The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) has recognized Dr. Joselito DC. Urgel as the most outstanding physician of the Catanduanes Medical Society for the year 2022-2023 for his exceptional service to the community and his professional organization for nearly three decades now.
Dr. Urgel, who recently turned 60, received a gold medallion from PMA Executive Officers headed by President Maria Minerva Calimag during the awarding ceremonies on its 116th National Convention and Scientific Meeting last May 15-18, 2023 at the Manila Hotel.
An recipient of The Outstanding Catandunganon Award (TOCA) in 2001, he has been a practicing ophthalmologist in the province for the past 26 years and counting, having established the Catanduanes Eye Center which was the first free-standing ambulatory eye center accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol and Southern Tagalog.
The native of Panganiban town performed the first corneal transplant in Catanduanes and has done more than 13,000 minor and major ophthalmic surgeries and 6,478 cataract surgeries over the same period.
He has served in various capacities, including president, at the Catanduanes Medical Society and wrote the lyrics and music of its hymn.
A former three-term governor representing Bicol region in the PMA Board, Dr. Urgel received the Bronze PMA Icasiano Award.
He is likewise a multi-awarded Rotarian for his pro-bono cataract surgeries in the province and as a multiple Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.
Active in the religious sector, he has been a Eucharistic Lay Minister at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Virac since 2014 and recently completed his Master of Theological Studies pending thesis defense.
He runs the eye center he established in Virac in 1997 together with his wife, Mary Joan, with whom he has four children, two of whom are practicing doctors with the youngest also in medical school.
Also a recipient of an award from the PMA during the same convention was Dr. Geraldine Balmadrid-Rojas, who served as president of the Catanduanes Medical Society for 2021-2023 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Testimonial Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to Dr. Balmadrid-Rojas for spearheading the accomplishment of different activities and complying with the administrative-organizational requirements of the OMA through her competent and diligent leadership.
She, together with her mother, Dr. Mila Balmadrid, and sister Dr. Janet Balmadrid-Lim, runs the Virac Medical Clinic for more than a decade now.
Another awardee who hails from Sta. Cruz, Virac is Dr. Ricardo Arcilla Francisco, Jr., a specialist in internal medicine and nephrology who was also hailed as the Most Outstanding Physician of the Antipolo City Medical Society.
Connected with the Veterans Memorial Hospital, he is the son of former DepEd division superintendent Ricardo Francisco and former division supervisor Guadalupe Arcilla-Francisco.