Meanwhile, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc also thanked via video message the workers of MMMH&MC for their dedication and bravery which they continuously displayed in the midst of the pandemic.

He further emphasized how the pandemic strengthened the partnership between the provincial government of Ilocos Norte and MMMH&MC in ensuring the delivery of vital health-services specially in a time of health crisis.

“We in the provincial government cannot think of a better partner than MMMH&MC who could support us in our province’s battle against COVID-19,” added Hon. Manotoc.

Leading the Outstanding COVID-19 heroes honored during the event were Dr. Marie Joyce U. Santos, infectious disease specialist; Dr. Rommel D. Rasos, MMMH&MC’s incident commander, and Dr. Deanne Quilala, pulmonologist and head of the Hospital’s Department of Internal Medicine. Other individual awardees were the Hospital’s administrative and finance staff, namely, Mr. Arnel Obien, Ms. Ronalyn Tagudin, Mr. Ricardo Gerero, and Ms. Kapelhoff Quidang.

The ceremony also recognized outstanding teams led by the E-Pakaammo Team for giving the public a greater access to the various health advocacies of the DOH specially in the time of a health crisis. The team is also responsible for providing timely and relevant information to the public relating to the COVID-19 efforts of MMMH&MC.

Moreover, the Infectious Disease Nurses Team and the Department of Internal Medicine were also recognized for their dedicated and fearless service primarily focused on treating COVID-19 positive patients in the province. Other team awardees were the Materials Management Section and Medical Social Service, Z-Benefit for Prematurity and Low Birthweight Infant, Acute Psychiatric unit, and Budget Section for their extraordinary dedication in providing an unhampered government service to the public even during the pandemic.

With the pandemic’s end remaining to be nowhere in sight, Dr. Otayza hoped that the struggles and challenges faced by MMMH&MC’s health-workers, most specially the awardees, will remain as a source of inspiration for every Ilocono.

“These awards are truly resounding and should be remembered in the next years to come—that this is the true spirit of our institution and that by helping and supporting one another, we allow ourselves to move forward together,” Dr. Otayza upheld.

Dr. Trish Villanueva-de Grano, over-all chairman of the National Hospital Week Celebration added that “even if 2020 becomes the year that we prayed the hardest, cried the longest, laughed the fewest, let it also be the time that we loved the greatest, helped the most and shone the brightest.”

Ilocos Norte’s Covid-19 cases continue to rise with 36 active cases out of a total 109 recorded as of this writing. –John Michael Mugas