Inspired by what she has learnt, a recipient of the Community Care Manpower Development Award (CCMDA), Dr Grace Chiang, Registrar, St Luke’s Hospital, hopes to apply the insights she gained to support Singapore’s vision of ageing-in-place. The CCMDA provides you with opportunities to pursue a career in the Community Care sector. For more information, check out www.aic.sg/for-community-care-partners/ccmda
What inspired you to join the Community Care sector?
My first encounter with the Community Care sector took place when I was in Junior College. My grandfather had a long battle with multiple severe chronic conditions. When he was diagnosed with myelofibrosis later, he became increasingly frail. Then the cycle of readmissions seemed endless.
He was admitted to a community hospital after a lengthy stay at an acute hospital. Seeing how caring the community hospital staff were to my grandfather and my family when they addressed our concerns really resonated with me. It meant a lot to my family that my grandfather could be discharged as per his wish.
When I was attached to St Luke's Hospital (SLH) as part of my Family Medicine (FM) residency training, I was able to give back and make a difference in the lives of other patients and families going through what we had gone through. After passing my speciality exams, it was a natural decision to call the Community Care sector home.
How many years have you been in the Community Care sector?
I have worked at SLH for two years, helping to take care of both inpatient and outpatient patients with chronic conditions such as dementia, cardiac issues, and wounds.
What made you pursue the Master of Public Health at John Hopkins?
I pursued a Master of Public Health (MPH) at Johns Hopkins as it offered an Ageing and Public Health Concentration. I wanted to learn how to integrate the healthcare sector better and support person-centred care to further Singapore’s vision of ageing-in-place. I was able to meld my interests in research and ageing by enrolling in additional certificate programmes in Gerontology and Clinical Trials. This allowed me to delve deeper into ageing-related healthcare issues through research.
How do you plan to use what you have learnt in your work?
I see the intermediate and long-term care centres playing a more integral role in the healthcare continuum in the future. I hope to strengthen links between the care sectors through research by encouraging multi-disciplinary collaborations. I also hope to develop care models to increase the role of community care management to reach more vulnerable older persons in the community.