Working Party on Women in Family Medicine report

Photo The WONCA Working Party on Women in Family Medicine (WWPWFM) together with University of the Philippines Manila Chancellor, Dr Carmencita D Padilla, at the Alvior Hall, University Of the Philippines Manila

Fourth Interim Meeting in Manila

Manila, Philippines June 15-19, 2015 - Amidst the hustle and bustle of Manila, the esteemed women visionaries and leaders of the WONCA Working Party on Women in Family Medicine (WWPWFM) from around the globe convened at the Alvior Hall, College of Medicine University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) last June 15-19. The theme of the fourth interim meeting was “Towards Sustainable Advocacy for Gender Equity”.

WWPWFM Chair, Professor Zorayda ‘Dada’ E Leopando spearheaded the event, together with Dr Kate Anteyi, WWPWFM Chair Elect, and Dr Aileen Riel Espina, WWPWFM executive committee member and lead person for Asia-Pacific.

This event was co-hosted by the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) and the College of Medicine University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) through the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

On the first day of the meeting, the Guidebook for Gender Equity Standards (GES) for WONCA Scientific Meetings was discussed via Skype teleconference with Professor Barbara Lent from Canada and Professor Cheryl Levitt, WWPWFM founding chair and member of the advisory board. It was concurred that definitive recommendations based on implementation issues brought up by participants shall be assessed for possible modification to make it more user friendly. .

Another significant activity during the meeting was the training for peer review of abstracts and websites using gender lens. This was followed by a sumptuous welcome dinner hosted by the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) and the Foundation of Family Medicine Educators (FAMED). Dr Leilanie Nicodemus FAMED President, and interim Meeting Secretary gave the welcome remarks while Dr Alex Bienvenido Alip Jr, PAFP President, gave a heart-warming introductory speech. Delegates and host attended wearing their national costumes.

Photo: Welcome Dinner hosted by the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) and the Foundation of Family Medicine Educators (FAMED) at the PAFP Building, Taft Avenue Manila

One of the important key outcomes was the reformulation of the vision and mission of the WWPWFM in order to create a sustainable developmental plan. The newly devised vision is “To lead the advancement of gender equity as the cornerstone of ‘health for all’ by empowering women family physicians in WONCA and its member organizations, through the WWPWFM’s activities in leadership, education, women’s health, clinical care, scholarly work and research in FAMILY MEDICINE.”

The newly developed mission agreed upon by attendees was: “The WWPWFM will be a champion for gender equity within and outside of WONCA through our engagements that empower women family physicians to succeed in the improvement and advancement of Women’s Health and Family Medicine as cornerstones for equitable Universal Health Care.”

To establish viable plans and provide a road map for the efforts of the WWPWFM, participants engaged in a workshop exchanging views and utilized the SWOT matrix analysis and the TOWS matrix. The SWOT analysis is a tool that identifies Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats involved in trying to attain an objective of an organization. It is a straightforward model that identifies what an organization can and cannot attain as well as its potential opportunities and threats. The TOWS matrix on the other hand, is an effective and efficient way to determine specific strategies that address the results of the initial SWOT investigation.

Photo: UP Manila Museum of History of Ideas. Front Row (L-R) Lucy, Dada , Amanda , Dean Agnes Mejia, Chancellor Carmencita Padilla, Kate, Anthony Cordero.
Back Row (L-R) Meena, Temi, Lanie, Aileen, Liliana, Omneya, Jane, Nil, Tin, Mahul, Maha, Martha, Pam

After much brainstorming, participants came up with strategic goals that would serve as the party’s working platform for sustainability and future endeavors. Finally, a walking tour was conducted at the grounds of the UP Manila/Philippine General Hospital, followed by an elegant welcome dinner at the Museum of Ideas of UP Manila hosted by the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) College of Medicine, UP Manila. The dinner was graced by UPM Chancellor, Dr Carmencita D Padilla; Dean College of Medicine, Dr Agnes D Mejia; DFCM Representative, Dr Anthony Cordero; and Dr Rafael Bondoc. The event master of ceremonies and coordinator was Dr Josephine Dizon.

Another important highlight of the event was the lecture of University of the Philippines Manila Chancellor, Dr Carmencita D Padilla, who spoke on “Tips on how to engage in sustainable advocacy work”, and exemplifies her outstanding accomplishment of the introduction and continued expansion of newborn screening in the Philippines.

Preparation for the 2016 WONCA World Conference in Rio de Janeiro was also tackled during the meeting. Also discussed were topics ranging from the election of the next chair elect and succession of regional leads, agreement with the host scientific committee, nomination of women physicians for awards, financial supports, bursaries and the submission of abstracts of individuals or groups.

Several individuals or small groups volunteered to undertake specific tasks. This is a clear and positive indication of the firm commitment of the participants toward achieving the working party’s objectives.

Photo: small group work

For most of the participants who visited Manila for the first time, a city tour was conducted and headed by Dr Josephine Dizon, coordinator for social activities. Attendees enjoyed the shopping at the Mall of Asia, acclaimed as one of the ten largest malls in the world. They also visited the exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum. A walking tour of the walled city of Intramuros and sunset watching at the renowned Manila Bay sunset were canceled due to rain. Delegates who extended their stay went to see the walled city at another day. A pleasant dinner awaited the participants at the Bayleaf Nine Spoons Restaurant located also in Intramuros.

The fourth interim meeting of the WONCA Working Party on Women in Family Medicine (WWPWFM) was attended by 19 participants including the working party’s triumvirate of leaders composed of chair, chair-elect, immediate past chair, regional leads and emerging leaders coming from Australia, Nigeria, United States, Egypt, Turkey, Columbia, Pakistan, Uganda, Malawi, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Prof Zorayda ‘Dada’ Leopando (chair)