Celebrating 20 years of partnership

The 20th anniversary of Singapore Management University Executive Development and Johnson & Johnson - Hospital Management Programme is dedicated to "Giving back - Serving the Underserved"

   Access to senior, well-qualified topics. Experts who offered great insights into international healthcare issues was my greatest takeaway from the programme.    

- Josie Gabrielli
Director of Business Development
Macquarie University Hospital, Australia

Giving Back to Community: J&J HMP as Enabler for Good

Stories of Supporting Others in Need

As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr  Yasunobu “Sunny” Iwasaki's goal was to treat musclo-skeletal disorders and prevent the elderly from being bedridden.

Dr  Iwasaki, from Anshin Hospital Kobe, Japan, tells us how he was able to establish a practice model and also transform the mindset of his staff to adopt a holistic approach to patient care. 

Tell us your experience on the challenges you faced that needed more support?

Since I was in the US in the early 1990s, I had known about 60% of Orthopaedic surgeries that were done at an ambulatory setting - meaning the surgical procedure would not require an overnight hospital stay. Most of our Orthopedic patients in Kobe were considered healthy as they did not suffer from lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes etc. But they were still less mobile due to their degenerative joint condition. 

After participating in the J&J Hospital Management Programme in 2005, I started an Orthopedic specialty hospital with several doctors and less than 20 staff in 2007.

I added a few more steps before and after the usual surgical procedure to ensure all patient's activity improves not only physically but also emotionally. This was a little different from other hospitals.

And because I was the only person in the hospital who believed that this additional process was required, it was challenging to change the mindset of staff and patients.

How did you overcome this challenge and what happened as result?

Since the start up, I have been continuously focusing on the community outreach to establish a mutual relationship with the people from this town.

And then I slowly introduced a variety of pre-operative and post-operative seminars for the members of the public, patients and also for my hospital staff.

The aim of the seminars were to improve patients’ activity not only physically but also mentally and this includes providing free educational seminars, explaining step by step on how to manage pain, early rehabilitation and also providing other types of social activities.

With time patients saw improvements in their rheumatoid arthritis  and other joint degenerative symptoms and from there, we have gotten a strong support as a reliable Orthopaedic specialty hospital in our region. As a result, the number of joint replacement patients increased at an unexpected pace, and now we have 60 beds, performing more than 3,000 surgeries annually.

How did SMU-J&J Hospital Management Programme support you in this journey?

A case study on strategic organisation alignment of Southwest Airline in the 2005 HMP course inspired me to build up a boundary-less, flat and network type organization structure. The culture was instilled in all of our hospital staff to firstly consider each other as one and then see patients’ health recovery as priority regardless of their position. 

What was the societal Impact?

Japan is known for its aging population and most senior citizens rely a lot on being mobile as they do not have much of a choice but to live independently. In Anshin hospital, we have seen more than 6,000 elderly people, undergone joint replacement surgeries from 2007 to 2016 and have successfully regained their active lives back. It is nice to see patients tell us that they feel like they have regained their "youth" back.

   Dr Liu Jiaying from Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Singapore, shares with us her experience how she set up a Comprehensive Hearing Loss and Hearing Implant Service in West Singapore.    

For more information about the Hospital Management Programme, please contact Caslin Lai at or +65 6828 0528

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