THE HISTORY OF LIPA MEDIX MEDICAL CENTER
In the late 80’s and early 90’s saw the arrival of a new breed of doctors who came to the city of Lipa to establish their medical practice. Most of them are Lipeños while the rest came from other parts of Batangas and even from far-away Mindanao.
Considering its strategic location, burgeoning economy, cool weather and over-all warmth of its people, they came bringing with them their expertise after years of rigorous training in various specialties. The established doctors in the city welcomed them with open arms knowing that they are a boon to the health care delivery system and assets to the local medical society.
Truly it did not take so long for these doctors to claim their niche in the medical community. Eventually realizing that there’s so much ahead, these doctors made an auspicious start by establishing a laboratory to cater to the needs of their patients. This came to be known as Citimedics, Inc. which still stands today. The idea in putting this up was the off-shoot of shared experiences of these doctors who foresaw that the only way to pursue continuous professional growth and at the same time offer better health services would be to eventually to set up a medical center.
Among these doctors are Diosdado Capacia (Family Medicine), Ramiro de Castro (General Surgery), Nestor Atienza (Internal Medicine/Oncology), Becky Que (OB-GYN), Irene-Cita Dy (Pediatrics). Soon joining them were those who have already firmly established their practice from way back: Esperanza Ilagan (Internal Medicine/Cardiology), Dalisay Kison (Family Medicine), Iluminada Comia (Family Medicine/Pediatrics), Priscilla Farinas (Radiology) husband and wife team of Cesar and Imelda Dimayuga (both Family Medicine). It was at this time that the lease contract for Lasig General Hospital managed by Dr. Jose Rene de Grano and co. was about to expire and so was also that of Mount Carmel Hospital managed by Dr. Perla Olave leading them to join the group.
After a series of meeting held at Citimedics laboratory and at Clinica Dimayuga, the importance of establishing a medical center was conceptualized. Dr. Nestor Atienza and Dr. Diosdado Capacia were tasked to look for a possible site to establish a hospital. Initially considered were the former Jimenez Hospital and the old three-storey wooden building just across it. Realizing that these sites have no extra space for possible expansion and absence of adequate parking, they temporarily abandoned this plan.
The discussion of establishing a medical center at par with the biggest one in Lipa, at that time was NL Villa Hospital, became a serious discussion. Dr. Alfred del Castillo also joined the group and he was tasked in scouting for a more ideal location. The site now occupied by Hotel ni Mang Jose was first considered but due to its steep terrain and a relatively limited area of 2000 sq.m, it was disregarded.
The group soon managed to find the present site of Lipa Medix Medical Center after negotiations with the owners (Bathan-Banawa Family) led to the initial purchase of 3000 sq.m at P1,300 per sq.m. It was a risky gamble as that area of Ayala Highway which was how it was called then was rather bare with only a sprinkling of girlie bars and absence of regular transportation service. However, with firm resolve and only fervent hope for a successful venture it gathered momentum and by the time the lot was purchased there were already 45 “willing albeit nervous” incorporators. Each incoporator contributed P 100,000 for the purchase of the lot.
A series of meetings was held at Hapag Restaurant to discuss about SEC registration as a corporation and on March 8, 1993, the corporation was registered with SEC as Lipa Medics Incorporated. After almost 1 ½ month, ground breaking ceremony and ceremonial burying of capsule was done on May 25, 1993, with guests of honor Dr. Thelma Navarete-Clemente and former Congressman and Senator Ralph Recto. It was decided that a 3-storey building will suffice but with a foundation to support 6-storeys.
In one of the meetings held at Hapag Restaurant, the hospital vision and mission were formulated. It was a wrong notion by some incorporators that a hundred thousand pesos share was enough to have a building. Some kinks were ironed out and it was agreed upon that P 5,000 to P10,000 each must be paid on monthly installment which continued until the first year of hospital operation. An P18,000,000.00 loan was granted from SSS through Metrobank in order to furnish the hospital with the required medical equipment and to cope with other operational expenses.
On July 20, 1994, Lipa Medix Medical Center, a 3-storey hospital building with 50-bed capacity became fully operational. Dr. Nestor Atienza was the founding Chairman of the Board and Dr. Jose Pepito Tenorio was the founding President. The first hospital Medical Director was Dr. Jose Rene de Grano with Dr. Cesar Dimayuga, as the first Hospital Administrator and Dr. Alfred del Castillo was the first Chief of Clinics. Said hospital managers occupied their posts for several years without renumeration as the daunting task of paying the loan without defaulting was a priority.
In 1996, the 23-room OPD was constructed, housing 60 clinicians. Under the chairmanship of Dr. Celso Ramos, the construction of the 4th floor was started in 1999, increasing its capacity to 75 beds. The Psychiatry Ward and Drug Detoxification Center and the Industrial Clinic were also created. By this time too, the Dialysis Unit was already in full swing.
In August 2003, under the chairmanship of Dr. Larry Manaligod, saw a major growth of LMI: 15 new incorporators were added, raising P28M from the sale, the lot where the new building was erected. It was also during this year, that the 10th GMM held aboard the Star Virgo in Singapore on Feb 22, 2004.
In 2005, under the chairmanship of Dr. Jose Lacorte, the Residency Training Program was conceptualized. Part of the corporate obligation to the victims of calamities, we donated one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) to the landslide victims of Leyte and Mindoro. He implemented the construction of the new building and acquisition of the new 2D-echo machine and new ultrasound unit.
Barely 10 years after its operation, LMMC saw another milestone. Under the chairmanship of Dr. Edwin Mendoza, the construction of the new building was started, together with the expansion of the OR-DR complex and creation of state-of-the-art ICU. The new building became operational in July 22, 2008 which housed the Heart Center, Lithotripsy Center (the first in South Luzon), Dialysis Center, Pulmonary Unit and 20 suite rooms making it a 100-bed capacity Medical Center.
In 2007, realizing the value of adding new practitioners and subspecialists, 40 common share holders were added.
In 2008, under the leadership of Dr. Edwin Mendoza and Dr. Nestor Atienza, the construction of 3rd floor of the new building was started. It was also under their leadership that the High Risk Pregnancy and Infertility Center was created and became operational. Equipped with 4D Ultrasound and capable of basic infertility work up and management, this center is manned by a Perinatologist, a Reproductive Endocrinologist and OB-GYN Sonologists.
In line with their vision to achieve a complete and competitive medical facility, these two leaders also approved the creation of Minimally Invasive Surgical Unit and Training Program for the Department of Pediatrics. The OPD was also renovated. As part of corporate social responsibility, the corporation donated one house thru Gawad Kalinga, the recipient being one of hospital female orderlies.
In addition to existing hospital equipment under the chairmanship of Dr. Gil Maderazo, the hospital mission and vision were realized. The Neurodiagnostic Center – consisting of EEG, EMG, and Audiometry – became operational. In addition to radiological services, mammogram was acquired together with nuclear medicine set up. Several nursing schools became affiliates to address their educational requirements.
Additional doctors with subspecialties were accepted not only as practitioners but as owners as well. The position of Quality Assurance Officer became active in line with the Philhealth thrust of providing excellent service to patients. With Dr. Teresita Andal being the head of Quality Assurance office who work in collaboration with QA team. The Chief of Clinics Dr. Danilo Vergara, together with the Medical Executive Committee, formulated the LMMC Medical By-Laws. He also updated the roster of medical practitioners and initiated the completion and organization of their 201 files.
Several hospital committees were added and activated to address the requirements. Ethics Review Board to protect the rights and welfare of human participating as subjects in research study. Internal Audit System Department to safeguard hospital resources and the Master Plan Committee – who suggests to the Board of Directors short and long term plans for hospital infrastructure. As part of future infrastructure expansion another lot was purchased. At present the hospital is situated in a 1.510 hectares of land.
As part of social corporate obligation brought about by devastation of Typhoon Ondoy, the hospital, thru De La Salle Lipa Brothers, donated P50,000.00 cash. Truck loads of can goods, medicines, used clothing and bottled water were sent. Because of the advocacy of providing modern quality healthcare and yet affordable healthcare services, the hospital came to be known as “Your Friendly Neighborhood Hospital”.