The Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC), a Level III Apex hospital catering to the Bangsamoro region and Central Mindanao, was recently conferred the ‘Initiated’ status by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) for its successful rollout of the first stage of ISA’s flagship program, the Performance Governance System (PGS). CRMC also bags the Silver Trailblazer Award for exceeding the standards of the Initiation Stage. 

CRMC Medical Center Chief II Dr. Helen P. Yambao presented the achievements of their institution in a public revalida conducted by ISA last October 13, 2020. In it, she shared the three main challenges of the hospital which the PGS aimed to address through a long-term strategy to become a multispecialty center.

These challenges included: a wide catchment area (being the only teaching training hospital in BARMM and Region XII), the overcrowding of patients, and the lack of capability to provide specialty services.

In response, their initial strategy targeted to establish Specialty Centers for Heart, Trauma, Cancer Care, Women’s Health and Neonatology, Diabetes, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Mental Health by 2022, and more by 2028. These centers were pursued through major modernization and expansion plans. With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, CRMC also had to adapt to the urgent demands of the health crisis.

This resulted in a parallel response as the regional hospital stepped up to become a COVID-19 referral center and sub-national laboratory while still maintaining its delivery of general health services. 

For these initiatives, the panelists of the public revalida, composed of ISA Trustee Mr. Guillermo M. Luz, Association of Nursing Service Administrators of the Philippines President Emeritus Dr. Maria Linda G. Buhat, Former Health Secretary Dr. Esperanza I. Cabral, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine Head of Parasitology Dr. Fe Esperanza J. Espino, and Wyeth Philippines Medical Field Operations Director Mr. Orlando A. Clavinez, recognized CRMC for its excellent implementation of the governance strategy even with the COVID-19 pandemic altering and disrupting the regular pace of hospital operations. 

In her acceptance speech, Dr. Yambao dedicated the success of CRMC to the people of Region 12 and BARMM, saying that “this is just the beginning of our transformation journey towards becoming one of the Islands of Good Governance.”