Nikki Cares

A Sound Mind
Nurses from the peri operative registered nurses Association of the Philippines Negros Occidental Chapter volunteered during the surgical mission with Ms Nikki and Ms Maricel.
Nurses from the peri operative registered nurses Association of the Philippines Negros Occidental Chapter volunteered during the surgical mission with Ms Nikki and Ms Maricel.
Two operating rooms for OB-GYN and general surgery at Valladolid District Hospital
Two operating rooms for OB-GYN and general surgery at Valladolid District Hospital
Two operating rooms for OB-GYN and general surgery at Valladolid District Hospital
Two operating rooms for OB-GYN and general surgery at Valladolid District Hospital

Dominique “Nikki” Lopez-Benitez, Bacolod’s first lady and mother of Javi Benitez, Mayor of Victorias, turned fifty in 2017 and decided to give back. Dr. Erwin Dizon, a close friend from Makati Medical Center encouraged her to organize a surgical mission in Negros Occidental.

This started an annual surgical mission. Although, they had to stop during the pandemic due to the obvious reasons. They began again last year in 2023.

Nikki Cares Foundation, Inc. was established to assist indigent patients in obtaining free surgeries in Negros Occidental. They have helped more than three thousand patients all over the province.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Governor of the Province of Negros Occidental, has been instrumental in making the missions possible. The Provincial Hospital Operations Division also shared their human resource and equipment. Organizations, private individuals and friends also provided meals and other needs.

The Makati Medical Center doctors led by Dr. Edwin volunteered their services. Medical staff from Valladoloid District Hospital, Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital and Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital donated their time and talents.

I was invited to visit the surgical mission this year at the Valladolid District Hospital. I was able to meet and talk with Ms. Nikki. I find her very humble and compassionate. She wants to help many patients as possible.

She is “hands on” before, during and after the surgeries. She visited them in their rooms after surgeries and really made time in talking to them, making sure that they are okay and if they still needed anything. Here, they were able to gather about nineteen (19) medical professional and operated about forty (40) patients.

Asked why Ms Nikki organizes a mission, every year, she said there is a sense of fulfillment- seeing how the people they helped can now go back to work and has recovered from an illness.

I sat down with the Nikki Cares Foundation Team (all volunteers) led by Mary Ann Dino, the Volunteer Project Director, Charlotte Juplo, and  Maricel Acuna and learned more about the foundation.

There will another surgical mission this year, tentatively in September. They may expand their scope to include kidney failure patients.

If you wish to become a Nikki Cares Foundation, Inc. beneficiary, please visit your LGU’s health office and ask to referred to the foundation. You can also inquire at their office at VIC Arcade Building in Osmena Avenue, Victorias City or email them at nikkicaresfi.mission2023@gmail.com.

The patient would need to pass the screenings to be operated. The patient may also need to submit other requirements to be accepted.

May 2 is Ms Nikki’s birthday – an elegant and definitely, a beautiful lady (inside and out), who looks younger than her age. Indeed, she is Wonder Woman.

Happy birthday Ms. Nikki! God bless you and we thank you for your significant contribution to Negros Occidental. You are loved!*

Dr. Erwin Dizon and Dr. Suey Manaslastas -- volunteer doctors from Makati Medical Center
Dr. Erwin Dizon and Dr. Suey Manaslastas -- volunteer doctors from Makati Medical Center

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