THE Rotary Club of Metro Cebu (RCMC) launched its newest baby club with the charter presentation and induction of officers and members of the Rotary Club of Hearing and Speech on Sunday night, April 16, 2023, at the Casino Español de Cebu on V. Ranudo St., Cebu City.
RCMC is also the “mother club” of the Rotary Club of Metro Bogo and the Rotary Club of Banilad Metro under Rotary International (RI) District 3860.
The Rotary Club of Hearing and Speech is a product of the collective pain experienced by parents, siblings, relatives and professionals in taking care of people with hearing problems and deafness.
Only a few professionals in the Philippines attend to the needs of ear and hearing healthcare. In Cebu alone, there are a little over 20 ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists who take care of patients with pathological problems of the ear. There are audiologists working for free in Cebu City, while one travels around Central Visayas to provide training on hearing health and services for hearing.
There are many speech and language pathologists in Central Visayas, but they are saddled with numerous patients and only a handful of them are trained to take care of deaf children who need special care to help them develop towards integration into normal independent living.
Members of this new club include audiologists and other professionals with diverse specializations in the field of hearing health, such as speech language pathologists, ENT doctors, hoteliers, juris doctors and medical allied professionals. They aim to serve RI District 3860 in improving accessibility to hearing health services and promoting hearing health in the country.
The charter president is Mary Ann Soria, a nurse audiologist with 15 years of experience as missionary for the deaf, working with families and children. Soria has eight years of professional experience abroad.
Soria is also a past president of the Rotary Club of Metro Cebu, Rotary Year 2020-2021, leading the club’s hearing projects. She is the newborn hearing screening technical adviser of the Department of Health 7 and a cochlear implant audiologist for Visayas for the national cochlear implant program of the University of the Philippines Philippine General Hospital National Institutes of Health.
The club secretary is Angel Jelo Gibas, a clinical audiologist and entrepreneur. The membership chairman is Mon Kalvin Lim, a clinical audiologist at Makati Medical Center who travels to Mindanao to help patients there.
Charter members are Claire Manlapas, an audiologist engaged in distributorship of audiological equipment; Ruby Comiling, a speech and language pathologist; Charlene Versoza, a practicing audiologist; Dr. Donna Olandria, the 2023 Hermana Mayor of the Sr. Santo Nino fiesta and a volunteer at the Basilica del Santo Niño de Cebu medical clinic; the Tejam brothers, Cyrus the pediatrician and Arthur the freelance phlebotomist; ENT Dr. Jose Lynetto Matela II; audiologists Frances Jo-an Dabu, Frances Angelica Mallillin, Celeste Celeste, Luielen Llamas and Abigail Feliciano-Rebulado; speech language pathologist and audiologist Darla Florendo; media practitioner Flores Gerlie Vestil; hotelier Hannah Franz Pason; and Melmar Jay Jabonero, a juris doctor.
Soria said the new club is open to new members who share the same advocacy and desire to live out RI’s motto of “Service Above Self.” Soria expressed gratitude to Gruppo Hearing, PhiliEar, Health World and Spring Rain Global for their support in launching the new club and its future projects, as well as to the RCMC for their assistance in organizing the club.
April 18, 2023
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