Continuing a legacy of care - Prof Alex Sia (left), new CEO of KKH, receives a key symbolising the passing of the leadership mantle, from outgoing-CEO Prof Kenneth Kwek (right).
On 1 May 2017, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) welcomed the appointment of Professor Alex Sia as Chief Executive Officer. Prof Sia had formerly served as Chairman of the Medical Board at KKH from 22 January 2012 to 30 April 2017. KKH also welcomed Associate Professor Ng Kee Chong, formerly Chairman of the Division of Medicine, into the role of Chairman of the Medical Board.
With the leadership transition, outgoing KKH CEO, Professor Kenneth Kwek relinquished his duties at KKH on 30 April 2017, concurrent to his appointment as CEO of Singapore General Hospital.
“Over her 159-year history, KKH has established an enduring legacy of excellent care that has benefitted countless women and children. We are truly indebted to Prof Kwek for his thoughtful leadership and strategic foresight, which has helped KKH push the frontiers in clinical care, research and education to enhance care delivery and to benefit our patients,” says Prof Sia.
“It is a privilege for us to be able to continue to build on the foundation that our predecessors have laid, and we are humbled by the responsibility entrusted to us to steward KKH to greater heights.
"As an academic medical centre in the pursuit of excellence, we aim to continue to provide compassionate and holistic care for generations to come; we will need ‘all hands on deck’ to continue to deliver the care that all Singaporeans will be proud of,” adds Prof Sia.
“Let us continue working together to pursue our shared vision to further advance KKH as a centre of excellence, committed to improving patient care through clinical innovation, education and research. Through greater collaboration and integrated care, we will be able to better support and help patients to achieve optimal outcomes,” says A/Prof Ng.
Prof Alex Sia was appointed Director, KK Research Centre (1 August 2009 – 2013) and assumed the role of Chairman, Medical Board, KKH in 2012, playing a pivotal role in the inaugural launch of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Clinical Programmes for both Paediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
Under his leadership, KKH continued to transform many areas of healthcare for women and children, exemplified by the establishment of an accredited chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) diagnostic test to aid the diagnosis of genetic disorders in infants and children, as well as the national laboratory for Non-invasive Prenatal Testing under the Ministry of Health's Health Service Development Programme.
As Deputy Group Chairman Medical Board (1 March 2016 – 30 April 2017) of SingHealth, Prof Sia provided strategic leadership to the SingHealth Medical Board and supported the SingHealth Duke-NUS Disease Centres in pursuing excellent clinical outcomes through seamless, person-centred care.
A passionate researcher and educator, Prof Sia is Professor with the Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. He also holds appointments as Clinical Professor with the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor with the Engineering Design & Innovation Centre, National University of Singapore.
“Underpinned by our core values of compassion, integrity and collaboration, KKH’s focus on targeting Zero Harm for all patients and staff will remain a key priority,” says Prof Sia.
“We will continue to build on a culture of safety where everyone speaks up and is accountable as we strive to be a learning organisation that is dedicated to improving on the care we deliver. We will partner everyone, particularly our patients, in the quest of transforming care to enhance patient safety and experience.
"As an institution that is unwaveringly devoted to placing patients at the heart of all we do, KKH will continue to reach out to all our partners within the healthcare family and the community in our journey to provide truly person-centric care.”
A stalwart champion for clinical advancement, education and research, A/Prof Ng Kee Chong was Chairman of the KKH Emergency Preparedness Committee (1997 to 2016), leading the hospital’s disaster response following the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, and Head of the Children’s Emergency at KKH from 2005 to 2016.
From 2012 to 30 April 2017, A/Prof Ng was Academic Chair of the inaugural SingHealth Academic Clinical Programme for Paediatrics, and Chairman of the Division of Medicine, KKH, spearheading the establishment of the Temasek Foundation Cares Trauma Network for Children, and the KKH Regional Disaster Outreach Programme.
Active in humanitarian projects, A/Prof Ng has led KKH teams into various countries on medical education and training missions to combat maternal, paediatric and infant deaths. In 2015, he
further stepped into the role of Campus Director of Medical Innovation & Care Transformation, KKH.
A/Prof Ng is a member of the Ministry of Health National Trauma Committee, the National Resuscitation Council (NRC) and Chairman of the Paediatric Life Support Subcommittee, NRC. He was appointed to the pro tem committee of the Singapore Resuscitation & First Aid Council (SRFAC) in 2016, and is a member of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) Pediatrics Taskforce.
He is concurrently Duke-NUS Senior Associate Dean, KKH Campus, Adjunct Associate Professor with the Duke-NUS Medical School and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, and also a member of the Duke-NUS Medical School Admissions Committee, and a council member of the College of Paediatrics & Child Health, Singapore.
“We will strengthen our commitment in providing coordinated and integrated care to all our patients. The key to KKH’s ongoing success will be based on our ability to embrace elements of academic medicine, including research and education, as we continuously look for innovative ways to provide cost-effective healthcare,” says A/Prof Ng.
“In this respect, we count ourselves fortunate to be in the company of all our very committed people in the KKH family as we live our shared values and work towards our singular aim of improving patients’ lives.”
Over the course of three decades of service at KKH, Prof Kwek has inspired many with his humility and strong commitment to patient care. His commitment and exemplary leadership during his term as CEO (22 January 2012 – 30 April 2017) led KKH to be recognised as the region’s referral women’s and children’s hospital.
His strong advocacy for patient safety drove many new initiatives at KKH, such as the Zero Harm and Speak Up for Safety Commitment (Patient Safety A.S.A.P), the partnership with Cognitive Institute to promote high reliability and safety, and Leadership Rounding where KKH EXCO members are onsite with patients and staff for direct feedback on patient safety and quality.
Prof Kwek’s contributions led to KKH receiving numerous awards. KKH’s Trusted Care for Pregnancy won the IT Excellence in Providing Quality of Care at the National Health IT Summit 2016, and the hospital also received the Best Innovative Use of Infocomm Technology (Public Sector) and HIMSS-Elsevier Digital Healthcare Award – Outstanding ICT Innovation Award.
“The progress and outstanding culture of safety, transparency and collaboration in KKH are the result of all of us working together. I am confident that Prof Sia and A/Prof Ng are even more able to lead KKH forward in providing the best and safest care as well as the best experience for our patients,” says Prof Kwek.