A picture of calm amid the storm. This could very well describe the demeanor Carmelita “Carmie” de Leon exudes, as she takes on the daily challenges of running one of the country’s leading ambulatory clinics and healthcare providers.
Carmie, as she is more popularly known to her friends and peers, is the vice president for sales and marketing of Healthway Medical Philippines, the extremely successful mall-based multi-specialty clinic, offering a wide array of health services to both corporate and individual clients. As the highest ranking official of the company in the country, she is in charge of overseeing the daily operations as well as the management side of the company, reporting directly to her bosses in Hong Kong. Despite the multiple tasks, she considers her work a blessing, especially because their work helps keep a nation healthy.
Healthway Medical is part of the Hong Kong-based GenRx Healthcare, a division of HKR International Ltd., a publicly listed company in Hong Kong. Carmie explains, “The mother company is one of Hong Kong’s biggest property developers, establishing Discovery Bay in Hong Kong, Sukhothai in Thailand, and many apartments and hotels. But the owners also wanted advocacy in their business. So they tried healthcare.”
They soon established GenRx healthcare, putting up specialty centers in Asia, including Hong Kong, China, and the Philippines.
While their main focus was on specialty centers like dental and cancer clinics, they decided to put up their first multi-specialty clinic in the Philippines with Healthway Medical inside the Shangri-La Plaza Mall in 1997. It offers a unique one-stop-shop setting where minor surgical operations, special medical examination, preventive healthcare and specialized medical consultations are performed under the administration of reputable and highly experienced doctors. The company has since expanded to seven branches across Metro Manila.
Carmie proudly adds that they have also introduced several industry firsts that have since become the benchmark for other healthcare service providers. These include MEDI-access, a transferable and reloadable card that allows its members easy access to their health services, with a fixed consultation rate and 20 percent discount on selected procedures at all Healthway clinics.
Another innovation is the HealthCheQ, an annual executive checkup package with a free overnight stay for two in any of their partner hotels and spas. They have also recently partnered with I-Remit, Inc., accepting payments for Healthway medical services from overseas Filipino workers for services given to their beneficiaries back in the Philippines.
But most of all, Carmie says she is even more excited on their growth prospects for Healthway. “We are celebrating our 18th year this November, and we are celebrating with an event called ‘Dance for Health.’ We’ll also be formally announcing our expansion, to address the growing demand of our customers.”
The gregarious lady executive says they have expanded their Healthway Medical clinic in Shangri-La Plaza which, when completed will feature a specialty center for sports and rehabilitation medicine, integrative medicine and dental implantology.
At the same time, she says they continue to strengthen their relationships with their corporate clients, servicing more than 1,000 corporations, including those in the BPO industry, manufacturing, telecoms, and banking and finance.
Carmie admits running a very dynamic and agile company such as Healthway is no walk in the park. She is constantly faced with numerous challenges, which she says she faces head on.
“My competitive edge is my passion. I am also a people- and task-oriented person, as I believe in working along with people to achieve optimum results.” She adds she also draws strength and inspiration from her family and her own experiences, as she revealed she got married very young at 21 years old. It was indeed a struggle, she says, but the experience made her stronger and equipped to take on bigger tasks ahead.
Now a young grandmother, the ever youthful lady executive says she continues to be as passionate with her work as ever, even as she strives for a more balanced work-life environment. She loves to dance, she says, and belly dancing is one of her favorite ways to de-stress after long working hours. She can’t wait to unveil more positive developments in Healthway soon, even as she readies herself to join more dance shows. She says “work is a gift and service to God, and leadership and dominance happen only when creativity and love are in sync.”