The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) was founded in 1935. At that early stage, the College has always been greatly interested in postgraduate medical education at an international level. In 1940, it widened its membership to include chest physicians from all over the world. In the Philippines, the local members of the ACCP organized the ACCP Philippine Chapter in November 21, 1948 under the leadership of Dr. Miguel Canizares, who served as its president until 1951.
One of the earliest accomplishments of the Philippine Chapter was the holding of the Pan Pacific Conference in Tuberculosis and Allied Diseases at the Quezon Institute in 1952, during the presidency of Dr Heraldo del Castillo. The succeeding years saw the growth in membership and reputation of the College.
In 1972, the ACCP board of regents authorized the formation of the International Academy of Chest Physicians and Surgeons, Inc. (IACPS) to give its international members national identity and independence, while enjoying the rights and privileges of the membership with the ACCP. This was adopted in 40 member countries, including the Philippines, and the local chapter became officially known as the IACPS, Philippine Chapter during the term of Dr. Celso de los Angeles.
On the same year that the PCCP was born, the IACPS Philippine Chapter celebrated its silver jubilee year, culminating with a series of lectures and memorable festivities held at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center on November 8-9, 1973.
Two years after, three organizations, the IACPS Philippine Chapter, the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP) and the Phlippine Association of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Diseases, inc (PATACSI), sharing a common interest and the same passion for knowledge and expertise in pulmonary disease banded together and formed the Trichest Societies, with Dr. Pascual Alvarez as the Over-all Coordinator.
In 1980-81, the IACPS under Dr. Jesus Chanyungco together with PCCP and PATACSI, began what would become the traditional national lung month celebrations. Educational fora for the continuning medical education of its members were conducted regularly in different Metro Manila hospitals and the provinces. The IACPS Philippine Chapter hosted the 5th Asia-Pacific Congress on Diseases of the Chest at the PICC from November 6-10, 1977, during the term of Dr. Eduardo Jamora. Since then, the Chapter has prided itself in actively participating in international chest conferences. In the XIII World Congress in Japan (1978), the Philippines, led by then President Pascual Alvarez, won the distinction of having sent the largest delegation. The Chapter also sent delegates to the 6th Asia Pacific Congress in India in 1979 with Dr Carmelo Jacinto as Regent and Dr. Alfredo Planas as President. During the Asia Pacific Congress in Hongkong in 1981, the IACPS Philippine Chapter not only sent delegates, but two of our esteemed members, Dr Jesus de Jesus and Dr. Fermin Manalo presented their respective research papers. Our very own Dr Manalo was also the Keynote Speaker during the said convention. Since then, the Philippine Chapter has consistently sent large delegations in the ACCP annual conventions, world congresses and Asia Pacific Congresses.
In March 1982, under the incumbency of Dr. Jesus de Jesus, with Dr. Evangelina N. Santos as the PCCP president, and Dr. Albert Laridizabal as over all chairman, the first TriChest annual convention was held at the newly inaugurated Lung Center of the Philippines. From that time, the TriChest Societies jointly organized and conducted the prestigious annual chest conventions and the celebration of the annual Lung Month activities.
Continued growth in membership and widening of interests necessitated that these three Chest organizations will have to work independently although still in strategic alliance. Thus, after fifteen of working successfully together, the formal coalition between the three societies was dissolved in 1995. Since then, from the 15th Annual Convention onwards, the activity became solely the property of the PCCP and the IACPS. The society’s Newsletter Chest Soundings was launched at around the same time, during the term of Dr. Jennifer Ann M. Wi and its first Editor-In-Chief was Dr. Grace R. Ramos, followed by Dr. Raoul Villarete. 1997 was a critical year. It was the final separation of the IACPS from the PCCP. The Annual Chest Convention became the sole property of PCCP. Our official name was changed back to the Philippine Chapter of the American College of Chest Physicians and we started organizing our own postgraduate courses, separate and distinct from the annual chest convention. The first few postgraduate courses were held in Metro Manila.
In December 4-8, 1999 the ACCP Philippine Chapter during the presidency of Dr. Mercy Gappi, hosted the 15th Asia Pacific Congress on Diseases of the Chest at the PICC, with Dr. Gary Amores as the Over-All Chairman, and Dr Fermin Manalo as the Keynote Speaker. The ACCP Philippine Chapter has clearly established its reputation in organizing and hosting world-class international conventions. In the year 2000, under the presidency of Marilyn Ong Mateo, the ACCP post graduate course was brought outside Metro Manila for the first time to the beautiful city of Bacolod and started the trend of out-of town venues for the ACCP’s flagship activity. Aside from this, the Chapter holds regular Metro Manila echo symposia for its membership and annual community outreach programs coinciding with the postgraduate course schedule.
In 2001, the ACCP Philippine Chapter was awarded the CHEST Governor’s Community Service Award for the community service project “Tobacco or Health Workshops – Educating the Youth” under the tutelage of Dr Benjamin Lazo who was the chairman of the Committee on Tobacco or Health.
The MISSION-VISION of the College was established in 2003 under the helm of then president Lito Lanzona at the Manolo M. Lopez Development Center. This was revised in March 2007 in Sofitel Philippine Plaza during the term of Dr. Rodrigo Cesario.
In 2005, the ACCP Postgraduate course was officially renamed the ACCP Annual Scientific Meeting during the term of Dr. Greg Ocampo and was held in the beautiful island of Boracay.
The ACCP hymn, composed and sung by Mon del Rosario was launched during the 14th ASM held in Cebu City in April 2007 under the presidency of Dr. Rodrigo Cesario.
Over the last few years, the board of trustees has noted that application for new membership to the ACCP Philippine Chapter has been dwindling. And it was during the presidency of Dr. Camilo Roa in 2009 that a board resolution was passed after much debate, revising the term of incumbent officers and succeeding officers to two years. This was subsequently approved by the referendum called for the purpose and Dr Roa was the first president to start serving 2 years. The second half of his term coincided with the start of the Year of the Lung 2010, and the ACCP Philippine Chapter, remained ever committed to do its part and pushed its advocacies all for the welfare of the Filipino people through echo symposia, medical missions and lay fora. In August 2010, Dr. Liza Llanes-Garcia took up the cudgels of the presidency and carried on with projects that continue to prove our calibre as a group of specialists committed to enhance expertise and elevate the standards of healthcare in the prevention and treatment of chest diseases.