The BUCM Integrative Health Services and Learning Program (IHS LEAP)

The term Community Outreach Program as required by CMO No. 10 s. 2006 will be expanded to Integrative Health Services and Learning Program to put emphasis on Integrative Health as an innovation in health care (i.e., one that is relationship-centered, considering a person’s body/mind/spirit, covering the promotive/preventive/restorative/maintenance aspects of health, and using evidence-based conventional/western and complementary/alternative therapies).  “Outreach” connotes one-way service provision. The BUCM desires to work with the people. The Program does not focus on the community alone. In addition to the community, the Program includes collaboration with the other actors in the region’s health system, be they public (e.g., local government units) or private (e.g., medical societies, hospitals). Thus, another BUCM goal is “to establish networking/linkages for enhanced healthcare delivery system”.  The term “community” subsumes the other components of the health system at regional and local levels. The community then becomes a venue for learning to train a new breed of physicians, in normal and crisis (e.g., disaster) situations.

The Program conforms with the University’s Vision of  ”A University of Excellence characterized by scholarship engagement for the community towards sustainable development”.  It is also in line with BUCM’s goal “to extend proactive services in health education, disaster preparedness and environmental sustainability programs that will develop health communities.” As part of its curriculum, the Family and Community Health course runs thru from the first to the third year with practicum during clerkship and internship. Particularly during the last two years, the faculty and students will engage integrative health care activities with the end in view of contributing to the health and total development of the population. The roles of health service/care provider, teacher, researcher, manager and social mobilize will be honed during the student’s community stints in order to develop the ten desirable competencies. The BUCM will work with the other units of the University in pursuit of developmental aims which is also in consonance with the strategy of inter- and trans-professional education. Its participation will not be a “medical mission-type” of undertaking but rather, an empowering endeavor that will build self-reliant communities as its faculty and students immerse in actual  community life. Therefore, parameters for phasing out after staying in one community for a period of time will be established so as not to foster community dependency on outside institutions.

Aligned with the medical school’s social accountability of “influencing the environment” where the graduates will work for their return service and hopefully, for a longer period of time, a partnership with the health system and other stakeholders will be forged. Using the systems- approach to reforms, the BUCM will undertake service and research activities with people, from the local healers to the health professionals at the barangay up to the regional level (the DOH-CHD).  Memoranda of agreement (MOA) will formalize such linkages. Specific undertakings can include better management (e.g., planning) of health services at different levels that will lead to policy development and enhanced decision-making. The faculty and students will also be involved hands-on in health emergency and disaster management, as concepts and principles of the MPA Program are practiced in actual settings.

A possible extension service is the establishment of a clinic for two purposes: (1) to serve as a training venue for the students where they will learn, among others, how to do an interview and conduct a physical examination; and (2) as a site for the Integrative Health Care practice cum research.  Coordination and policies have to be in place.  A site for the clinic is the BRTTH, the BUCM base hospital.  The Chief of Hospital, Dr. Rogelio Rivera has signified his interest in such a clinic and has broached the idea with the Director of the DOH-Philippine Traditional and Alternative Health Care (Dr. Juvencio Ordona). A MOA of joint undertaking between BU and other concerned agencies will be needed.

In the Faculty Development Course on Health Systems Development held last December 13 to 15, 2013, the faculty members identified the challenges and possible ways of addressing the health systems issues, from the barangay to the regional levels, which includes the hospitals. The individual faculty’s interests and possible participation in extension services were also discussed. These will have to be firmed up, translated into specific projects and activities, and funded for implementation. The Extension Coordinator of BUCM will collaborate with the University’s Extension Service Center to establish a College Flagship Program that will contribute to the BU Extension Service Vision “that builds capacities and transforms lives in Bicol and beyond.” Presently, one of the BUESC’s thrusts is “the promotion of optimum fitness and healthy lifestyle.” This is in conjunction with the principles of Integrative Health Care. As mentioned above, the other colleges and units of the University that share common aspirations with BUCM will be invited for collaborative extension activities.