NHGP partners SUSS to train undergraduates in health and wellness coaching

Singapore, 22 January 2021 – The National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP) and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) today signed a Master Collaboration Agreement (MCA) to train undergraduates in health and wellness coaching. This partnership aims to nurture a pipeline of local graduates with the ability to conduct person-centered health coaching, and is a first such collaboration between a primary care organisation and an academic institution in Singapore.

Commencing in January 2021, the six-week course is open to SUSS Psychology undergraduates pursuing their honours programme. The curriculum is jointly developed by NHG’s Primary Care Academy and SUSS. In a complex healthcare landscape, healthcare practitioners need to shift away from the traditional prescriptive method to one where patients are more engaged, empowered and motivated to achieve better outcomes. 

As part of the course, students will be equipped with skills to promote better health and encourage behavioural change. They will learn to engage patients including those with low health literacy towards setting and achieving actionable health and wellness goals. These are some of the tenets of relationship-based care, which are aligned with the practice of Family Medicine advocated by NHGP and the global health fraternity. The course also imbibes skills to customise engagement strategies for clients according to their stages of behavioural change readiness and desired wellness goals. Students will also participate in simulated coaching sessions as they are assessed on learnt applications.

Associate Professor Chong Phui-Nah, Chief Executive Officer of NHGP and Primary Care, said, “The Primary Care Academy is pleased to partner with SUSS. Our close collaboration will present a valuable opportunity for students to learn how health coaching in primary care is not only a key driver for chronic disease management, but also helps to prevent the onset of chronic diseases through behavioural modification strategies. Under the guidance of experienced healthcare staff, we also hope to let them have a glimpse into real world issues including context-rich primary care narratives and scenarios, which we hope will inspire the next generation of healthcare practitioners in Singapore.”

Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of SUSS, added, “We value this partnership and it couldn’t be more timely as healthcare is pushed to the forefront due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our students who are working adults would be able to immediately put into practice what they learn in the classroom. We hope our students would be able to inspire sustainable health practices among their patients, and create a ripple effect to the wider community.”

Currently, a small group of SUSS Psychology undergraduate students pursuing the honours programme have already enrolled for the inaugural course intake. By 2023, this course will be offered to a wider group including working professionals under SUSS’ Centre for Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE).

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For media queries, please contact: 
Ms Joanne Teo
Senior Executive, Corporate Communications, NHGP
Email: joanne_ls_teo@nhgp.com.sg

Ms Valerie Ng
Senior PR Manager, Communications & Marketing, SUSS
Email: valeriengww@suss.edu.sg

Mr Tian Zhiyuan
Manager, Communications & Marketing, SUSS
Email: ztian@suss.edu.sg

About National Healthcare Group Polyclinics and Primary Care Academy
The National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP) and the Primary Care Academy (PCA) are both members of the National Healthcare Group (NHG), the Regional Health System for Central Singapore.

NHGP forms the primary healthcare arm of NHG. Its six polyclinics serve a significant proportion of the population in the central and northern parts of Singapore. NHGP provides a comprehensive range of health services for the family, functioning as a one-stop health centre providing treatment for acute medical conditions, management of chronic diseases, women & child health services and dental care. The focus of NHGP’s care is on health promotion and disease prevention, early and accurate diagnosis, disease management through physician led team-based care as well as enhancing the capability of Family Medicine through research and teaching.

Through PCA, NHGP provides training to caregivers and other primary care counterparts in the community sector.

More information is available at http://www.nhgp.com.sg.

About the Singapore University of Social Sciences
Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) is a university with a rich heritage in inspiring lifelong education, and transforming society through social sciences. We develop work-ready graduates and work-adaptive alumni to their fullest potential through our 3H’s education philosophy – ‘Head’ for professional competency with applied knowledge, ‘Heart’ for social awareness to meet the needs of the society, and ‘Habit’ for passion towards lifelong learning. 

We offer over 80 undergraduate and graduate programmes, available in full- and part-time study modes, which are flexible, modular and inter-disciplinary, catering to both fresh school leavers and adult learners. SUSS also offers a broad range of continuing education and training modular courses for the professional skills upgrading of Singapore’s workforce. 

Our programmes and courses are offered by our five schools:

  • S R Nathan School of Human Development
  • School of Business
  • School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences
  • School of Law
  • School of Science and Technology

To date, over 38,000 graduates have experienced our unique brand of education, and each year, about 15,000 students are pursuing their full- and part-time studies with us.

The Institute for Adult Learning (IAL), as part of SUSS, leads in the field of research on adult learning to build capabilities of the training and adult education sector in Singapore and beyond. 

For more information on SUSS, please visit www.suss.edu.sg.

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