Four UPCM alumni among the TOYM awardees for 2022

Four medical alumni of the UP Manila College of Medicine were among the recipients of the The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award for 2022 for their noteworthy contributions to the growth of their community and professions.

Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho, Dr. Ronnie Baticulon, and Dr. Ramon Lorenzo Luis Guinto, were cited in the category of health and medicine while Dr. Paul Gideon Lasco was recognized for academia and education. The four awardees will join a long list of esteemed recipients from the TOYM awards’ six decades of history with the awarding ceremony to be held in January 2023.

Beverly Lorraine Ho, MD, MPH, is DOH OIC-Undersecretary of Health/Assistant Secretary of Health. She became the head of Health Promotion at the start of the pandemic. In 2021, she also served as director of the DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau. She has been the focal person for the promotion of healthy practices and safety standards as the country coped with the pandemic and has participated actively in the Bida and ResBakuna informational campaigns for the agency.

She works to provide the evidence needed to support health system reforms by designing innovative research grants and building institutional capacity for policy research. These initiatives have greatly aided in the adoption of important laws pertaining to the taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages, the establishment of universal health care (UHC), and institutionalization of the health technology evaluation process in the Philippines. 

Dr. Ho was also recognized by the TOWNS Foundation as one of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service this year.

Dr. Baticulon, a pediatric neurosurgeon, specializes in procedures done on children with congenital and acquired disorders of the brain and the spinal cord. He works with the Hydrocephalus Foundation and the Spina Bifida Foundation of the Philippines, which provides neurosurgical care for charity patients.

Dr. Baticulon, UPCM professor, has completed researches in global neurosurgery. His ongoing research project can be utilized in mapping out universal health care plans to provide essential neurosurgical care to every Filipino who needs it.

In 2019, the UP Press published Dr. Ronnie Baticulon’s first book, “Some Days You Can’t Save Them All,” containing his essays on medical school and neurosurgery training. He was also named one of the “Outstanding Young Scientists” in 2022 by the National Academy of Science and Technology.

Dr. Guinto is recognized as one of the world’s pioneers in the new field of planetary health—a scientific and solutions-oriented approach to addressing health issues arising from global environmental changes traced to human activity. He is the chief planetary health scientist and co-founder of the newly established Sunway Centre for Planetary Health in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is also a member of the National Panel of Technical Experts of the Climate Change Commission of the Philippines and convener of Planetary Health Philippines – a community of Filipino scholars and practitioners for advancing the new discipline of planetary health. 

He has also been cited as one of the 50 Most Influential Voices in Health Care Globally, a list drawn up by the online health information platform Medika Life.

A doctor and expert in medical anthropology, Dr. Lasco holds the positions of senior lecturer at the UP Diliman Department of Anthropology, affiliate faculty at the Social Medicine Unit at the UP College of Medicine, research fellow at the Ateneo de Manila University Development Studies Program, and honorary fellow at the Centre for Criminology at Hong Kong University.

Dr. Lasco’s research projects, which have produced over 40 journal articles and book chapters in the last four years, have been focused on contemporary health issues, such as drug use and drug policy, COVID-19, and medical populism. He was also named one of the 2022 Outstanding Young Scientists of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines. 

(Charmaine A. Lingdas)