HomeNews EventsNewsNUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health Official Opening of New Premises at Tahir Foundation Building

NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health Official Opening of New Premises at Tahir Foundation Building

12 Feb 2015

It was a momentous occasion as the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health celebrated the official opening of its new premises at the Tahir Foundation Building on 12 February 2015.

Gracing the occasion was Guest-of-Honour Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization and alumna of the School’s Master of Public Health programme. Also lending her presence was special guest Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Manpower.

The morning’s programme was inaugurated by Professor Chia Kee Seng, Dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, who delivered the welcome remarks. Prof Chia highlighted several of the School’s outstanding efforts in turning discovery into healthier communities since its establishment. 

He touched on the School’s capabilities in projecting disease burden which has in turn enabled policymakers to understand the magnitude and impact of the country’s growing chronic disease burden and help inform the MOH Healthy Living Master Plan.

Prof Chia highlighted the School’s efforts in promoting and implementing Total Workplace Safety and Health into governmental policies, as well as research work in the area of pharmacogenomics, preventing adverse drug reactions which supported the use of genetic testing for preventing adverse drug reactions.

He also likened the development and training of public health professionals to triathletes, emphasising the imperative message to “integrate knowledge across disciplines to develop solutions that will improve the health of populations in Singapore and beyond”.

Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, NUS President and Chairman of the National University Health System Board then took to the stage, stating that this move to a new premise marked “a major milestone for public health in our University, Singapore and our part of the world”. 

With a new set of public health challenges in the face of a highly-urbanised and affluent society, the School “is now well poised for a new and steep inflection point in its growth and impact”.  

He noted that the School’s new premises will “enhance its ability to expand its cutting-edge research, to enhance its education and to nurture, attract and retain talented faculty and staff”. 

Prof Tan also expressed his deepest appreciation to Professor Saw Swee Hock, whose philanthropic gift and support has enabled the establishment of a fully-fledged School of Public Health to take shape, placing the School on a trajectory to excellence and leadership in public health regionally and globally.

Dr Margaret Chan then addressed the room, fondly recalling her days at NUS as a student of the then-Master of Science (Public Health and Occupational Medicine) programme during the mid-1980s, with her fellow classmate, Prof Chia Kee Seng. 

She expressed that her experience at NUS has shaped her as a global public health leader, adding that “What served me the best was what I learnt here, in Singapore…. Through you, I’ve learnt to serve the world.”

Dr Chan also touched on the School’s strategic focus on translation and trans-disciplinarity in dealing with the added complexities in public health challenges today and in the future. She added that with these additional complexities, prevention of diseases must be brought to the forefront. Dr Chan also praised Singapore’s approach to public health and willingness to lead, which has helped the nation avoid mistakes observed in other regions.

Following Dr Chan’s address, Prof Chia Kee Seng and Prof Lee Hin Peng joined Dr Chan on stage to officially launch the opening of the new premises, which was followed by the premiere showing of the School’s first corporate video

View the opening of the School's new premises

From left: Professor Lee Hin Peng, Dr Margaret Chan and Professor Chia Kee Seng launching the opening of the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health's new premises at the Tahir Foundation Building.

Dr Chan, together with Prof Lee - who sparked the idea of developing an independent School of Public Health - and the School's Dean, Prof Chia, placed the kerosene projector lamp on the base, officially launching the opening of the School's new premises. The kerosene projector lamp was given to the School by the World Health Organization in 1948, when the School, then known as the Department of Social Medicine and Public Health, was first started. 

With the first half of the programme over, the guests proceeded to a ribbon cutting ceremony held at the lift lobby outside the School’s main reception. 

 

From left: Chairman of the NUS Board of Trustees Mr Wong Ngit Leong; Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Manpower, Dr Amy Khor; Director General, World Health Organization Dr Margaret Chan; esteemed alumnus, philanthropist and the School's benefactor Professor Saw Swee Hock; Dean, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health Professor Chia Kee Seng; and NUS President and Chairman, NUHS Board, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan. 

Public Health Thought Leadership Series “Facing Public Health Challenges in the Post-2015 Era: Need for a New Paradigm”

Following the official opening of the new premises, Dr Chan delivered a talk as part of the School’s Public Health Thought Leadership Series dialogue session, Facing Public Health Challenges in the Post-2015 Era: Need for a New Paradigm.

Dr Chan’s talk was followed by a discussion moderated by Professor John Wong, NUHS Chief Executive, which saw several rising public health leaders give their take on public health challenges of the future. The panelists included Associate Professor Vernon Lee, Head of the Singapore Armed Forces’ Biodefence Centre, Dr Joanne Yoong, Assistant Professor at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and Dr Winston Chin, a Senior Resident under the NUHS Preventive Medicine Residency programme. 

View the Public Health Thought Leadership Series "Facing Public Health Challenges in the Post-2015 Era: Need for a New Paradigm"

From left: Dr Winston Chin, Dr Joanne Yoong, session moderator NUHS Chief Executive Professor John Wong, Dr Margaret Chan and Associate Professor Vernon Lee during the panel discussion.

The session ended on a heartwarming note as Dean Prof Chia Kee Seng presented Dr Chan with a class photo of their 1984/1985 Master of Science (Public Health and Occupational Medicine) class. 

 

Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
 
Tahir Foundation Building
National University of Singapore
12 Science Drive 2
#10-01
Singapore 117549
 
For all visitors, kindly proceed to Level 10 Reception Area at MD1
 
Telephone: (65) 6516 4988
Fascimile: (65) 6779 1489

Connect With Us:     

© National University of Singapore. All Rights Reserved.
Legal   Branding guidelines