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College of Medicine

University of the Philippines Manila


The University of the Philippines Manila (UP Manila) is one of the eight constituent units of the University of the Philippines (UP) System. It is a public and secular institution of higher learning that offers academic and training programs, as well as extension services in the health sciences, health professions education, arts, and sciences. Within UP Manila is the UP College of Medicine (UPCM), which is committed to excellence and leadership in community-oriented medical education and research directed towards the underserved the Philippines. In 2007, the Commission on Higher Education proclaimed UPCM as a Centre for Excellence in Medical Education.


It is a pioneering institution in community-oriented medical education and has nurtured partnerships and linkages with communities in the Philippines including the Southern Tagalog region for its rural community medicine courses; Manila and Pasay for its urban health courses; and the UP Manila School of Health Sciences in Southern Philippines. It engages with the Department of Health, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international institutions.


As part of the SIHI collaboration, UPCM brings to the collaboration the extensive experience of the  Department of Clinical Epidemiology, the Department of Family and Community Medicine, as well as its experience as one of the founding members of the Network of Community-Oriented Educational Institutions for the Health Sciences (The Network-TUFH) and more recently, its comprehensive  patient safety initiative. This SIHI collaboration is consistent with UPCM’s orientation towards finding interdisciplinary solutions and social innovation to improve the health of the people, especially the underserved.


Noel is the SIHI Principal Investigator for UPCM and is a Professor of Epidemiology (Clinical Epidemiology) at the College of Medicine, UP Manila. He started his career as a consultant adviser in the Community Medicine Section of the Department of Family and Community, which conducts the community medicine courses and rotations of the medical students and family medicine residents.

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This developed his expertise in working with local communities and ability to work well with local chiefs and the frontline health workers in health care delivery. He served as Chair of the UPCM Department of Clinical Epidemiology from 2004 to 2013.  He has also served in various technical advisory and consultancy roles with the Department of Health and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, particularly for their research projects and training needs in epidemiology and programme monitoring and evaluation. He is currently a member of the Committee on Structure, Organization, Monitoring and Evaluation (national level) of the Philippine National Health Research System.

Mary Ann is a retired Professor of Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology at the College of Medicine, UP Manila and currently a Consultant at the Section of Infectious Diseases, Dept. of Medicine, at The Medical City, a world-class private healthcare organization in Metro Manila. She currently serves as a member of various technical committees in the Department of Health and as a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Health Science and Technology Policy.

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She has more than 25 years of experience in global health, with technical expertise in the epidemiology, prevention, control and management of infectious and tropical diseases; policy development for public health programs including maternal, neonatal and childhood health and nutrition; monitoring and evaluation of public health programs; health policy research and knowledge translation; and health systems strengthening.  She has published widely in peer-reviewed international journals on infectious and tropical diseases as well as health policy and systems research. She has served as a member of various international scientific committees and boards, among them, at the WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO/TDR), the Council on Health Research for Development, and the Alliance on Health Policy and Systems Research.

Art is the Social Innovation Coordinator for the Philippines’ Hub. He will work as a team member on a broad set of activities, such as the promotion of the innovation call, to support the local, community-based social innovations in health gain visibility, expand their network and garner support from policy-makers.

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Art is a nurse by education and training, and currently serves as a University Research Associate at the University of the Philippines Manila and the program manager of the Community Health Information Tracking System (CHITS). CHITS is university-developed electronic medical record system that is implemented to more than 200 government primary health centres in the Philippines. His experience includes leadership in areas of design, development and implementation of health information management systems, mobile health, and eHealth capacity building.


The overall goal for the year is to advance social innovation in health by engaging national health system actors and by undertaking research to further develop evidence for social innovation. With support from partners in the UK, Malawi and Uganda, the team would like to establish cross-sectoral social innovation hubs in the Philippines, enhance institutional innovation in health research capacity, strengthen capacity of institutional partners to support research in social innovation in health, and support institutional partnership sustainability.

The activities lined up to achieve these are:

1. National grassroots social innovation in health repository

This activity entails the establishment of a country hub for social innovation in the Philippines. It will be launched through a national social innovation call, which will lay the foundation to support cross-sectoral engagement of the health community and inform the establishment of a social innovation training course. The innovation call will focus on key priority health areas for the country: tuberculosis, affordability of care and patient safety. The selected social innovations will be included in a national social innovation repository at the UPCM and will be shared with the local health community. A workshop featuring these social innovations and involving national policy makers and academics will assist in catalysing national momentum for social innovation and raise awareness and knowledge on models of social innovation in health in the Philippines.

2. Student open-course in social innovation in health research

This activity aims to address the dearth of schools of medicine, public health, and other health professionals in the global south that have a curriculum incorporating social innovation and entrepreneurship. An open-source student elective course in social innovation at the UPCM will be developed to promote the development of health sciences graduates with an enhanced social consciousness and knowledge on social innovation at community level; harness the creative and intellectual potential of future generations of medical graduates to conduct research in systemic and sustainable approaches to improving care delivery; and establish institutional and personal linkages and collaboration with national social innovators to increase participation of medical graduates at the community level.

3. Collaborations and Events:

Introductory partner workshop in social innovation; Partner learning exchange; and Institutional cross-departmental/cross-faculty linkages


Selected faculty from UPCM will be trained in social innovation in health. This training will be transferred to other interested lecturers, consultants or academics at UPCM. The experience and learning by UPCM in this project will be shared with partners through the quarterly partner learning exchange sessions. UPCM in turn will learn from the partners’ experiences. Interdepartmental and faculty relationships will be built with the UPEcon Foundation (affiliated with the UP School of Economics), which can contribute to the assessment of the proposed social innovations and the feasibility of scale-up.

“SIHI is a unique and timely opportunity to advance social innovation in health in the Philippines. It has the potential to incubate, highlight, and promote innovations in health, and encourage academics, students, healthcare providers, and entrepreneurs to seek new ways to solve priority health problems in the Philippines. SIHI will create a shared space for providing snapshots and lessons on what actually works with people in different communities of the country in terms of effective health delivery.”