[dropcap]O[/dropcap]FTENTIMES, people are faced with situations that are seemingly impossible to go through. For many, they would just turn their backs and leave to avoid wasting time, energy and resources on something unachievable. For some, however, it only takes a leap of faith.
This was what La Salle Bro. Gus Boquer, FSC, EdD, held on to upon his reassignment as the president and chancellor of De La Salle Health Sciences Institute (DLSHSI)—a medical and health institution that provides premium health education, research and health care.
It’s an awesome experience that the Lord brought me here seven years ago, because I simply said yes to the invitation, without knowing so much about what I was going to get into in years to come,” he shares.
Br. Gus, as he is known in the Lasallian community, has always been an exemplary educator. He has a Doctorate degree in Education, Major in Educational Management with highest honors from the University of Saint La Salle in Bacolod City. He also carries a Master’s Degree with honors in Educational Administration and Leadership from Saint Mary’s College of California and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the then-De La Salle College in Taft, Manila. He has served in different Lasallian schools and universities in the country with various capacities in the classroom, school administration and other ministries.
Today, aside from being the guiding hand of DLSHSI, Br. Gus is also the president and chancellor of De La Salle University-Dasmariñas.
He says that even now, it always takes a leap of faith in God for the institution to keep going.
“In the medicine and health-related programs that are here, we always have to take a leap of faith, I he says, explaining that looking for funds is always a challenge. Its hospital arm, the De La Salle University Medical Center, is a private institution that always strives for the betterment of services, and takes in an average of around a thousand outpatients daily, with a significant number of charity patients. You get to see the faces of men, women and children in the hospital, and you know God is there looking at you and asking, ‘Will you help me?’ If you say yes, and the Lord sees you responding, then He will provide.”
Indeed, since Br. Gus has taken a leap of faith when he took the lead in DLSHSI, many facilities and projects have been initiated and implemented for the benefit of its students, patients and staff.
DLSHSI is considered to be one of the premier medical and health schools in the country, with program offerings ranging from Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Pathology, and Radiologic Technology, to Masters in Nursing and Doctor of Medicine.
Recently, it introduced the Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemisty, the first two-year intensive trimestral program in the country that leads to the Medicine program.
Br. Gus particularly takes pride of the institutionss being the first information-technology based medical school in the country. He shares about the world-class technology of the school, including those which allow students to see even the minutest imaging of the human cell without the need for a microscope.
Students also make use of devices, with a one-to-one ratio, in a big computer laboratory, where the instructor can project images to, and interact with the studentss respective screens. Likewise, the school also makes use of a high-technology robot of the human body, allowing students to learn and perform health-related procedures. Related to these, a long-term study has been launched to establish a first museum of the human body at DLSHSI, in aid of instruction.
DLSHSI’s medical and health-care research arm—the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute-Angelo King Medical Research Center—has also been making a name in the industry. Br. Gus proudly shares that it has the largest number of medical researches among private medical schools in the country.
Currently, ongoing researches include the use of local indigenous medicinal plants as an alternative cure for dengue and leukemia, an anti-tuberculosis drug for children, and studies on malaria and breast cancer. “Who knows, someday, we might find a cure? We will not stop. Ours is a medical research center and a teaching hospital serious about making a difference,” he says. There is also an ongoing development program for children with special needs. In the hospital, we also have a Breast Care Center that helps detect early stages of breast cancer, giving women more hope, and an actual fighting chance to survive breast cancer,” he adds.
The institution also has partners in the Asia-Pacific region that hold clinical trials in DLSHSI’s research facilities. In fact, it has the largest number of clinical trials referred by the Food and Drugs Administration. And currently, it is upgrading the entire hospital in phases, a major component of which is a new state-of-the-art Medical Arts Center that features a green architecture. The center is targeted to start serving patients by June 2015.
“We want to make our hospital and the entire campus to be in sync with the best medical schools and health-related colleges and hospitals in the world for exchange programs in different specializations, Br. Gus says. This is very important in this part of the world so that we can let people know that experts are not only in first-world countries, but they are also here in the Philippines.”
Janica Monick Riego