PGH Director, Neurosurgery Chief Dr. Gap Legaspi (black) with (L-R) UPCM Dean Charlotte Chiong, UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita Padilla, UP President Danilo Concepcion at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Felicidad Sy Hall (Neuroscience/Multispecialty Building). Photo taken from the UP-PGH Neurosurgery Twitter account (@pghneurosurgery)
A pandemic-ready neurosciences facility will soon rise in the Philippine General Hospital complex. To be known as the Felicidad Sy Hall Multi-Specialty Building, it had its groundbreaking event on 17 September 2021. The project is made possible by the generous donation of the Felicidad T. Sy Foundation.
The groundbreaking was attended by representatives of the Felicidad T. Sy Foundation, UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, Chancellor Carmencita D. Padilla, College of Medicine Dean Charlotte M. Chiong, PGH Director Gerardo D. Legaspi, and other UPM officials including Dr. Carissa C. Dioquino, Chair of the Department of Neurosciences. Mrs. Felicidad T. Sy, widow of Mr. Henry Sy and Trustee of the Foundation, graced the event via Zoom. Several generations of PGH doctors were also present online, including Drs. Martesio Perez, Faustino Domingo, Zenaida Bagabaldo, Regina Canlas, and Aida Salonga who, according to Dir. Legaspi, envisioned the facility almost 20 years ago.
The 15-storey Felicidad Sy Hall will be located at the 3,000 square lot formerly occupied by the Office of Engineering and Technical Services (OETS). Although mainly for the Neurosciences Department, Dir. Legaspi said that the department will share the facility with eight other specialties to reflect the combined services offered by PGH to its neurological patients: Orthopedics, Dermatology, Nephrology, Laboratory, ICU Care, Psychiatry, ENT, and Ophthalmology.
As the first pandemic-ready building in the country, parts of the facility can be shut down with its separate elevator shaft as soon as the DOH announces a pandemic. Another elevator shaft will allow access to the rest of the building, including the top floor where the wards will be. The wards will then continue to serve as an Isolation Area.
The facility will have the most advanced laboratories in the country, ranging from urinalysis to gene sequencing; a 47-seat Dialysis Unit; Level 4 and hybrid operating rooms; the biggest and most advanced Burn Center; an innovative “No Waiting Area” Out-Patient Service (where the patients will be in cubicles instead of waiting in the corridors and the doctors will go around to see them); a 220-bed patient ward cared for by structured nursing units for optimal efficiency (only 32 patients per charity ward, two wards of 34 patients, and the rest for ICU); a 250-seater auditorium with 8 break-out rooms; and a 50-seater conference room.
Pres. Concepcion, aside from expressing his gratitude to the Sy family and the Foundation, promised that UP will enrich this facility to benefit generations of Filipinos for a very long time. Their generosity will not be wasted. “No doctor or patient who sets foot in the facility will ever forget your contribution in improving the health of your fellow Filipinos,” he added.
Mrs. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of the Foundation, relayed her mother’s and the Sy Family’s congratulatory messages to Dir. Legaspi for this initiative. She said that her mother always believed in helping people and is very happy that this kind of project is in PGH due to the seriousness of neurologic and neurosurgical disorders.
Dir. Legaspi, aside from describing what the facility will have, recounted the genesis of the project and the relationship with the Sy Family. As for the rest of the project, he said that UP is working on government fundings.
Chancellor Padilla emphasized that the project has come together because of collaborative planning and the philanthropic spirit of the Sy Family. She described the new center “as a sanctuary for preservation and restoration… healing… innovation… wisdom and courage.”