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    Medical Social Services Department


    What is social work? According to the International Federation of Social Workers, the social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems social work intervenes at the point where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work.

    Medical Social Services Department of Singapore General Hospital (SGH) has been serving its patients, the hospital and community since the 1950s. As a pioneer in the service, our department has grown and expanded alongside SGH, now with at least one Medical Social Worker (MSW) for each clinical specialty.

    Our department attends to patients and their families who have difficulties coping with their emotional, psychological, social and care problems arising from ill health and traumatic injuries. As an inter-disciplinary team player, MSW collaborates with the healthcare team and community resources to provide patients and their families with holistic care. Our social work assistants (SWA) provide support to MSWs in delivering psychosocial care to our patients.

    In upholding the three pillars of SGH, namely clinical services, teaching and research, our department provides the following services.

    Discharge Care & Planning

    We assist patients in making a smooth transition from the hospital back to the community that results in the continuity of care and efficient use of hospital and community resources. This can include referrals to community hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, shelter homes, day care centres, senior activity centres, home-help and befriending services.

    Our CareLink provides information and referral services on loan and purchase of medical equipment and appliances, to enable patients to receive continued care at home.

    Counselling & Therapy

    MSWs are extensively involved in counselling—managing issues from illness coping, illness anxiety, grief and loss, bereavement, single motherhood and other emotional distress.

    In 2002, our trained therapists introduced marital and family therapy as a complement to our existing patient counselling services. Therapy is a chargeable service.

    Financial Assistance

    Medical costs and treatment affordability are common concerns among many patients. In addition to formal assistance schemes such as Medifund, we link needy, eligible patients with external resources to meet their treatment costs, and financial and practical needs arising from their illnesses.

    Suicide Assessment and Intervention

    Each year, our department attends to more than 300 patients admitted for suicide attempts. Apart from the attempted suicide cases, we also assess patients with suicide ideation. These patients are supported by a dedicated team of MSWs who are competent in Applied Suicide Skills & Intervention Training (ASIST) of LivingWorks (Calgary, Canada) Suicide.

    Interpersonal Violence Intervention

    A team of specialised MSWs provide risk assessment, safety planning and emotional support for victims of family violence, including domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse. Our MSWs also care for victims of sexual assault-empowering them through empathy and supportive services—with the aim of transforming sexual assault victims to sexual assault survivors.

    Grief and Bereavement Support

    Our MSWs provide grief and bereavement support to families whose loved ones died of sudden or traumatic deaths.

    Psychological Trauma Support

    Patients admitted for burns, road traffic accidents and other traumatic injuries are exposed to psychological trauma. SGH as the only Burns Centre in Southeast Asia further accentuates our MSWs’ role in supporting affected patients as they cope with psychological trauma.

    MSWs are trained as CARE (Caring Action in Response to an Emergency) officers to provide psychological first aid and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing for people affected by critical incidents or national disaster situations.

    Home Visits

    As part of post-discharge care services, we conduct home visits to establish patients’ coping capacity in their home environment, linking them with other community resources where necessary. Home visits also allow us to gain a better understanding of patients’ family dynamics and financial situation, hence facilitating us in our case assessment and intervention.

    Support Groups

    Dealing with the onset of a chronic illness is never an easy experience for patients and their families. As part of increasing their coping capacity, MSWs facilitate support groups, where patients can share their concerns in a supportive environment. Some of these groups include those for patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and caregivers of patients with traumatic brain injury.

    Staff Counselling

    Our department is the first among public hospitals to offer staff counselling for hospital employees who may be affected by personal, family and workplace problems. Employees requesting such services are either self-referred or referred by their colleagues or supervisors. Like in all counselling contexts, employees’ counselling information is kept confidential.

    Teaching

    Our MSWs are actively involved in training and education. Social Work undergraduate interns from National University of Singapore (NUS) and SIM University (UniSIM) are among some students we train. Some of our MSWs are part-time lecturers at NUS.

    We conduct counselling and social work-related training for healthcare and social work professionals, as well as corporate clients. Examples include Essential Counselling Skills, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and Breaking Bad News.

    Research

    Our department actively engages in evidence-based practice and practice-based research to provide the best care for our patients. The areas of research that we engage in include:

    • Health services research
    • Clinical intervention and evaluation
    • Theory Building
    • Healthcare financing
    • Social Work administration and leadership

    Head, Medical Social Services

    Olivia Khoo Ruey Lin
    Master of Social Science (Social Work)
    Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
    Diploma in Conselling Practice

    Master Medical Social Workers

    Chew Li Ling
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Science)
     
    Crystal Lim Ah Yan
    PhD Candidate (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
    Master of Social Work (MSW)
    Bachelor of Arts

    Esther Lim Li Ping
    Master of Science (Evidence-based Social Intervention)
    Postgraduate Diploma in Family & Marital Therapy
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work)

    Koh Sock Sim
    Master of Social Science in Family Therapy
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work)
    Diploma in Counselling Practice

    Peter Lee Lian Heng
    Graduate Diploma in Social Studies
    Graduate Diploma in Medical Social Work

    Principal Medical Social Workers

    Andy Sim Gim Hong
    Master of Social Work (MSW)
    Fellow of Zelda Foster Palliative and End of Life Studies (USA)
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
    Certified in Thanatology (ADEC, USA)

    Cecilia Loo Lay Keng
    Master of Social Work
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work)
    Graduate Diploma in Counselling Practice

    Esther Chan Shin Nee
    Master of Arts (Counselling Psychology)
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work & Sociology)
     
    Goh Soo Cheng
    Master of Social Science (Social Work)
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work)
    Post-graduate Diploma (Solution-Focused Brief Therapy)
     
    Keith Tan Eng Khee
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work)
    Diploma in Clinical Supervision
     
    Koh Chee Wai
    Master of Science (Rehabilitation Counseling) specialize in Psychiatric Rehabilitation
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work)
     
    Low Hui Ching
    Master in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
    Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy (Distinction)
     
    Ow Yong Lai Meng
    Master of Social Science (Counselling)
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
    Certified Hypnotherapist (National Guild of Hypnotists)
     
    Patricia Chua Sin Hong
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work)

    Senior Medical Social Workers

    Ann Chow Yue Yan
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) 

    Catherine Zhang Kewa
    Master of Social Science (Social Work), Bachelor of Law (Social Work)

    Christine Hindarto Lim
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) 
    Graduate Diploma in Counselling Practice

    Claire Chuang Ya Ting
    Master of Social Work (MSW), Bachelor of Social Work

    Emily Tan U Tong
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work)

    Eunice Lee Lai Mei
    Bachelor of Social Work, Graduate Diploma in Counselling Practice

    Faith Wong Ming Fei
    Master of Social Science (Social Work)
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
     
    Florence Fong Hui Mei

    Master of Social Science (Social Work)
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
     
    Jackie Erh Juat Khee
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work) 

    Janelle Chan Mieu Gin
    Master of Science (Palliative Care), Bachelor of Social Work

    Jasmine Chen Minyi
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)

    Jojo Yang Bin
    Master of Social Work (MSW), Bachelor of Social Work

    Kathleen Cheung Ka Yan
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) 

    Koh Poh Lin
    Master of Social Sciences (Counselling)
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work)
    Diploma in Clinical  Supervision

    Lee Chi Feng
    Master of Arts (Social Work) 

    Li Nianci
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work) 

    Lim Jingfen
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
    Graduate Diploma in Counselling Practice
     
    Lim Zhiying
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
     
    Matthew Ng Chee Beng
    Master of Social Sciences (Social Work)
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)

    Nicole Wong Huay Sze
    Master of Social Sciences (Social Work)
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
     
    Patricia Jin Hui Xia
    Master of Social Work (MSW)
     
    Rajesh Jaya
    Master of Social Work (MSW)
    Specialist Diploma in Counselling

    Sherylene Heah Gaik Suan
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work and Statistics)
    Graduate Diploma in Counselling Practice

    Suzanne Tham Shu Xin
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
    Graduate Diploma in Counselling Practice

    Tan Lee Ling
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
    Graduate Diploma in Counselling Practice

    Tan Pei Yi
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)

    Tang Chyi Yueh
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
    Graduate Diploma in Counselling Practice
     
    Victor Li Guoping
    Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
     
    Yulenda Tseng Wan Yen
    Master of Social Work, Bachelor of Arts (Social Work)

    Location

    Medical Social Services Department

    Block 3 Level 1
    Email: mss@sgh.com.sg

    Last Modified Date :17 Nov 2017