By Kimberley Wang, Manager, Media and Publications, Communications and Outreach
From its inception in 2010, LKCMedicine has seen rapid growth and made significant contributions to healthcare in Singapore and globally through research and its graduate doctors. To chart the next stage of the School’s progress, the core leadership drafted a strategic plan for the next five years. The LKCMedicine 2025 Strategic Plan was unveiled at the first Dean’s Townhall of the year on 13 July. More than 150 faculty and staff attended the event on-site at the lecture theatre in the School’s Toh Kian Chui Annex.
At the Townhall, LKCMedicine Dean Professor Joseph Sung and his team of core leaders presented the four strategic thrusts of the Strategic Plan: Innovative Education, Transformative Research, Synergistic Partnerships, and Organisational Excellence. Guided by the School’s vision of Redefining Medicine, Transforming Healthcare, the Strategic Plan incorporates views from the LKCMedicine Governing Board, our primary clinical partner the National Healthcare Group and other key stakeholders. View or download the LKCMedicine 2025 Strategic Plan e-book here.
In his welcome remarks, Prof Sung first touched on the announcement that the collaboration agreement with Imperial College London will successfully conclude in 2028, after which the MBBS students will receive an NTU degree. He noted that the announcement was received positively by the LKCMedicine community and the public.
Prof Sung went on to share that together with key faculty and staff, he recently visited top universities and state-of-the-art research centres in the United Kingdom and Canada. The purpose of the trips was to start discussions on potential collaborations in medical education and research, with the larger goal of aligning the School with the LKCMedicine 2025 Strategic Plan.
Giving an overview of the Strategic Plan, he said, “We want to be a champion in medical education and medical research. With all our efforts put together, I am very optimistic that we will take LKCMedicine to the next stage of development.”
Presenting on the Innovative Education strategic thrust on behalf of Vice-Dean (Education) Professor Jennifer Cleland who was unable to attend in person, Prof Sung spoke on the potential areas for reform. He highlighted the need to individualise the curriculum and co-curriculum, enhance experiential learning with more early clinical exposure and how to work in the era of digital medicine, and develop postgraduate programmes.
Prof Sung added, “We want to proliferate [postgraduate programmes] in order to help not just doctors and future doctors, but also to train nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and so on, to work as a team because we envisage that the future of care to our patients has to be a team approach.”
Next, Vice-Dean (Research) Professor Lim Kah Leong talked about the second strategic thrust – Transformative Research. The focus areas include pioneering impactful research outcomes, engaging in cross-disciplinary research to transform healthcare and empowering patients and the community to take care of their health, as part of the national effort to accelerate digital health. He also underscored the importance of building a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship to develop business plans and engage the industry and investors for potential commercialisation.
Emphasising that research is a continuum, Prof Lim added, “All of us want our research outcomes to impact the community. I am cognisant that passion drives our research and I wish to assure all of you that there is a home for everyone at LKCMedicine no matter where your passion lies.”
Vice-Dean (Faculty Affairs) Associate Professor Andrew Tan then took the stage to present the third strategic thrust – Synergistic Partnerships. He spoke about how the School is embarking on more interdisciplinary research with different NTU Schools, partnering the National Healthcare Group towards acquiring Academic Healthcare System status, and more focused research collaborations with A*STAR institutes.
A/Prof Tan also shared how LKCMedicine is building partnerships with international universities in various programmes which will open up more opportunities for faculty and students. “In order to achieve with what we want, we need to partner with people,” he added.
This was followed by Chief Operating Officer Dr Serene Ng’s presentation on the Organisation Excellence strategic thrust. She highlighted that one of the focus areas is developing a high performance workforce and this includes continuous learning and enhancing the health and well-being of staff. Another focus area is driving operational excellence through enhancing business processes and working together towards the School’s sustainability goals in line with NTU’s sustainability manifesto.
Dr Ng pointed out that it is equally important to grow LKCMedicine’s visibility in the community. “We need to get our message out into the community. We need to be able to articulate the impact that we are making,” she said.
The core leadership then engaged with the audience through an open floor discussion covering topics such as joint PhD programmes, sustainability initiatives, ergonomic workstations, and the accessibility of innovation in healthcare.
Wrapping up the event, Prof Sung announced the launch of the LKCMedicine Cares initiative with year-round activities focusing on mental health, physical wellness and social well-being for employees. Under LKCMedicine Cares, the School will adopt “Eat With Your Family Day”, an initiative by the Centre for Fathering that encourages organisations to allow employees to leave work earlier and enjoy a meal with their families. To appreciate the important role that families play in supporting their work, the LKCMedicine community will be granted early release each quarter to spend quality time with their families.
After the Townhall, faculty and staff participated in the inaugural LKCMedicine Wellness Day. The activities include a healthy cooking demonstration, head and shoulder massage by the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped mobile massage team and a trampoline fitness class. The Wellness Day will be held annually for faculty and staff with more activities that promote well-being.