SINGAPORE: National Kidney Foundation (NKF) chairman Koh Poh Tiong will step down at the end of this month after helming the post for eight years, the organisation said on Tuesday (Oct 20).
Singtel’s International Group CEO Arthur Lang, who joined NKF as a board director in 2015, will take over the post.
“It has been my joy and privilege to serve our patients at NKF for the past eight and a half years,” Mr Koh said in a statement.
"I feel extremely blessed to have been able to work closely with a strong and competent board with diverse talents and an excellent management team," he said.
He also expressed confidence in his successor, saying Mr Lang “will help preserve NKF’s strong fundamentals and propel it to greater heights to benefit our kidney patients”.
“Above all, I know he will succeed because he is a kind man blessed with intense compassion for the sick and poor among us. Let us give him the support you have generously given to me,” he said.
SUSTAINABLE FINANCE MODEL, PATIENT-CENTRIC INITIATIVES DURING MR KOH’S TERM
In a press release, NKF paid tribute to Mr Koh for his “indefatigable spirit of compassion and far-sightedness for leading NKF across the 50-year mark and standing it in good stead for the future to serve the poor and needy kidney patients in Singapore”.
Mr Koh “has made a remarkable contribution in shaping and fortifying the policies of corporate governance, transparency and accountability” during his stint at NKF, it said.
“He believes that good corporate governance requires a thorough review and an openness to embrace necessary changes to the way the foundation used to do things, including breaking long-established habits.”
NKF added that Mr Koh “cares deeply about the poor and sick patients”, and believed that no one should be denied access to dialysis in Singapore due to financial limitations.
“He focused on ensuring a sustainable financing model to keep dialysis accessible and available for everyone who needs it,” it said, adding that the foundation has “invested immeasurably” in building infrastructure and capacity to cater to needy kidney patients close to their homes.
NKF now has 38 community-based dialysis centres, up from 25 in 2012, with two more in the pipeline.
Other initiatives introduced during Mr Koh’s leadership include nocturnal dialysis for patients who require longer hours of treatment, an alternative form of dialysis called haemodiafiltration, and a support programme for peritoneal dialysis patients and their caregivers.
In addition, he enhanced the Kidney Live Donor Support Fund to ensure that “cost would not be a barrier to a potential kidney donor”, and increased efforts in promoting better kidney health and disease prevention.
"DEEP AND LASTING IMPRESSION"
Mr Lang said Mr Koh “made immense contributions to the foundation and left a deep and lasting impression on everyone he worked with”.
“We are forever grateful for his stoic leadership and the foundations he laid which will serve as a catalyst for us to press on and do even more in our vital mission to alleviate misery and save lives.
“Our patients’ needs are many and the NKF will continue to do its utmost to extend care to all who need it. I’m deeply privileged to take on this role and to continue to serve with my fellow board members as well as the volunteers and team at NKF.”
NKF currently serves more than 4,800 kidney patients and beneficiaries.