Cebu Doc Group of Hospitals installs Dr. YONG Larrazabal
Dr. Potenciano “YONG” Larrazabal III was officially installed Saturday as president and chairman of the board of Cebu Doctors’ Group of Hospitals, in a ceremony held at the Pacific Grand Ballroom of Waterfront Cebu Hotel and Casino.
Larrazabal took his oath before Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial, the event’s keynote speaker.
In his presidential message, Larrazabal revealed plans to further improve the quality of their service and establish the group as a lead innovator in the industry while providing compassionate care and treatment to patients.
The young Larrazabal, who is best known for his success in the field of ophthalmology, credits Dr. Eric Strickland, an American eye specialist whom he rotated with in the Eye and Ear Hospital in Charleston, West Virginia, USA in 1990, for his passion.
A doctor for 19 years, YONG said Strickland inspired him to see the value and heart of ophthalmology to help people.
“I saw the instant relief and gratification in people when the eye patch is removed and they can see. They even cry to the doctor,” he said.
YONG, the eldest son and third child of late hospital mogul Dr. Potenciano Larrazabal Jr., has big shoes to fill in taking over his dad’s post.
His plans include renovations and improvements of six hospitals: Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital, Mactan Doctors’ Hospital, SouthGen Doctors’ Hospital, NorthGen Doctors’ Hospital, Ormoc Doctors’ Hospital and San Carlos’ Doctors Hospital.
“I want to stress something here: I do not own these hospitals. The Larrazabal family doesn’t own these hospitals. Please join me as I move forward so we can make our dreams a reality,” YONG said before an audience of 450 people from the six hospitals, partners and suppliers.
YONG finished an undergraduate degree in biology as magna cum laude from Cebu Doctors’ College of Arts and Sciences in 1989. He went on to pursue his medical studies at Cebu Doctors’ College of Medicine, graduating in 1991.
From 1991 to 1992, he spent his senior clinical clerkship at the West Virginia University, Charleston Division at the Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia.
He completed his internship in 1993 and residency in 1997 at the University of the Philippines’ Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).
Committed to improve his skills, Larrazabal took a basic course on ophthalmology, and seminars on ocular diseases and ocular surgery from 1994 to 1995.
In the years that followed, he took updates in laser surgery at the Manila Doctors’ Hospital and Pearls in Refraction at the University of the East.
Along with only five other refractive surgeons from the Philippines, Larrazabal was chosen as part of the “Zyoptix Surgeons” launched by Bausch and Lomb to provide customized LASIK.
He trained under Dr. Low Cze Hong of Asia Medic Eye Centre in Singapore and was accredited by California-based Refractec as the first authorized NearVision CK provider for the Philippines and the second in Southeast Asia.
He further trained in refractive surgery at Johann Wolfgang University in Frankfurt, Germany, and at Tan Tok Seng Hospital in Singapore.
Larrazabal said he learned the value of hard work from his father Dr. Jun, who, along with his mother, Zenaida Sto. Domingo, emphasized the value of compassion.
At the Sacred Heart School for Boys (now Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu), YONG said he learned how to be “a man for others,” a value he commits to practice as the new leader of the Cebu Doctors’ Group of Hospitals.
Raised in Cebu, Larrazabal is an accomplished marathoner. Although the Larrazabals trace their roots to Ormoc City in Leyte, YONG’s family has made Cebu their home.
YONG and his wife Donna are parents to Ysabella “Belle,” Potenciano “Cian” IV and Iñigo Renato.
During Saturday’s installation event, 10-year-old Iñigo delivered an emotion-filled rendition of “Tanging Yaman” while Donna, in turn, dedicated a medley of lullabies to all the grandchildren of Dr. Jun and Zeny.
Aside from DOH Secretary Ubial, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino, who happens to be YONG’s classmate from grade 1 till high school, Talisay City Mayor Eduardo Gullas and former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama were some of the guests.
Dr. YONG Larrazabal has been board certified by the Philippine Board of Ophthalmology since 1997. He is also an active member of the Philippine and American Academy of Ophthalmology, and a member of the Philippine and American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
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