Dr. Gilbert Roc
Dr. Gilbert Roc

Dr. Gilbert Roc, newly installed president of the Philippine Medical Association of Michigan (PMAM), pledged to “bear the burden, face the challenges and meet the commitments” of the association when he delivered his inaugural speech during the organization’s 50th Induction and Inaugural Ball held on Sept. 17, 2016 at the Somerset Inn in Troy.

The new president also pledged to “refocus our sights and redirect our priorities to fulfill the purposes for which our association was organized.”

Doctor Roc, who retired recently from medical practice, stressed, “To be president takes grit and grace, strong spine and a big heart, and it requires patience, perseverance, quiet endurance and gentle and friendly persuasion.”

The inducting officer, Dr. Renato Ramos, noted that this is the first time a retired doctor is leading PMAM, and Roc retired to concentrate on his responsibilities as president of the organization.

The other PMAM officers who took their oath together with the new president were Doctors Jacqueline Fabello-Gamiao, president-elect; David Villanueva, vice president; Cecilia Astorga-Switzer, secretary; Cesar Y. Solarte Jr., treasurer; Fidelina Barraceros-Bouffard, auditor; Ruby C. Roc, business manager; Robert Go, public relations officer; and Marieta Bautista, Ma. Angela Catapang-Trinidad, Arnel Clarin, Sonia Fernando, Michael Gamiao, Augusto Jamora, Chona Lastimosa, Marlene Mansour, Bernardino Pacris, Liberata Pantig, Rommel Aquino and Ruth Diaz, members of the board of directors; Esther Aoigan-Guevarra, immediate past president; and Doree Ann V. Espiritu, parliamentarian.

In his speech, Doctor Roc recalled that in their election campaign speeches, the officers pledged to “help and serve,” adding “I will hold you to that” promise.

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He also cited his experiences and qualifications as head of groups, saying, “For sure, I can properly conduct meetings especially with my experience as hospital chief of staff and department of surgery chairman for 18 years, and I am well familiar with the Roberts Rule of Order.”

On behalf of the PMAM members, he thanked the outgoing officers led by Dr. Esther Aoigan-Guevarra.

In her valedictory address, Doctor Guevarra reported on PMAM’s achievements in the past two years. These included the successful fund-raising golf tournament, continuing education program, medical missions, Thanksgiving Mass and the local health and wellness expo.

She was glad to note that she is passing the mantle of PMAM leadership to a fellow GI (genuine Ilocano). She is a native of Batac, Ilocos Norte, while Roc hails from Tuguegarao, Cagayan Province.              

Doctor Ramos also inducted into office the new officers of the Auxiliary to Philippine Medical Association of Michigan (APMAM) led by new president Owen Diaz. Dante Espiritu is immediate past APMAM president. Aside from Diaz, the other APMAM officers who were sworn in were Doctors Remy Solarte and Orly Sison, Lavinia Mateo, Millie Barreto, Baby Macatangay and Ed Guevarra.