Symposium 9

Musculoskeletal 2 - Physiotherapists as Diagnosticians

Symposium Chairperson: Ms Goh Ming Rong, Principal Physiotherapist, Woodlands Health Campus, Singapore

Ms Goh Ming Rong is a Principal Physiotherapist at Woodlands Health Campus. She has been working as a physiotherapist in Changi General Hospital (CGH), then Woodlands Health Campus since 2005 after her graduation from Melbourne University. She subsequently obtained a Masters in Manipulative Therapy from Curtin University in 2008. She has special interests in musculoskeletal musculoskeletal triaging in the Emergency Department and primary care settings. She led the team that piloted musculoskeletal physiotherapy in the Emergency Department in CGH and is now involved in training polyclinic physiotherapists to be involved in triaging for MSK cases in the primary care setting.

Ms Susan Niam, Chief Allied Health Officer, Ministry of Health, Singapore

Topic Title: Improving Access to MSK Rehab

Ms Susan Niam is the first and current Chief Allied Health Officer in the Ministry of Health (MOH) and holds a concurrent appointment as the Registrar of the Allied Health Professions Council that regulates the practice of 5 allied health professional groups.

At MOH, Susan currently provides professional leadership and oversight in facilitating the development and deployment of models of care to catalyse more effective care transition to the most appropriate settings. She also provides professional input concerning allied health workforce and professional capabilities development. Prior to her appointment in MOH in 2018, Susan was the Chairperson of Allied Health Services and Pharmacy Division at Tan Tock Seng Hospital for 9 years, where she led 13 diverse allied health professional groups.

She graduated from physiotherapy schools in New Zealand and Australia and was practicing for more than two decades. Susan is an active volunteer in several community organizations for more than 20 years.

Mr Ram Peruvemba, Rehabilitation Manager, Woodlands Health Campus, Singapore

Topic Title: Extended Scope Practice in the UK - How Much of the UK ESP model is Applicable in Singapore?

Mr Ram Peruvemba is the Rehabilitation Manager at Woodlands Health Campus. He has a specialisation in Musculoskeletal (MSK) Physiotherapy and has worked as a clinician, both locally as well as in the UK. In the UK, Ram worked both in the private sector as well as the National Health Service (NHS) as a Musculoskeletal Specialist Physiotherapist for almost a decade.

During his time there, he pursued further studies and underwent specialized training to become an Extended Scope Physiotherapist. Working at NHS trusts across Surrey, Sussex and Kent, Ram worked alongside Orthopaedic Surgeons assessing and treating a wide variety of musculoskeletal patients in his role as a first contact practitioner where he helped to streamline treatment processes by ordering radiological investigations, administering steroid injections for common musculoskeletal conditions and to right site patient care.

Ram returned to Singapore and has been working here for the last 8 years in a clinical and teaching role which includes mentoring of staff, students in his role as a conventional MSK physiotherapist. For the past 3 years, he has been overseeing the development of rehabilitation services for the future Woodlands Health Campus (WHC) and his current role includes planning and development of the various rehab spaces, services and model of care within the WHC campus. He is also a member of the various campus planning committees and also represents WHC at MOH panels.

Ms Ngo Xue Ting, Principal Physiotherapist, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore

Topic Title: Moving Towards Advanced Practice Physiotherapy in The Emergency Department (ED) Setting

Ms Ngo Xue Ting is a Principal Physiotherapist at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. She has been working in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) since 2007 after her graduation from University of Sydney. She has special interests in musculoskeletal care and ergonomics and has attained her postgraduate qualification in 2012. She has been part of the steering committee for TTSH’s ED Physiotherapy Service since 2015 and is currently overseeing the ED Advanced Practice Physiotherapy (ED APP) service development in TTSH.

Ms Pradha Rajoo, Senior Physiotherapist, Yishun Polyclinic, Singapore

Topic Title: Primary Care Perspective

Ms Pradha Rajoo is a Senior Physiotherapist at Yishun Polyclinic. She started her clinical journey at a tertiary institution in Singapore for 12 years. Whilst there, she was in a neurology setup for 1.5 years, after which she spent the rest of her time in the Cardiopulmonary team. Given her interest in treating critical patients, she pursued her MSc in Advanced Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy from University College London. During her time in the Cardiopulmonary team, she was involved in the team-based initiative which encouraged early mobilisation in the ICU. About 4.5 years ago, due to her interest and curiosity in primary health, she moved to NHG Polyclinics. Currently, most patients that she treats in the polyclinics, come in with a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems. It's challenging to diagnose them as they have other co-morbidities such as metabolic diseases that can influence her decision making skills. Given the exposure and experiences that she had in seeing Neurology, Cardiopulmonary and Musculoskeletal patients over the past years, it certainly helps with diagnosing, treating and escalating management of primary care patients.

Symposium 10

Neurology 2 - Inclusive Fitness - Pushing the Boundaries

Symposium Chairperson: Dr Shamala Thilarajah, Principal Physiotherapist, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 

Dr Shamala Thilarajah is a Principal Physiotherapist at Singapore General Hospital. She has been a physiotherapist since 2004 and completed a PhD in 2018. Her research interest is in translating evidence to practice and life after stroke. Having trained as a physiotherapist in Sydney and London before returning home to Singapore in 2012, Shamala has worked across the continuum of care in stroke. At present, Shamala leads several stroke rehabilitation improvement projects at the Singapore General Hospital. A passionate advocate for people with stroke and other disabilities, she is the current President of the Singapore National Stroke Association and believes in equal access to social participation for people with disabilities. 

Professor Cathie Sherrington, The University of Sydney, Australia

Topic Title: Current Evidence in Physical Activity and Exercise for People with Neurological Conditions

Professor Cathie Sherrington [FAHMS, PhD, MPH, BAppSc (Physio)] is a Professorial Research Fellow and National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship holder at the School of Public Health and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health University of Sydney/ Sydney Local Health District where she leads the Physical Activity, Ageing and Disability Research Stream. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of falls prevention and exercise interventions for older people and those with disabilities. She has authored 235 refereed journal articles, including reports of 32 clinical trials and 17 systematic reviews, and has been a Chief Investigator on National Health and Medical Research Council grants totaling over $19 million. She was also one of the founders of PEDro, the Physiotherapy Evidence Database Prior to completing a PhD and Masters of Public Heath, Cathie was a physiotherapist in aged care and rehabilitation settings.

Ms Lau Kim Lan , Team Lead, Disability & Inclusion, SportCare, Sport Singapore

Topic Title: Disability Sports Master Plan: Barriers and Enablers to Include People with Disabilities

Currently leading a team in executing the Disability Sports Master Plan (DSMP) in Singapore, Ms Kim is a strong advocate in inclusion and believes that Persons with Disabilities can learn and improve in any endeavours if they are given the opportunities to learn and participate in. With more than 24 years of lived experience and acquired skill sets in coaching PwDs in sport and vocational skills, Ms Kim shares her knowledge through designing disability awareness workshops; Train-the-Trainer clinics and courses as a Special Olympics National Trainer, IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Educator and Associate lecturer at Republic Polytechnic.

Ms Tan Poh Choo, Stroke Survivor  & current Vice President of Singapore National Stroke Association (SNSA)

Topic Title:  Access to Exercise: A stroke survivor's perspective (Live interview)

Ms Tan had Ischemic Stroke in 2013, after a morning meeting in the office, which affected her right limbs. Her colleague recognised her symptoms as stroke and was sent to A & E.  She was a busy local television programmes producer and it was a wake-up call to go slow and take care of her health.  After her recovery, Poh Choo became a Stroke Befriender Volunteer to give back and organised activities for the stroke survivors and their caregivers at SNSA.  Poh Choo’s goals for SNSA is to spread stroke awareness and to be the link to hospitals, to be stroke patient’s buddy to help with their stroke journey.

She enjoys a good walk in the parks and is glad there is life after stroke.

Symposium 11

Community 2 - Future Ready Physiotherapists for Ageing in Place

Symposium Chairperson: Ms Yong Limin, Senior Principal Physiotherapist, MOH Holdings 

Ms Yong Limin is a Senior Principal Physiotherapist in MOH Holdings Healthcare Manpower Division. She is currently seconded to Methodist Welfare Services as Head, Allied Health. She has worked in many clinical settings with focus on geriatric care, including acute tertiary & regional hospitals, community hospitals, day rehab centres, senior activity centres, home therapy as well as nursing homes and destitute home. Her clinical and research interests are in older adults’ health, geriatric rehabilitation and falls prevention. In 2009, she was awarded the Health Manpower Development Plan (HMDP) fellowship to undergo specialised training in geriatric rehabilitation and falls prevention in Australia. She is a strong advocator for evidence-based geriatric physiotherapy practice.

Dr Ng Wai Chong, Founder, NWC Longevity Practice, Singapore

Topic Title: Towards A Community-Wide Strategy for Successful Ageing

Dr Ng Wai Chong is the Founder and CEO of NWC Longevity Practice, a start-up providing aged care consultancy, training and research, as well as direct clinical services. For more than 20 years, Dr Ng has worked as a community aged-care physician. He is recognised as a thought-leader in healthy ageing – from clinical work to policy advocacy and care system design. Dr Ng received the Minister for Health Award from Singapore’s Ministry of Health in 2019 and The Courage Fund Healthcare Humanity Award in 2016, and was named the Global Ageing Influencer by Ageing Asia in 2018. Prior to setting up his own practice, he was also the Chief Clinical Affairs of Tsao Foundation. 

Ms Irene Toh, Head of Department for Allied Health, NTUC Health, Singapore

Topic Tile: Of Skillsets and Mindsets

Ms Irene Toh is the Head of Department for Allied Health for NTUC Health. She has almost 20 years of working experience in Singapore’s largest tertiary hospital, specializing in musculoskeletal (MSK) in the last 10 years. She has led teams and services in orthopaedic inpatients as well as outpatients. She has also supported the building of the physiotherapy profession in Vietnam and Cambodia through projects such as Adult Arthroplasty and Physiotherapy Degree Conversion Program with Singapore International Foundation. In 2019, she decided to join the community sector as she has always been passionate about client care and rehab journey beyond the hospital and building of capability of the community care sector especially in the area of musculoskeletal competencies. The past two years in the community has been the most enriching time and season in her career so far, notwithstanding 2020 being the year of change management where the team has to think and act fast to continue to serve and engage their clients despite the pandemic. 

Mr Shawn Soh, Senior Lecturer, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore

Topic Title: Person-Centred Rehabilitation Care in The Transition

Mr Shawn Soh is a Senior Lecturer at Singapore Institute of Technology. He is currently pursuing a PhD at Queen Margaret University, UK and is working on developing a self-reported measurement instrument on balance recovery confidence for community-dwelling older people. He is passionate about musculoskeletal rehabilitation, community rehabilitation, rehabilitation technology and healthcare education. Shawn has covered various sectors of physiotherapy work for over 2 decades and currently enjoys the work of inspiring the young minds about the exciting nature of the profession.

Dr Teoh Chin Sim, Senior Consultant and Clinical Director of the Sports and Exercise Medicine Centre, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore

Topic Title: Inclusive Sports for Ageing in Place: The PT as an Invaluable Partner

Dr Teoh Chin Sim is a Senior Consultant and Clinical Director of the Sport and Exercise Medicine Centre at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. She has served as Chief Medical Officer to Team Singapore at multiple major games including the Paralympics and ASEAN Para Games.  She has also worked at the Rio and Pyeongchang Paralympics as a member of the International Paralympic Committee Antidoping Committee.

The London 2012 Paralympic Games proved to be the catalyst to her  developing a passion for para sports and para athletes, resulting in Dr Teoh embarking on a personal campaign to educate people about para sports, creating opportunities to share and sow the seeds of interest among healthcare colleagues and her network in an endeavor to add value to the Paralympic movement in Singapore.

Symposium 12

Assisted Technology and Robotics - Patient centered care- Integration of Technology and Rehabilitation

Symposium Chairperson: Mr Potturi Upendranath Reddy, Principal Physiotherapist, Woodlands Health Campus, Singapore

Mr Reddy is a Principal Physiotherapist at Woodlands Health Campus. He has specialised in advanced physiotherapy in neurology, with 19 years of work experience. He has worked across a spectrum of acute, sub-acute, community settings providing neuro rehabilitation. He has special interest in managing patients with spasticity, vestibular dysfunctions, and primary/secondary lymphoedema. He is trained to use various technological devices including Ekso exoskeleton. His current research interests include quality of life after neurological disorders, spasticity management, movement re-education.

Associate Professor Wee Seng Kwee, Senior Principal Physiotherapist, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore

Topic Title: Robotics and Technology in Rehab, Current Evidence and Future Directions

Associate Professor Wee Seng Kwee is a Senior Principal Physiotherapist who has been working in Tan Tock Seng Hospital Rehabilitation Centre, Singapore, for the past 27 years. He graduated from King’s College London with BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy in 1994 and obtained his PhD in Neurorehabilitation from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom in 2015. Currently, he holds the joint appointment as Associate Professor at the Singapore Institute of Technology. Seng Kwee is a Research Scientist at the Rehabilitation Research Institute of Singapore (RRIS), a joint research institute by NHG, NTU and A*STAR. Being a passionate clinical educator, he is an active member of the Education Group of the International Industry Society in Advanced Rehabilitation Technology (IISART); contributing to the cause of educating and creating awareness of clinical application of rehabilitation technology.   

Seng Kwee is also a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and a Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapist who manages patients with acquired brain injury, balance and vestibular dysfunction. He has been sharing his expertise in neurorehabilitation, vestibular rehabilitation and robot-assisted therapy via workshops conducted in Asia-Pacific and Europe since 1999. He has published numerous papers on vestibular rehabilitation, brain injury, stroke and rehabilitation technology in high-impact scientific journals.

Seng Kwee has been active in international volunteer work for numerous years since graduation as a physiotherapist. These works include teaching physiotherapy skills and knowledge to Laos physiotherapists, occupational therapists, doctors and nurses; training community lay volunteers post Aceh earthquake relief work; working with children with disabilities in orphanages in India and Romania; and working in a lepers’ colony in India. 

Assistant Professor Yeh Ting Ting, Chang Gung University, Taiwan

Topic Title: Technology in Rehab - Challenges and Opportunities

Dr. Yeh Ting-Ting is an Assistant Professor with the Master Degree Program in Healthcare Industry of Chang Gung University (CGU) in Taiwan. Prior to joining CGU, she was an Assistant Professor in the Health & Social Sciences Cluster at Singapore Institute of Technology. She is a trained Physiotherapist specialized in neurorehabilitation. Ting-Ting spent four years working as a full-time post-doctoral fellow at National Taiwan University (School of Occupational Therapy) and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute in Canada. Her research interests are in the areas of robotic technologies in neurorehabilitation, wearable sensors, healthcare technologies, and stroke rehabilitation. Her teaching experience includes biomechanics in physiotherapy and engineering and technology for healthcare solutions in occupational therapy.

Mr Christopher Kuah, Principal Occupational Therapist, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore

Topic Title: Integration of Technology in Stroke Upper Limb Rehabilitation

Mr Christopher Kuah is a Principal Occupational Therapist at Tan Tock Seng Hospital Rehabilitation Centre and is based currently in its outpatient clinic, the Centre for Advanced Rehabilitation Therapeutics, which he helped to establish in 2011.  He received his professional qualification locally in 1995 and attained the Master of Science in Neurorehabilitation from Brunel University (UK) in 2002.  A MOH training stint in Japan and Canada was awarded to him in 2009 to study application of robotics and telehealth platforms.  Currently his current work focuses on clinical integration of rehabilitation technologies in neurorehabilitation.  Christopher is also a Research Scientist at the Rehabilitation Research Institute of Singapore since its inception in 2016.  His research and development scope includes applications of robotics and sensor technologies, brain-computer interface and telehealth platforms, and has worked on consultancy and training projects with various industry partners on rehabilitation devices and disability management.

Mr Suresh Ramaswamy, Senior Physiotherapist, Alexandra Hospital, Singapore

Topic Title: Usage of Exoskeleton in People with Varied Medical Conditions

Mr Suresh Ramaswamy is a Senior Physiotherapist at Alexandra Hospital. Suresh has been practicing physiotherapist for 21 years and has special interest in robotic technology in rehabilitation. He has been practicing neuro rehabilitation particularly spinal injuries and stroke. Suresh has collaborated multiple research projects with various institutions in Singapore and various disciplines. Currently he is involved in a multi-center trial investigating the use of exoskeletal robots in neurologically impaired patients. Suresh also trained to use various technological device and actively training his colleagues and other disciplines through workshop and conference. 

Symposium 13

Research and Quality Improvement - Doing research in clinical practice: What's good to know

Symposium Chairperson: Associate Professor Ong Peck Hoon, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore

Peck Hoon is an Associate Professor at Singapore Institute of Technology. She is an experienced physiotherapist who has worked in different clinical areas, settings and countries. Peck Hoon has a keen interest in improving rehabilitation service delivery and patient outcomes, particularly those in the geriatric population. While serving as a physiotherapist in tertiary hospitals, she spearheaded several service improvement and clinical research projects from which findings were translated into clinical practice. This included providing support for 7-day physiotherapy services in the orthopaedic wards and reducing practice variations among surgeons and therapists, resulting in better patient outcomes. She enjoys linking the dots, always trying to find ways to achieve win-wins while working with partners towards achieving mutually beneficial and meaningful outcomes. As a newly minted faculty member and Programme Leader of the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy Programme at Singapore Institute of Technology, Peck Hoon looks forwards to supporting the training and development of future therapists as well as those already working in the industry.

Mr Jayachandran Balachandran, Principal Physiotherapist, Woodlands Health Campus, Singapore

Topic Title: QI vs Research – Same Same But Different

Mr Balachandran is currently working as a Principal Physiotherapist in Woodlands Health Campus. He also holds an IHQ (Institute of Healthcare Quality) faculty post at the National Health Care Group. He has more than two decades of experience in healthcare as a critical care physiotherapist and clinical educator. He got involved with Clinical Practice Improvement Program (CPIP) in 2013 through his project “Early Mobilisation in Surgical Intensive Care Unit”. His project was successful and went to clinch the Gold award for AHMA (Asian Hospital Management Award) under the clinical practice improvement category. The project also clinched the TTSH Milestone Award (2018) for sustaining over 5 years and creating an influence to spread and adapt.  

Dr Gayatri Kembhavi, The Centre for Evidence and Implementation, Singapore

Topic Title: Qualitative Research - Adding Depth To Our Understanding of The Numbers

Dr Gayatri Kembhavi, PhD, is a physical therapist and researcher with expertise in the area of childhood disability, disability and international development, design and implementation of qualitative and mixed methods research, and research with vulnerable populations. She has over 20 years’ experience as a clinician, educator and researcher. Her research interests are focused on the inclusion and participation of children and youth with disabilities in their communities, the transition from childhood to young adulthood for people with disabilities, facilitating the implementation of evidence-informed practices in community settings, and working with practitioners to conduct clinically-relevant research.

Dr Ng Yee Sien, Senior Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, Singapore General Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore

Topic Title: Why and How to do Research Specifically in Rehabilitation

Dr Ng Yee Sien is Senior Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, Singapore General Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital and Clinical Associate Professor, Duke-NUS Medical School. He is also Consultant in Rehabilitation (PTPS) at the Ministry of Health. He is active in research and has published widely in both Rehabilitation Medicine and General Medicine and received national level grant funding. His research interests in rehabilitation are wide and includes disability epidemiology, rehabilitation care models, medications, engineering and technology in rehabilitation. He is also a Research Mentor at Duke-NUS and currently a Thematic PI in Aging in both the SGH and SingHealth Centre Grants.

Symposium 14

Palliative Care/End-of-Life Care/Oncology - Integrative Approach in Oncology/Palliative Care

Symposium Chairperson: Ms Chia Huey Yen, Senior Physiotherapist, National University Hospital, Singapore

Topic Title: Oncology Rehab in Acute/ ILTC

Ms Chia Huey Yen is a Senior Physiotherapist at the National University Hospital Singapore, where she works with patients with terminal illnesses, as well as patients receiving Palliative Care. Huey Yen has recently completed her Masters in Palliative Care at King’s College London, where she was able to learn from Palliative Care experts all around the world. At work, Huey Yen assesses and relieves symptoms associated with terminal illnesses, provides rehabilitation and enables patients to remain as active as possible, while aiming to improve patients’ quality of life.

Mr Jaden Lim Jun Hong, Physiotherapist, Rehab and Beyond, Singapore

Topic Title: Exercise Prescription in Oncology

Mr Junhong is a Physiotherapist at Rehab and Beyond. He has a Master’s degree from Australia and is a Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Cancer Exercise Trainer. Passionate about rehabilitation for patients with cancer and life-limiting illnesses, Junhong and his colleagues in Tan Tock Seng Hospital designed its first inter-disciplinary rehab workshop in 2014. The workshop integrated his own research with inputs from other health professionals. More recently, Junhong was also invited by the Malaysian Physiotherapy Association to speak about Cancer Rehabilitation during their Global PT Webinar Series in June 2020. Over the past 9 years, Junhong has spoken at local and international conferences such as Singapore Health & Biomedical Congress, Singapore Palliative Care Conference, CaREhab Conference, and World Confederation for Physical Therapy (now known as World Physiotherapy) Congress.

Ms Celine Yong, Senior Occupational Therapist, Assisi Hospice, Singapore

Topic Title: Quality Engagement at the End of Life

Ms Celine Yong is a Senior Occupational Therapist at Assisi Hospice. She has 10 years of work experience as an Occupational Therapist and has worked with palliative care patients for the last 8 years. She previously worked at Bright Vision Hospital and helped enhance the palliative care ward’s service by setting up a variety of daily activity groups, enhancing bedside engagement and organising outings for palliative care patients. She helped develop the curriculum for Lien Centre-Duke NUS’ Palliative Care course for Therapists and is a regular presenter at the course. Celine currently works at Assisi Hospice, working with patients across the inpatient, Day Care Centre and home care settings. 

Ms Violet Yang, Manager, Education and Volunteer Management, Singapore Hospice Council, Singapore

Topic Title: Live Well. Leave Well. Psychosocial Care for Cancer Survivors and Terminally Ill Cancer Survivor

Ms Violet Yang is currently the Education and Volunteer Management Manager of Singapore Hospice Council (SHC). She has worked as a Medical Social Worker in various healthcare settings for ten years upon graduation from National University of Singapore. She also served as the Director of Elderly Services of Asian Women’s Welfare Association and Principal Medical Social Worker of Jurong Health Services. Before she joined SHC, she was the Manager and Lead Social Worker of Psychosocial Cancer Support Services of Singapore Cancer Society.

Violet's main role is to manage the SHC’s public education efforts and Volunteer Management programme with the aim to influence, involve, build and enlarge the community raising awareness and knowledge of palliative care in Singapore as well as to educate and reach out to as many members of the public as possible. Her experiences in the various medical and community settings provided the opportunities to approach palliative care in a systematic yet compassionate manner.

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