government in delivering health services such as this one,” Angeles said.

“There’s no exact criteria for choosing a health center facility to rehabilitate but it has to be worthy of rehabilitation, it’s run-down, it’s patient heavy and talagang makikita natin yong usefulness ng barangay health center, that it really serves the purpose of helping and serving the community,” Angeles said.

The inauguration started with a ribbon-cutting initiated by Councilors Delos Santos and Margarita Osmeña together with the representatives from SM Foundation, Ms. Connie Angeles, trustee and head of Corporate Affairs of SM Investments Corporation Ramon Macapagal and SM Holdings Inc. VP for Vis-Min Marissa Fernan.

It was then followed by a ceremonial blessing.

Barangay and city health workers and other guests were also present during the inauguration.

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