(From left) Associate Professor Ludwig Tan, Dean, School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences, SUSS; Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of SUSS; Professor Tsui Kai Chong, Provost of SUSS; Associate Professor Chong Phui-Nah, Chief Executive Officer of NHGP and Primary Care; and Dr Irwin Chung, Director, Primary Care Academy, NHGP.
On 22 January 2021, the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP) and SUSS signed a Master Collaboration Agreement to train undergraduates in health and wellness coaching. This partnership aims to nurture a pipeline of local graduates with the ability to conduct person-centred 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. 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.
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."