September 6, 2022 — Dr. Leonila De La Fuente Dans, professor at the University of the Philippines Manila College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics and Department of Clinical Epidemiology, was one of the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos awardees who was recognized as a Pioneering Educator on Pediatric Rheumatology.
She is the first Filipina doctor to specialize in the care of children with rheumatologic or autoimmune diseases and became the very first chief of the Pediatric Rheumatology Section of the Department of Pediatrics, Philippine General Hospital.
“The path I have chosen is actually quite unique and rare, because at the start nobody was into this field,“ stated Dr. Dans as she was the one who designed her own pediatric rheumatology fellowship training program. She observed that there is still a need for more pediatricians who can take care of thousands of children suffering from these kinds of diseases.
Her other major achievement is in the field of clinical epidemiology, having led the implementation of Southeast Asia’s first Master of Science program in Clinical Epidemiology. She aims to train more doctors to specialize in pediatric rheumatology as well as in clinical epidemiology.
Dr. Dans is a Member Emeritus of the American College of Rheumatology, member of the International Clinical Epidemiology Network, and Advisory Editorial Board member of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. She is a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Clinical Practice Guidelines and Research Methods and Ethics. She has authored several journal articles and book chapters, with special interest on issues of applicability and equity. Her most recent publication is the second edition of their user-friendly simplified book entitled “Painless Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM)” targeted for EBM practitioners.
Over the past two years, she has been the sage voice of the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 (HPAAC), a group of healthcare workers whose statements help shape the national response to the pandemic. She is the Project Co-leader in the development of the Philippine COVID-19 Living Clinical Practice Guidelines funded by the Department of Health through the Philippine Council for Health Research Development.
Dr. Dans was awarded the rank of UP Scientist III of the UP Scientific Productivity System 2017-2019.
The award conferment held on Sept. 5, 2022 marked the celebration of Metrobank's diamond anniversary. Recognized were four teachers, three soldiers, and three police officers each of whom received a cash incentive, gold medallion, and "The Flame" trophy.
The awardees underwent an intensive selection process and were selected from hundreds of nominations. The awardees’ accomplishments include innovations in their respective institutions as well as advocacies that benefit several communities. This year’s teacher-awardees have proven that mentorship is crucial in a learner’s journey, especially during a crisis. Their breakthroughs and innovations are rooted in shaping the future generation. Watch the awarding ceremony here.
Charmaine Lingdas | With reports from Metrobank Foundation