Singapore, 10 May 2023 – SingHealth today announced a key leadership change at the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS). Professor Terrance Chua, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NHCS, will relinquish his appointment from 1 June 2023. Associate Professor Yeo Khung Keong, currently Deputy CEO (Data Science & Innovation), NHCS, will succeed Prof Chua as CEO, NHCS. 

In Prof Chua’s nine years of leadership as NHCS’ CEO, he led the Centre in establishing new initiatives for more seamless and patient-centred cardiac care, and expanding its reach to benefit more patients. To prioritise urgent referrals and reduce waiting time for patients who may require cardiac specialty care, he instituted close collaboration with the polyclinics to streamline clinical and referral protocols, and introduced fast-track appointments for more accurate and efficient referrals. He also introduced front-loaded tests, where patients undergo cardiac diagnostic tests even before their first consultation at NHCS, so as to maximise their first clinic visits and improve discharge rates if they do not require further follow-up.

To care for cardiac patients in the North-Eastern region, he drove the establishment of an NHCS cardiology department at Sengkang General Hospital (SKH), which has seen rapid growth both in terms of clinic sessions as well as coronary intervention procedures performed. He also oversaw the launch of the Singapore Armed Forces Cardiac Fitness Centre at NHCS to provide dedicated services to national servicemen and young pre-enlistees with suspected cardiac issues.

Prof Chua is a strong advocate for data-driven and innovative healthcare. He championed the incorporation of decision-making and risk-scoring systems into the NHCS’ Electronic Medical Records system, and developed evidence-based protocols to more accurately reduce unnecessary referrals and tests for patients with the support of technology. He was also key in NHCS’ partnership with Duke-NUS Medical School to set up the National Heart Research Institute Singapore, so as to attract and nurture a pipeline of clinician scientists and conduct ground-breaking research in cardiovascular disease. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he led NHCS in ramping up its telehealth services to deliver cardiac care for patients in a safe and timely manner.

“Cardiovascular disease is a major and increasingly prevalent condition among Singapore’s ageing population, and an important area of focus in healthcare. Over the years, Terrance has played an instrumental role in leading NHCS to push the boundaries of cardiac care, expanding its reach across SingHealth’s hospitals to benefit more patients, enhancing clinical care protocols and processes for more efficient care, and advancing research and education among our cardiac specialists. We are deeply grateful for his exemplary leadership in bringing NHCS to new heights and setting a strong culture of patient-centric care and collaboration among staff, so that our patients and the population can receive the best care and outcomes,” said Professor Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth.

After Prof Chua steps down as CEO, NHCS, he will continue in his role as Group Chairman Medical Board, SingHealth. 

Assoc Prof Yeo Khung Keong, currently Deputy CEO (Data Science & Innovation), NHCS, is a cardiologist and an internationally renowned opinion leader in the field of transcatheter repair of the mitral and tricuspid valve, and in the area of complex coronary intervention for calcific lesions. Beyond his expertise in clinical care, he has made significant contributions to NHCS’ research and academic endeavours. He has spearheaded wide-ranging collaborations with key partners to advance research and education for cardiovascular diseases. He is also the principal investigator for several nation-wide research projects, such as SingCLOUD and SingHEART, and has put in place a national registry involving all restructured hospitals and polyclinics for patients with coronary artery disease and heart failure. These efforts have enabled better understanding of the progression of cardiovascular disease in Asians to facilitate prediction of cardiac risks and the development of pre-emptive treatment strategies.

In his new CEO role, which is concurrent to his role as Deputy Group Chief Medical Informatics Office (Research), SingHealth, Assoc Prof Yeo will build on the strong foundations laid by Prof Chua, and lead NHCS in continuing to pursue clinical and academic excellence.