Written by: Ruivivar , Patmei Bello
Photos from SSC Davao
AN ICON is from the Greek “eikon” which means “to be like or seem.” It is an image or representation of a sacred personage, especially of the Christian Church. An icon is an important and enduring symbol, an object of great attention and devotion. For computer geeks, it is a picture on a computer screen that represents a specific file, directory, window, or program.
For Davao, it is spelled with an “h” or ICOHNS — Integrated Clinics of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. And it is an icon because it is the first of its kind in the entire Philippines. It represents the pioneering spirit of the Davaoeños, a symbol of their trailblazing attitude of always striving to be the first, the only, and the best in any endeavor.
ICOHNS is a group of specialists in the ear, nose, throat (ENT), head and neck surgery started by three pioneering Davao otolaryngologists — Dr. Christine O. Del Monte, Dr. Veronica F. Magnaye, and Dr. Gil A. Yarra who formed a partnership and started a group practice in March 2003. They started as a collaboration for the growing number of difficult cases particularly in the head and neck in the city. As their medical cases grew more complex, they knew they needed more cutting edge and modern equipment and instruments distinct to their specialty. They also recruited new members to their team — Dr. Danilo Legita, a specialist in maxillofacial prosthesis, who joined in 2005, and Dr. Homer Matias, who trained at the Facial Aesthetic Core of ENT Surgeons (FACES), who joined in 2007.
What started as a simple collaboration of a team of ENT specialists grew into a comprehensive and integrated center of the diagnosis, therapeutic and rehabilitative management of ENT-Head and Neck concerns in Davao City and Mindanao. ICOHNS has the equipment for real time rigid and flexible endoscopy, surgery for the excision of small masses in the head and neck as well as procedures unique to the specialty. It is also a center for facial and aesthetic surgery and it specializes in the use of Gore-tex grafts for rhinoplasty.
Compared to most ENT clinics in Davao City, ICOHNS boasts of specialists trained in premier training institutions here and abroad. Research and training are among their core values so patients are assured that they are being taken cared of by world-class medical professionals who are up-to-date with the latest developments in their field. All of their specialists are connected with major hospitals and residency training institutions in Davao City so patients have the freedom to choose which hospital they want. Most of the state-of-the-art and major services in the advanced centers of Metro Manila can easily be availed now in Davao through ICOHNS. But, unlike in competitive Metro Manila, it is only in Davao where all these services are integrated in one center where patients can benefit from the expertise and collaboration of five multi-disciplinal world-class specialists.
Inspired by their success, the ICOHNS team is ready for another historical leap — building their own iconic ICOHNS Central. Last June 8, Tuesday, at 8:00 in the morning, the doctors wore their yellow hard hats for the ceremonial groundbreaking of their new building which they hope to be completed by January 2011. Designed by a young and upcoming Davao architect, Vanessa Florendo, it is a beauty made of glass and steel that will surely change the architectural landscape of the city. The team is investing at least Ten Million Pesos for this new venture that will definitely boost Davao’s medical tourism industry. Soon, they will also include latest technology to treat sleep disorders, a sub-specialty that Dr. Christine Del Monte has just trained for in the United States.
ICOHNS is indeed an icon, a Davao pioneer who sees the practice of medicine not just a way to recover their costs of going to medical school and earn a living, but as a way of giving back to the community. Not just through giving them the best medical care possible, but by believing and investing in their own city’s growth and development. Now I want to be cared for by doctors like that, wouldn’t you?