Filipino doctor bags Bob and Leila Macauley Humanitarian Spirit Award for her volunteer work

October 5, 2020 - 2:18 PM
Dr. Maria Mayumi Gillana, recipient of the Bob and Leila Macauley Humanitarian Spirit Award. (Photo from Cena Maria Gillana)

A Filipino doctor in Pasig was among the five recipients of the prestigious Bob and Leila Macauley Humanitarian Spirit Award given by an international relief organization.

Iloilo-based publication The Daily Guardian reported that family practitioner doctor in Pasig named Dr. Maria Mayumi Gillana was among the five winners of the award bestowed by AmeriCares, a US-based health and relief organization.

Cena Marie Gillana, daughter of Mayuma also confirmed this to Interaksyon.

The Filipino doctor was chosen because of her volunteer work as a member of the AmeriCares emergency medical team. She cared for survivors of disasters and the poor.

Dr. Mayumi has nine years of of humanitarian experience, with more than 6 years of them in Americares as an emergency responder.

The other four winners are:

  1. Nizamuddin Abdul Karim Sheikh, a community health volunteer in India
  2. Miguel Marrero Medina, PHD, MPH of Puerto Rico
  3. Jean Kenes Eloy, MD of Haiti
  4. JayVon Muhammad, CEO of SWLA Center for Health Services, Louisiana

In 2019, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta was the recipient of this award for his coverage of important health stories in the US and around the world.

AmeriCares said the Bob and Leila Macauley Humanitarian Spirit Award honors the “outstanding individuals who exemplify extraordinary courage and commitment to humanitarian endeavors and making a difference in the world.”

Given the still raging novel coronavirus pandemic, the award ceremony was held in an online livestream titled “Heroes of Health” through AmeriCares website.

#Airlift2020: The best hour of your week starts Saturday, October 3 at 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. PDT) as we honor #Heroes4Health:! 😊

Posted by Americares on Thursday, October 1, 2020


AmeriCares had been donating medicine, supplies, local infrastructure and other forms of health-oriented solutions since 1979, according to the organization’s profile,

It was founded by Robert Macauley and his wife Alma Jane “Leila” Macauley.

In a Facebook post, Mayumi said she was “humbled, honored and happy” for the award bestowed upon her.

“These are three words that express my thoughts for tonight. Indeed, I am humbled to receive The Bob and Leila Macauley Humanitarian Spirit Award on behalf of the 60 million healthcare workers all over the world. May this recognition kindle further the flame of a true humanitarian spirit among everyone,” the Filipina doctor said.
“Thank you, Americares, for minimizing the impacts of disasters and pandemics by bringing health and support to affected people globally,” she added.
She also recalled her experiences as a volunteer worker in her lengthy post.

Likewise, Dr. Mayumi encouraged the public to do more for our community.
“In each of us, we are called to give a part of our very own self to the needy, the vulnerable and the victims of disasters and pandemics. We are called to share our blessings and to DO more, for our community, country and the world,” she wrote.

Plight of Filipino health workers during the pandemic

Since the start of the tough lockdowns last March, health workers in the country have faced various struggles such as lack of mass transport, low pay with minimal hazard pay, work discrimination and long, tedious shifts of treating patients with the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

Last August, TikTok user Jazzmin Comaling featured these sacrifices and woes on her TikTok video and compared them to the benefits and higher salaries that medical workers receive abroad.

On the same month, President Rodrigo Duterte also accused medical workers of inciting a form of sedition after they appealed for the national government for tighter measures for 15 days as a “timeout” amid the continued surge of infections on a daily basis.

The modified enhanced community quarantine was eventually re-imposed for two weeks that time.

However, government agencies were perceived to miss the health-oriented solutions that the country’s health sector had plead for.

(Photo from Cena Marie Gillana)