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AdZU School of Medicine Dean Cristobal Speaks in Prince Mahidol Award Conference 2014

Dr Fortunato Cristobal, Dean of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University School of Medicine, shall speak in the Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) on January 27-31, 2014 at the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel Pattaya, Thailand. This year’s theme is Transformative Learning for Health Equity.

Dr Cristobal shall sit as one of the speakers in sessions on Ensuring Community Engagement in Health Professional Education and Operationalization of Curriculum Reform – Innovative Content and Promising Strategies for Enabling Change.

The first session shall discuss the significance of community engagement as a mechanism for achieving socially accountable health professional professional education (HPE), outline the key challenges in implementation, and identify key stakeholders and strategies for successful community engagement. He will be joined by Ian Couper, Director of Centre for Rural Health in University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, Paul Worley, Dean of the School of Medicine Flinders University in Australia, Roger Strasser, Dean Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Canada, and Jim Hanna, Communications and Public Relations Officer West Parry Sound Health Centre in Canada.

The second panel session on Curriculum Reform aims to provide examples of innovative areas of reform to better align curricula with population health and health system needs, to outline lessons learned, key strategies, and stakeholder engagement needed for curriculum reform, and to identify outstanding key challenges in operationalizing curriculum reform across individual institutions to the national level. In this session Dr Cristobal shall discuss processes used to reform curriculum using a variety of epidemiologic and demographic tools and increased alignment with national priorities of the Department of Health. Efforts for M&E of curriculum reform and attributed impact on health indicators will also be presented.

Dr Fortunato Cristobal is known both in local and international circuits as an outstanding and inspiring visionary, innovator, and leader.

Professor Cristobal’s pursuit of addressing the chronic shortage of doctors led to a series of study visits to the United States and Canada to examine medical school curriculums. His vision gained ground when he drafted a proposal to establish the first Philippine community oriented medical education program that would use problem-based learning as its method, a competency-based medical education curriculum, and a total learning environment in and with rural communities in Western Mindanao. The paper led to the inception of the first medical school in the region, the zamboanga Medical School Foundation (ZMSF).

The ZMSF presently known as the Ateneo de zamboanga University School of Medicine which was founded in 1994, was established to help provide solutions to the health problems of the people and communities of Western Mindanao. His efforts, together with the international medical education consultants who mentored him, have brought a new dimension and focus to the work of medical education in the Philippines.

His contribution in fostering health promotions, disease prevention and innovations in medical education in Western Mindanao and beyond, earned him awards for his major contribution to the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine’s International Health Program in 1996; the first Outstanding Community Pediatrician in the Philippines; the Most Outstanding Pediatrician of the Philippines in 1998; the University of the Philippines Most Outstanding Alumni in 1999; the Ateneo de zamboanga University’s Pro Deo Et Patria award in 2005; the Sir Ewen Waterman Foundation Fellow in Medical Education in 2009 by the Flinders University in Australia and the Trophy of Honor of Most Outstanding Physician for the Academe Category by the Philippine Medical Association in 2012. (PMAC, 2014)

The PMAC was established by the Royal Thai Government and the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation during the celebration of its 15th anniversary in 2007. Since its foundation, the PMAC has convened an annual international conference focusing on policy-related public health issues of global significance.