Zharlah Gulmatico-Flores (蔡慧蓮) of CKS high school batch 1994 is a professor at the Department of Biochemistry of Our Lady of Fatima University since 2010 and at the Metropolitan Medical Center - College of Medicine since 2015. She is also the Training Officer at the Department of Dermatology of the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, where she has served as an active consultant since 2012. Her job as the Training Officer is to teach, assist, and oversee the dermatology resident doctors during their three years of residency training. She is also the Assistant Program Director of the Dermatologic Surgery Unit in the same institution; overseeing, managing, and treating skin cancer patients.
With the suspension of out-patient services at the Jose Reyes Hospital and the temporary closure of her private clinic due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she and her peers at the Department of Dermatology launched the Teledermatology, “Sakit sa Balat? Huwag Mangamba! Isang Tawag Lang, Pwedeng Ikonsulta.” This is a free online dermatology consult which aims to provide safety, while still attending to the dermatological needs of patients, by minimizing their unneccesary exposure during this pandemic. Doc Zharlah takes an active role in this program by making herself available for online consultations on medical issues related to skin, hair, and nail diseases.
In addition, she spearheaded calls for donations to help Jose R. Reyes Memorial Center raise funds for Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) of frontliners, to which she is endlessly grateful that several friends, classmates, and parents from CKS College positively heeded her plea.
Doc Zharlah still reports to the hospital for administrative work and observes all necessary precautions to avoid getting infected, whether in the hospital and at home.
During off-duty and as resources are available, Doc Zharlah and her family prepare and cook meals for fellow frontliners. To-date, they have delivered personally-prepared packed meals to four different hospitals and also to military soldiers and police officers. With the consent of donors, she and her husband has turned-over numerous PPEs to different hospitals.
Doc Zharlah treasures her basic education from CKS College, which she said molded her to be enduring and to be resilient during these difficult times, to become resourceful, to find ways to give back to the community, and to see the positive in things amidst these tough circumstances.
She urges everyone to take positive action in changing our current situation, rather than just complain at how miserable life has become due to this pandemic or being anxious on what the future might bring. Only then, she says, that we will find solace and happiness despite the crisis we are in.
Thank you, Dr. Zharlah Gulmatico-Flores. Your alma mater is not only proud of your CKSian spirit, but also your selfless service reminds us of your two aunties who served with dedication and loyalty as our teachers, Mrs. Belinda dela Cruz and the late Mrs. Eleanor Tumanan.