Ischemic heart disease topped the cause of death in the Philippines in 2020. Based on Philippine Statistics Authority data, there were 99,700 cases, 17.3 percent of the total deaths in the country — an increase of about 2.3 percent of the total deaths in 2019. Because of this, BMC established the Cardiac Center, one of the 14 Specialty Centers that it aims to have by 2025.
During the term of the former Medical Center Chief II Dr. Efren Nerva (2011-2015), he conceptualized the BMC Modernization, which included establishing the Cardiac Center, located on the 3rd floor of the 5-storey Emergency Room Complex. Despite some management challenges, especially after Dr. Nerva’s term, BMC pursued the establishment of the Cardiac Center to address the increasing demand for prompt and accessible cardiovascular care in Naga City, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, and parts of Masbate province.
Last October 19, 2021, the BMC Cardiac Center was formally inaugurated. Key officials from the Department of Health attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony and inauguration, including Undersecretary Dr. Roger P. Tong-an, Assistant Secretary Dr. Maria Francia Laxamana, Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago Jr., and DOH- Center for Health and Development V Regional Director Dr. Ernie Vera. Former DOH Secretary Dr. Enrique T. Ona and former Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa were also present, together with Bicol officials such as Camarines Sur 3rd District Representative Gabriel Bordado Jr. and Office of the Presidential Assistant for Bicol Affairs Usec. Marvel Clavecilla.
BMC Cardiac Center Staff and Services
Dr. Eloisa Victoria Claveria-Barrion heads the Cardiac Center with Ms. Yolanda L. Mino as the head nurse. According to her, they now offer the following services:
- Cardiovascular Surgery
- Cardiac Intensive Care
- Cardiac Catheterization, both diagnostics, and intervention,
- Non-invasive tests include Cardiovascular Echo, Stress Test, Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring, Holter Test, and Electrocardiogram (ECG).
“The goal of the Cardiac Center is to be the frontline in cardiovascular care in the Bicol Region, offering first-class and highly specialized services.” Dr. Barrion said.
The Cardiovascular Surgery is headed by Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon Dr. Elmo Bombase Jr., with Thoracic, Cardiac, Vascular, and Endovascular Surgeon Dr. Kathleen Cruz, and Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists Dr. Sarah Angeles. Along with them are the Cardiac Operating Room Nurses headed by the Supervising Nurse Maritess Savilla and her staff: Don Cantorne, Christian Jesus Peñas, Jaypee Macatangay, and Romar Galvan. They also have medical perfusionists, namely John Paul Llorin and Maria Stephanie Nazareth.
Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
The Cardiac Intensive Care Unit has an 8-bed capacity and is a specialized area designed for pre and post-cardiac catheterization procedures intensive care. Patients who underwent heart surgery are also placed in this unit for recovery and stabilization. The Cardiac ICU provides specialized treatment for heart conditions. Its medical staff is trained in critical care.
The head and in charge of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit is Dr. Delfin C. Barrion. Along with him is Dr. Jeffrey M. Valencia. In addition, the unit has two nurse supervisors headed by Yolanda Mino and Marissa Verdadero. Along with them are the Cardiac ICU Nurses named Jean Follero, Dalisay Raynes, Krislyn Legaspi, Donna Bognalbal, Franz Joseph Buenos Aires, Lyren Guiriba, and Mary France Aluzan.
Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Section
The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility that allows doctors to perform minimally invasive tests and procedures on patients with various heart conditions. This diagnostic area uses the most advanced medical equipment that provides optimal imaging and valuable information in diagnosing and treating various cardiovascular diseases.
The Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Section is headed by Cardiologist Dr. Anderson Lazo and Dr. Karl Joseph Chavez. Along with is Dr. Eloisa Victoria Claveria-Barrion, who leads the Pediatric Invasive side, with the radiologic technologists' Perry Bernales and Mark Reymund Balderama, Medical Technologists Pretty Parde and Noel Villarin, and Nursing Staff Rosa Librero-Layson and Oliver David.
The Cardiac Center - Heart Station provides the environment and facilities for specialized diagnostic procedures to diagnose and evaluate patients with known or suspected heart-related symptoms and disorders. It is headed by the highly experienced Cardiologist Dr. John Leo B. Guazon and Dr. Maribel Gutierrez - Cayetano, a vascular specialist with Dr. Kristine Nacional. Together with him are the cardiac sonographers Hanna Faye Desquitado, Kathleen Kaye Bandales, Marvie Abiog, Nurse Vernice Ame Casin, and Administrative Aide Christine Olayres.
The Cardiac Center is now accepting patient referrals.
To those who will need to avail of the services of the Center, Dr. Barrion said that all cardiac patients should be screened first by a Cardiologist.