Ms. Maribeth Anne P. Gelisanga, PPTA Lifetime Member, will receive the 2021 Outstanding Professional of the Year Award in the field of Physical Therapy from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
Annually, PRC confers this award to outstanding professionals across its various professional clusters who have demonstrated competence of the highest degree, and significant accomplishments for the advancement of their respective profession. Since 1979, a number of physical therapists has been awarded this great distinction (see roster of awardees).
Ms. Gelisanga is recognized by the PRC for her service to the profession as a clinician, educator, researcher, and advocate. Her physical therapy career spans several institutions: Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Riverside College, Emilio Aguinaldo College Manila, and the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) of the University of the Philippines Manila. She has been the Chief Physical Therapist of PGH since 2015.
As Physical Therapy Section Chief, Ms. Gelisanga not only led clinical services but also pursued research and advocacy work through committees local and external to the PGH. Her university-funded research collaborations have yielded outputs that not only influenced physical therapy in the clinics but also created inroads in her other areas of advocacy -- evidence-based practice, ethical research, patient safety, gender and development, and quality assurance.
Most recently, Ms. Gelisanga and the PGH Physical Therapy Section capably contributed to the PGH COVID-19 Pandemic Response efforts, ensuring that physical therapy is seen in action. This saw PGH physical therapists assume safety officer roles, provide in-person physical therapy care in the COVID-19 wards, as well as introduce telerehabilitation and teach a remote learning track for undergraduate physical therapists.
For those who work closely with her, as well as this year’s OPYA Committee, Ms. Gelisanga has set a high bar for a Filipino Physical Therapist. She is thus recognized for her excellent competence and commitment to uplifting the profession.
Ms. Gelisanga is an alumna of the College of Allied Medical Professions, University of the Philippines Manila (BSPT 2008 and MPT 2016). She is also a graduate of the Southeast Asia Healthcare Leadership Program of the Harvard Medical School (2019).
The PPTA warmly congratulates “Ma’am Fortune”, as Ms. Gelisanga is widely known, on this well-deserved recognition. The award will be conferred on Friday, 12 November 2021.
The PRC is the government agency mandated to administer licensure examinations to aspiring Filipino professionals. It regulates professional practice in partnership with Professional Regulatory Boards (PRBs) that govern professions in the fields of health, business, education, social sciences, engineering and technology. Together with the PRBs and the accredited professional organizations, PRC recognizes the most accomplished Filipino professionals and professional societies annually.