More than $32.5 million raised to advance medical research and education in conjunction with SingHealth Duke-NUS Gala Dinner 2017.

  • 10 new named funds established including a new Professorship at SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre
  • Amount raised includes eight transformational gifts of $1 million or more in five clinical areas
Singapore, 3 September 2017 – The SingHealth Duke-NUS Gala Dinner 2017 closed on a high note with more than $32.5 million raised to further medical research and education. More than 700 guests attended the event at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, with Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) & Second Minister for Defence, Mr Ong Ye Kung, gracing the occasion as the Guest of Honour.

Themed ‘Stars of the Night’, the Gala Dinner was a celebration of the unwavering support of donors in partnering clinicians, researchers and educators at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre (AMC) to improve health for patients and the community. During the event, Minister Ong Ye Kung witnessed cheque presentations from four major donors. Dr Charles Toh and the Goh Foundation donated $1 million each to research and education programmes in Cardiovascular Sciences and Rheumatology respectively. The Tanoto Foundation supported the establishment of the Viral Research and Experimental Centre @ SingHealth Duke-NUS (ViREMiCS) with a $2 million gift to catalyse breakthroughs in the area of Infectious Diseases and the Children’s Cancer Foundation contributed $2.188 million to support two programmes in Paediatrics.

Other major donors include the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple who donated $3 million to establish the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Professorship in Ophthalmology, as well as three other major donors – two of whom donated a total of $3.5 million to cancer research and the third pledged $1 million to support eye research.

“The partnership between SingHealth and Duke-NUS Medical School as an AMC has gone from strength to strength over the last 12 years. Beyond breaking down silos and bringing together clinicians across institutions to innovate new models of care, this collaboration has extended to patient care where patients who require multi-disciplinary care are looked after by different specialists and healthcare professionals at the seven SingHealth Duke-NUS Disease Centres. With the generosity of our donors, we are committed to accelerating research and advancing education in our continual pursuit of even more ways to improve care for our patients and the health of our population,” said Professor Ivy Ng, Group Chief Executive Officer, SingHealth.

Duke-NUS Medical School Dean, Professor Thomas Coffman said, “The essence of our SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC collaboration is to bring together education, research and clinical care in order to enhance medical practice and improve patients’ lives. The successes of our academic programmes hinge on support from private philanthropy. These gifts nurture and encourage innovation and creativity across our enterprises, building a pathway from discoveries to healing and cures.”

In conjunction with the biennial SingHealth Duke-NUS Gala Dinner, the funds were raised over two years, starting from September 2015, by healthcare institutions that are part of the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC. These funds will supplement government funding to spark innovation, fuel research that translates promising successes in the laboratory into clinically meaningful improvements for patients and sharpen skills via training to set new benchmarks in care delivery.

Annex A

Four major donors presented cheques at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Gala Dinner 2017 in support of research and education programmes in Paediatrics, Infectious Diseases, Cardiovascular Sciences and Rheumatology.

Children’s Cancer Foundation
Often, children who have been treated for leukaemia and central nervous system tumours, two of the most common childhood cancers in Singapore, develop delayed effects of treatment later in life. Children’s Cancer Foundation contributed about $2.188 million to establish two programmes to extend support for childhood cancer survivors. The “CCF Psychosocial and Supportive Care Programme for Paediatric Oncology” aims to improve the overall treatment outcomes for paediatric oncology patients cognitively, emotionally and physically. The second programme, “CCF Paediatric Oncology Survivorship Programme” aims to develop a comprehensive model of care for long term follow-up and transition of care to adult services.

Tanoto Foundation
Outbreaks of infectious diseases such as dengue and Zika usually occur quickly and suddenly and can cause devastating impact on health. However, finding a vaccine or a cure for these diseases typically takes a decade or more. The Tanoto Foundation made a gift of $2 million to support the establishment of the Viral Research and Experimental Medicine Centre @ SingHealth Duke-NUS (ViREMiCS), which aims to shorten the time needed for clinical trials to accelerate the development of drugs and vaccines for infectious diseases.

Dr Charles Toh
When Dr Charles Toh, one of Singapore’s most eminent and respected cardiologists, started his career, he had the opportunity to train under renowned cardiologists in England. The extensive knowledge and skills which he gained from the experience shaped his career. A firm believer of the need for younger clinicians to be involved in clinical research, Dr Toh made a gift of $1 million to set up the Charles Toh Cardiovascular Fellowship to encourage and enable more discoveries in cardiovascular sciences and educate the next generation of clinicians in this field.

Goh Foundation
Over 600,000 people in Singapore have a Rheumatological disease and there are more than 30 Rheumatological diseases, many of which are complex autoimmune conditions. These diseases can affect major organs including the joints, brain and nerves, heart and blood vessels, lungs, kidneys and skin, causing serious complications that can be life-threatening. The Goh Foundation has pledged a gift of $1 million towards advancing research in five conditions including Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Spondyloarthritis.