Two new donor-funded scholarships enable 10 SingHealth staff to pursue formal education programmes this year.

Healthcare professionals strive to improve the way care is provided through continuous learning and advancement of knowledge. To this end, generous donors are partnering the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre to nurture and develop healthcare leaders who are well-equipped to tackle tomorrow’s healthcare challenges. The newly established Scholarship for Advancing Education in Medicine and the Scholarship for Advancing Education in Nursing and Allied Health are such examples.

The scholarships were established with a $1 million gift by Mr Frankle Widjaja and his brother, Mr Oei Hong Leong, in memory of their late father, Mr Oei Ek Tjhong. They will help to build a robust pipeline of future-ready healthcare professionals and support the continual enhancement of their competencies and capabilities.

Dr Cheong Li Anne, Associate Consultant, Department of Internal Medicine, Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) and Lau Peng Sheng, Senior Staff Nurse, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), were among the 10 healthcare professionals who received the scholarships during the SingHealth Health Manpower Development Plan Fellowship and Scholarships Awards Ceremony that took place on 16 May 2023.

For Dr Cheong, the scholarship will enable her to pursue a Master of Education in the Health Professions (MEHP). The programme is offered in partnership with five Johns Hopkins schools, including the schools of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, Business, and Education.

“The MEHP course will provide me with a greater understanding of education frameworks and theories. This is critical in my current capacity as a clinical instructor in undergraduate medical education, as I will learn to develop curricula guided by learning theories and evaluating them in a methodical manner. It will also furnish me with the skills to provide more structured faculty development to my institution.

I hope to grow my medical education research portfolio, so the MEHP course will also provide me with the foundation skills to conduct meaningful medical education research. I will also be able to acquire qualitative research skills which may be applied in my other clinical interest areas in transitional care and advance care planning.” 


Mr Frankle Widjaja presenting the Scholarship for Advancing Education in Nursing and Allied Health to Lau Peng Sheng.

For Peng Sheng, the scholarship is especially significant. “This scholarship will allow me to complete my tertiary education without financial strain. It will enable me to hone my knowledge and skills and become a better nurse,” he said. “Nursing scholarships often come with networking and mentorship opportunities. These connections can open doors for me to build relationships with other experienced professionals and facilitate collaboration opportunities in the future.”

Peng Sheng will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Honours offered by King’s College London, United Kingdom, through Ngee Ann Academy. This course will sharpen his research skills and he will be expected to lead research and quality improvement projects to advance the nursing practice at SGH.

The impact of supporting scholarships for healthcare professionals go well beyond recognising potential and advancing clinical and professional skills. Through their gift, Mr Frankle Widjaja and Mr Oei Hong Leong are also supporting SingHealth in building a culture of continuous learning and improvement which is critical to achieving better health outcomes for our patients. 

This, in turn, attracts talented and passionate individuals to join the healthcare sector, bringing fresh ideas, innovative approaches, and a commitment to excellence that will significantly advance and impact the quality of patient care in the long run.

With much hope and excitement for their future, we congratulate the new scholars and wish them well in their professional journeys ahead!