Key leadership transition at NDCS from 1 Aug 2023 onwards

Clinical associate professor Goh Bee Tin, the incoming CEO of NDCS

SingHealth has announced a key leadership change at the National Dental Centre Singapore (NDCS). Clinical associate Prof Poon Choy Yoke, CEO of NDCS, will relinquish her appointment on 1 Aug 2023, and taking over her will be clinical associate Prof Goh Bee Tin, currently NDCS’ Deputy CEO, Research & Education and Head, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS).

In her nine-year tenure, Prof Poon led NDCS in expanding its capability to deliver comprehensive, seamless and patient-centred dental care, and forged wide-ranging partnerships in research and education to advance oral healthcare.

Under her leadership, NDCS set up what is said to be Singapore’s first Geriatric and Special Care Dentistry Clinic in 2016 and was among the first in the world to implement value-based healthcare in dentistry by implementing six Value-Driven Care pathways for wisdom tooth surgery, root canal treatment, dentures, orthodontics, implants and periodontal treatment.

Prof Poon also oversaw the setting up of the National Dental Research Institute Singapore (NDRIS), reportedly the first national-level institution in Asia-Pacific dedicated to oral health research, and the formulation of a comprehensive education framework to develop tomorrow’s oral healthcare professionals.

A strong advocate for regional health and community care, Prof Poon has been instrumental in directing early population oral health efforts through intervention initiatives in the community.

These include Project Silver Screen, a screening programme for seniors aged 60 years and older, Tele-Dentistry for Oral Care of Seniors programme, to improve access to care for elderly residents in nursing homes and the Oral Health Movement 8020, to improve public awareness on oral frailty of older adults.

At the national level, Prof Poon has also contributed to raising the standards of public oral healthcare. She played a crucial role in driving Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) National Adult Oral Health Survey 2019/202 to assess the population’s oral health status and needs, dental service utilisation and barriers to care.

“We would like to express our deep appreciation for Choy Yoke’s sterling leadership and unwavering dedication to advancing clinical and academic pursuits not only in NDCS, but also in raising public oral health standards at the national level over the years,” said Prof Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth.

“She has been a driving force in establishing key healthcare and industry partnerships and initiatives to improve dental care and position NDCS as a trusted national specialty centre.

“We are grateful for her contributions and tireless efforts in championing the field of dentistry and enabling greater oral health access for patients and the community.”

Prof Poon will be appointed as a senior advisor of SingHealth, to the SingHealth Board of Advisors, upon relinquishing her CEO role.

Prof Goh, the incoming CEO, has played a lead role in enabling NDCS to forge strategic partnerships with key collaborators such as Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, Japan’s Tohoku University, as well as Nanyang Technological University and A*STAR, resulting in growth in oral health research outcomes.

For example, under Prof Goh’s leadership, NDCS’ clinical team became the first team of dentists in Singapore to be awarded the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) Talent Development Award in 2015, and subsequently in 2016, 2021 and 2023.

Prof Goh is also the founding Director of NDRIS. She is also a strong advocate for training and education and is deeply involved in the clinical teaching of OMS residents and supervises master’s and PhD students from Singapore and several universities abroad.