He has the rare combination of the following expertise: solid grassroots community work in far flung doctorless rural areas; national and international health planning and programming, a faculty of colleges of medicine and health sciences; clinical practice combining North American European medicine with Asian and Filipino traditional medicine; national health policy development, national health field operations management, private sector health business development, research management and local government health development. He has worked with NGOs, international development agencies, the academe and government agencies. Dr. Galvez Tan is a Professor of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine; and the President of Health Futures Foundation, Inc. He was Vice Chancellor for Research of the University of the Philippines Manila and Executive Director of the National Institutes of Health Philippines 2002-2005. He served as Regional Adviser in Health and Nutrition for East Asia and the Pacific Region of UNICEF in Bangkok in 1996. He served the Philippine Department of Health as Secretary in 1995 and as Undersecretary and Chief of Staff from 1992-94.
A product of Benedictine education, he finished his basic education with honors at San Beda College Manila 1962-66. He acquired his Bachelor of Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman in 1970; his Doctor of Medicine, as one of ten most outstanding clinical clerks, University of the Philippines College of Medicine in 1974 and internship at the Philippine General Hospital in 1975 as one of ten most outstanding interns. He earned his Masters in Public Health with a Letter of Excellence, at the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium in 1984 & Fellowship 2000 at Bill and Melinda Gates Institute of Leadership and Management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Maryland, U.S.A.
Right after medical internship, Dr. Galvez Tan initiated the community based health programs in Leyte and Samar with the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (1975-78).He was Assistant Professor of the U.P. School of Health Sciences in Leyte, pioneering the stepladder curriculum for health sciences education. He was National Training Director of AKAP, an NGO involved in community based tuberculosis control 1978-80 in Cagayan Valley, Cordilleras, Samar-Leyte, Davao, Cavite; Project Director of Health and Development Mindanao, working in rural communities of Davao, Agusan and Cotabato 1981-83; UNICEF Manila National Program Officer for urban basic services, nutrition, children in especially difficult circumstances, 1985-92.
Dr. Galvez Tan is co-writer of 4 books: Our Health, Our Lives (1982), a guide for community health workers; Fruits and Vegetables with Medicinal Properties (1981), and Hilot: The Filipino Traditional Massage (2006) and Community Managed Maternal and Newborn Care (2006). He has also authored 40 published papers on diverse subjects in medicine, health and development. His life history has been incorporated in two books: Revolution from the Heart by Niall O’Brien, 1987 and Beyond the Hospital: A Concept of Community Based medical Practice and Community Based Health Program by Grace De La Costa-Ymzon, 1994.
He acts as consultant to WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, ILO, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, AUSAID, JICA and USAID, bringing him to Europe (8 countries), Asia (14), Pacific (4) Africa (4), Latin America (4), Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan and Russia.
His foremost distinctions are: One of the Outstanding Bedans of the Century 1901-2001 San Beda College; 1998 Community Service Award, U.P. AlumniAssociation; 1974 Excellence in Leadership Award, U.P. College of Medicine having been University Councilor 1971, U.P. Student Council Chairman 1972 and Student Regent, U.P. Board of Regents in 1972-73. He is married to Ma. Rebecca V. Maraña with 2 children: Ginoo Karlo, born 1982 & Riva Maria 1986