KOTA KINABALU – The chairman and CEO of the Assunta Foundation Petaling Jaya explained its Assunta Integrated Social Services (ASSISS) to 19 local volunteers at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here on 10 May 2017.
ASSISS, established under the Assunta Foundation, a hospital founded in 1954 by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM), was formed to help those in need. It depends on public support and donations to maintain, promote and grow in services.
Peter Leong, chairman and CEO, explained that to continue providing comprehensive care and assistance to the needy, the foundation has consolidated its four complimentary services: Pastoral Care, Mobile Clinic, Social Welfare for Outpatient and Inpatient, and Palliative Care under the umbrella of ASSISS. An additional service – Wound Care Services – was formed two months ago.
With Leong were FMM Sisters Susan Thomas, provincial, and Elizabeth Tan, head of ASSISS, and Dr Lourdes, head of Mobile Clinic.
For ASSISS the poor are patients (regardless of race and religion) with a combined family income of less han RM1,500 per month.
Basic healthcare or end of life care is given through free consultation and treatment, medical monitoring, health promotion – advocacy, and education awareness. Compassionate emotional, psychological and spiritual care and services are provided to patients, relatives and hospital staff.
Before coming to Kota Kinabalu, the team met Archbishop Simon Poh of Kuching the day before (May 9) who encouraged them in their desire to serve in the rural areas through their mobile clinic services which started in the 1960s by the FMM sisters who visited remote areas to provide simple medical services.
The team paid a courtesy call on Archbishop John Wong at his office at the Catholic Archdiocesan Centre Penampang before their departure on May 11.
ASSISS Sabah is spearheaded by Patricia Ubing and had the blessing of Archbishop John Wong. It was formed on 10 May 2017 with a prayer led by FMM Sister Susan.
Since it is still in the initial stage, the focus will be on the mobile clinic and wound care services. The group called on doctors, nurses and volunteers to lend a hand.
Father Thomas Yip of St Joseph Papar was present at the briefing and interview, and he has been most active in recruiting candidates for the nursing course.