The National Medical Excellence Awards recognise outstanding clinicians and healthcare professionals who have made outstanding contributions in advancement of healthcare improvements in standards of patient safety and quality of care, which ultimately improve lives.
This year, SingHealth is proud to have winners across three different categories:
Assoc Prof Chua Yeow LengSenior Consultant, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, NHCS Group Director, International Collaboration Office, SingHealth
Since 1996, Assoc Prof Chua has championed the use of mitral valve repair surgery in Singapore and is the recognised leader and expert in this subspecialty, thereby contributing greatly to reputation of the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) for heart valve repairs in the region. He is also one of the key opinion leaders in the surgical radiofrequency ablation technique for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.
When Assoc Prof Chua was the Head of Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery in NHCS from 1995 to 2007, new initiatives and services, such as the life-saving Mechanical Heart Assist Device Programme and the Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenator (ECMO), were introduced, greatly reducing mortality and morbidity rates, which thus established the reputation of NHCS as the leading national and regional referral centre for heart related problems.
Assoc Prof Chua was appointed the Group Director for International Collaboration Office for SingHealth in March 2014, where he led teams of healthcare professionals in outreach and humanitarian mission efforts worldwide, such as in Papua New Guinea, China and Vietnam. He has actively participated in and led numerous mission projects partnering with organisations, such as Temasek Foundation and SingHealth Duke-NUS Global Health Institute, to help develop cardiac and other types of surgeries in the Asia-Pacific Region.
For his exemplary contributions to the role of surgery for atrial fibrillation and valve disease, and the advancement of cardiothoracic surgery standards in Singapore, Assoc Prof Chua is awarded the National Outstanding Clinician Award 2019.
Prof London Lucien OoiSenior Consultant, Department of Hepato-pancreato-biliary and Transplant Surgery, SGHProfessor, Surgery Academic Clinical Programme, SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Clinical ProgrammeAssociate Dean (Recruitment, Admissions, Financial Aid) & Professor, Duke-NUS Medical School
In his illustrious career of more than three decades, Prof London Lucien Ooi has worn many hats. Currently Senior Consultant at both the Department of Hepato-pancreato-biliary and Transplant Surgery at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), and the Division of Surgical Oncology at the National Cancer Centre Singapore, Prof Ooi has excelled in varied roles. He is a surgeon, researcher, administrator and teacher, and importantly, a mentor to successive generations of surgeons and clinicians, many of whom bear witness to his generous and inspiring leadership.
He has been imparting knowledge and skills, as well as strong values of generosity and collegiality to young clinicians and other healthcare professionals throughout his career. During his term as the Chairman of SGH's Division of Surgery between 2006 and 2015, Prof Ooi was actively involved the mentorship of potential leaders for the 16 clinical departments in his division. Most of his leadership mentees went on to head departments and divisions – who have, in turn, gone on to mentor others.
More recently, as Chairman of Surgery Academic Clinical Programme, he established new roles and appointments in academic medicine to allow clinicians to embrace academic leadership in research and training. He continues to mentor clinician leaders in higher leadership appointments.
For his inspiring leadership in grooming successive generations of surgeons who became leaders in their own right, and passing on strong mentoring values of generosity, collegiality and patience, Prof London Ooi is awarded the 2019 National Outstanding Clinician Mentor Award.
Singapore Integrated Diabetic Retinopathy Programme
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a significant complication of diabetes and a leading cause of vision impairment in Singapore. led by Assistant Professor Gavin Tan and Clinical Associate Professor Wong Hon Tym, with members from National Healthcare Group Eye Institute and Singapore National Eye Centre, established a new Singapore Integrated Diabetic Retinopathy Programme (SIDRP), which is a comprehensive screening model based on "real time" assessment of DR from photographs. This is a major improvement from the old DRP model as the assessment can now be done centrally by a team of trained and accredited non-physician readers, supported by a robust tele-ophthalmology IT infrastructure. Patients' photographs are graded within one business day and if necessary, they will be referred to tertiary eye care, based on a standardised protocol.
SIDRP started in 2010 and is one of the first successful joint cluster programmes between National Healthcare Group and SingHealth. To date, SIDRP has screened more than 267,000 patients in the polyclinics, and expanded its scope to the endocrinology clinics and the community by including community healthcare centres, optometry practices and primary care networks. The SIDRP system is a major paradigm shift in the management of DR with direct benefit to patients, improved productivity and cost savings to the healthcare system.
For their outstanding contributions and achievements in the establishing a national diabetic retinopathy screening programme for the benefit of patients with diabetes in Singapore, the SIDRP team is awarded the 2019 National Clinical Excellence Team Award.
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