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"Precious Gems 44"- Blessings and Hope
02 January 2020

We have achieved a lot in 2019, all made possible by our dedicated and passionate staff, donors, volunteers, friends and beneficiaries.

2019 is special to HCA, as it marks our thirtieth year. We celebrated our 30th anniversary with our Guest of Honour, Singapore’s President, Madam Halimah Yacob at a gala dinner. Generous donors, including staff, brought in a million dollars at the gala event. At the same event, we launched our new corporate video and a little ‘ladybird’ yearbook.

This year was also memorable to us as we moved our headquarters to a new premise located within the Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital grounds. The official opening ceremony of our new headquarters was graced by the Minister for Health, Mr Gan Kim Yong. Set within this premise, is a heritage mural, which vividly portrays the evolution of palliative and hospice care in Singapore, painted by Mr Yip Yew Chong.

For our beneficiaries, we organised two Family ‘Foto’ Fairs that offered professionally taken family portraits of our patients and their families, after they were given a makeover by our volunteer beauticians. Many families of our Star PALS patients often yearned for a family staycation with their sick child and this was made possible by our 2D1N Star PALS family camp. Twenty families of our Star PALS patients participated. For our bereaved families, we continue to support them through the grieving process by celebrating the lives and memories of patients who have passed on. On both the Sunflower Remembrance Days, family members were ever grateful.

On the fundraising front, our immediate past President ran the 200k for 200k Ultramarathon in under 45 hours, bringing in close to half a million dollars. Our inaugural Dandelion Ride (cycling event) brought in almost three hundred thousand dollars.

We designed a donation wall in celebration of our 30th anniversary and that has garnered more than half a million dollars. This year, we had the privilege of working with the family of the late Master Wu Tsai Yen. Seventy per cent of the sales proceeds from eighty finger paintings by the Master will be donated to HCA. Our annual charity golf also brought in just over two hundred thousand dollars. There were many other generous donors, including a legacy donation of a hundred thousand, for which we will always be grateful. We were also selected to be one of the beneficiaries of the President’s Challenge. Our staff did our part at our third annual HCA Bazaar to raise money for the HCA Compassionate Fund. Our teams draw on this Fund to enhance the lives of our beneficiaries, in simple ways. Example, one of our nurses bought a packet of chicken rice, for a patient who loves the fragrance of chicken rice, just before the home visit. We made possible, a dying grandma’s wish to go to Universal Studios with her grand-daughter. We raised nearly twelve thousand dollars for this Fund.

Our staff and volunteers were lauded for their significant and excellent contributions, winning the prestigious Outstanding Social Worker Award, two Healthcare Humanity Awards – Honourable Mention and Volunteer categories, the Nurses’ Merit Award. For the fourth year running, we took home the Charity Transparency Award. For the first time, the National Youth Council also awarded us for our Young Caregivers (yCG) programme that work with youths in Singapore.

We honoured over 100 volunteers at the Volunteer Appreciation Night, graced by the Senior Minister of State Mr Edwin Tong. For our staff, we honour the difference that they are making on occasions like World Social Workers’ Day, Nurses’ Day and celebrated long-serving employees on Long Service Awards Night, a night for staff to let down their hair. Every staff met with me at our quarterly skip-level meetings, a session where anyone can bring up compliments, complaints and suggestions for a better HCA.

This year, HCA adopted a Serving Leader model of high-performance culture and all our staff have undergone this training. We all want to serve the community by Running to Great Purpose, Raising the Bar, Blazing the Trail, Building on Strength and Upending the Pyramid. We also enhanced our Enterprise Risk Management by refreshing our action plans and potential risks. For our Council, we conducted the annual Strategic Planning Workshop, building on the Serving Leader model and included a half-day retreat to enhance one-mindedness and togetherness between our Council and the management team.

The list is long and I am immensely proud of the team. As we move to a new year and a new decade, I count my blessings for HCA – we have wonderful support from friends, donors and volunteers, for the work of our HCA team. I am hopeful we will soar higher and provide even better services to our beneficiaries. The first of which will be our new Day Hospice – Oasis@Outram – a new concept Day Hospice, offering choices of programmes for all our patients. Watch this space in the middle of 2020!

To each of you, my personal wishes for a Blessed and Happy New Year!