​The Father of Urology in Singapore, pioneers of allied health, and a nurse who groomed future nursing leaders. These are just some of the 700 healthcare professionals and guests that attended a special Pioneer Generation event organised by Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

Titled, “Rooted in Excellence” – a tribute to our SGH Pioneers, the event which took place on Saturday, 11 October 2014 celebrated the contributions of Pioneer Generation healthcare workers who have or are still working at SGH. Many of the medical breakthroughs and advancements in Singapore, and achievements made by SGH would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of these healthcare pioneers.

Our healthcare pioneers had laid the building blocks of numerous medical disciplines that have extended the quality of care available in Singapore today. Professor Foo Keong Tatt, Emeritus Consultant, Department of Urology, for example, is popularly known as the ‘Father of Urology’, not just because he was one of the few pioneering doctors who practised urology exclusively, but because almost every one of the present generation of urologists locally was under his tutorage at one time or the other.

Other healthcare pioneers such as Mr Ho Meng Jang, Department of Occupational Therapy, Mr Albert Lee, Department of Physiotherapy, and Mr Peter Lee from Medical Social Services continue to work with SGH. The three former heads of departments, with a combined 150 years of service between them, pioneered developments in their respective fields. Mr Ho, for example, started the use of pressure garments in the Hospital for burns patients who were likely to have hypertrophic scars during their recovery. The garments helped to limit the formation of rigid bumps which could hinder mobility.

Senior Nurse Manager, Ms Rosie Kwan, also joined the Pioneer Generation celebrations. Ms Kwan first joined SGH in 1965 when she was 17. Over her years of service, she has not only inspired many young nurses who have moved into leadership positions, but is also a strong advocate for quality and patient care innovation, initiating more than 20 quality improvement projects in the last 25 years. Many of these projects have received accolades and are implemented in the wards today to improve patient care delivery.

Invited guests at Pioneer Generation event enjoyed performances, renewed ties and relived old memories with former colleagues.