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West Visayas State U eyed as lead university for healthcare professions, research

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- The West Visayas State University (WVSU) is positioning itself to become the leading university for healthcare professions and research in the Visayas.

This is one of the priorities of Dr. Joselito F. Villaruz as he starts his second term as the university president.

"West Visayas State University positions itself as the lead University for health professions in the Visayas region,” Villaruz underscored in his address.

West Visayas State University (WVSU) President Dr. Joselito F. Villaruz delivers the state of the university after his first term as the eighth president of WVSU and lays down his plan for the next four years of his second term during the Oath-Taking Ceremony on January 25, 2024, at WVSU Cultural Center on La Paz, Iloilo City. (PIA Region VI photo)

Villaruz took oath last Jan 25 before Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson J. Prospero E. de Vera III at the WVSU Cultural Center in La Paz, Iloilo City. 

Villaruz noted that, during his first term, the university was able to introduce four new programs – juris doctor, chemistry, a master’s program in education teaching in challenged areas, and a Doctor for Dental Medicine program.

This is on top of the current programs for Doctor of Medicine, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Master of Arts in Nursing with majors in Nursing Administration and Nursing Education, among others, the university is offering and is renowned for.

Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic during the onset of his first term, Villaruz noted that the university adopted flexible and hyflex learning methodology and with the support of its partner institutions became instrumental also to the “enhancement and modernization of the skills laboratory of the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, and Dentistry.”

“Medical and allied health programs offered by the university are now becoming world-class,” added Villaruz.

This he highlighted through the quality of graduates the university has produced and their performance on various licensure examinations.

As one of the top universities in Western Visayas, West Visayas State University is renowned for its health professional programs to include the Doctor in Medicine, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and the Doctor of Dental Medicine. (WVSU photos)

“We had a robust performance in the licensure examinations, producing an unprecedented 23 topnotchers in nursing, 4 in medicine, 9 in the LET and one in forestry with very commendable institutional licensure performance in a span of 3 years,” he pointed out.

In his second term, Villaruz is positive in bringing more health professional programs to the university, including the “Accelerated Pathway for Medicine,” a shortened program addressing the country's need for more physicians.

This program, formulated by the CHED Technical Panel for Medicine that he leads, will shorten the academic to internship journey of the soon-to-be physicians by two years and is to be implemented for a selected few SUCs only in the country.

He also noted various infrastructure projects to support the learning development agenda for the students.

These include the P140-million project for the expansion of the College of Medicine to increase its skills laboratory and carrying capacity and the almost completed P92-million College of Dentistry building.

Dr. Joselito F. Villaruz, M.D., takes oath before CHED Chairperson Prospero E. de Vera III for his second term as President of the West Visayas State University (WVSU) on January 25, 2024, at WVSU Cultural Center in Iloilo City. The ceremony was witnessed by his family members and the members of the WVSU Board of Regents. (PIA Region VI photo)

The WVSU Medical Center, known as the teaching-training hospital of the Colleges of Medicine and Nursing, was selected as one of the 12 health institutions in the country to be the recipient of the 15-storey P3.2 billion medical arts and specialty center.

With this, Villaruz also eyed the expansion of the university medical center, noting that it is also an apex hospital under the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law.

WVSU President Dr. Joselito F. Villaruz leads a recognition ceremony for the Batch 2023 graduates of the College of Nursing who passed the 2023 Philippine Nurses Licensure Examinations (PNLE). The university ranks first among the Top 10 Nursing Schools in the country, with a 100% passing rate during the said examination. (WVSU photo)

“And with the completion of the 15-storey medical arts and specialty center, a surge of patients seeking care will dramatically increase, requiring us to propose an increase in bed capacity, and hopefully, this will be achieved before I end my term,” he added.

Apart from this, his administration will continue to lobby for the required staffing of the Cancer Center.

Since the pandemic, the medical center has also been able to open a Residency training program in Family and Community Medicine, while its proposed training programs in Neurology and Urology are set to commence following the approval of the university’s board of regents.

Becoming a global research university

Banking on these developments, Villaruz also cited the significant aspect of research towards being responsive to the needs of the community.

“WVSU is committed to develop highly competent and seasoned researchers ready to contribute to the advancement of regional, national, and global community,” he stressed.

With this, the university president noted that the next four years of his administration will be vital as they are about “to pull the last leg of our transformation to become a research university.”

He added that they already have established all necessary policy support and identified streamlined strategies to speed up the overall process.

“The University will continue to force itself towards internationalization, market, and brand itself as a globally recognized research university. We will aggressively work towards generating more funds to ensure our operational viability,” Villaruz underscored.

The university will also strengthen its clinical research programs to support its research productivity and engagements through the advanced research laboratory of its College of Medicine accompanied with the molecular and genome laboratory of the WVSU Medical Center.

These, he assured the whole “taga-West” community as he renewed his mandate that will determine the road WVSU will be taking in the coming years.

WVSU’s College of Nursing bags several feat during the Cebu Normal University's International Research Conference of Nurses (ICONS) 12 at Golden Peak Hotel, Cebu City on Nov. 24-25, 2023. (WVSU photo)

“In the next four years, I am committed to upholding the goals of the University, remain devoted to the mandate of producing the desired human capital for national development,” Villaruz stressed. (AAL/FRG/PIA6)

About the Author

Franz Remar Garion

Region 6

Indicium gladio fortior est

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