Think Globally Act Locally

Think Globally Act Locally
This is part of a series of articles written for World Family Doctor Day, 19 May 2024, on the theme "Healthy Planet, Healthy People".


Marisol Z. Ugalino MD

As a resident physician of the Family and Community Medicine at Southern Isabela Medical Center (SIMC), Philippines, I am deeply committed to promoting the health of both the people and the planet. I find purpose and fulfillment in championing initiatives that foster a symbiotic relationship between human well-being and environmental stewardship.

Eco-friendly tumblers

Every year, as part of our tradition, we commemorate our department’s anniversary and celebrate the World Family Doctors Day (WFDD) by organizing a tree planting activity. This annual event not only serves as a bonding experience for our team but also reflects our commitment to environmental sustainability. By greening our surroundings, we contribute to cleaner air, mitigate climate change, and create habitats for diverse ecosystems, all of which are integral in promoting a healthy planet and healthy communities.

Tree planting activity

Additionally, we actively participate in the WFDD celebration, emphasizing the importance of family medicine in addressing global health challenges. Through educational campaigns and community outreach, we empower individuals and families to prioritize preventive healthcare and adopt sustainable lifestyle practices. By promoting holistic health approaches that consider both personal and planetary well-being, we strive to create a healthier, more resilient society.

Recognizing the urgent need to address environmental pollution, particularly the proliferation of single-use plastics, our department has been a staunch advocate for waste reduction initiatives. We have implemented policies to minimize the use of single-use plastics within our institution and encourage patients to embrace eco-friendly alternatives. By raising awareness about the detrimental impacts of plastic pollution on human health and the environment, we inspire behavior change and advocate for policies that promote sustainable consumption and waste management.

Our efforts have not gone unnoticed; recently, our department’s advocacy on single-use plastics and tree planting activities of the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) Isabela chapter was honoured with the prestigious PAG-ASA AWARD, a recognition that reaffirms our collective dedication in promoting the health of our patients and the planet, emphasizing the vital role of family medicine in advancing the principles of environmental sustainability and public health.

Marisol Z. Ugalino

As a Family Physician, I am proud to be part of a profession that recognizes the interconnectedness of human health and environmental well-being. By embracing a holistic approach to healthcare that prioritizes the health of both people and the planet, we can pave the way for a healthier, more sustainable future for generations to come.

1. Photo taken last July 15, 2022 at our Department of Family and Community Medicine office, promoting the use of durable, eco-friendly tumblers adorned with colorful designs and personal touches  instead of disposable plastic bottles.
2. Tree planting activity of Santiago City Medical Society (SCMS) in partnership with Philippine Academy of Family Physician, Isabela Chapter held at Barangay Gulac, Diffun Quirino, Philippines, last August 13, 2023.
3. Photo taken last March 7, 2023 in celebration of the 7th Anniversary of DFCM-SIMC held at Alfonso Lista, Ifugao, Philippines.