#WeAre38: Celebrating An Inspiring 30-year Journey in Healthcare

Meet our newly retired Ms. Tan Siew Choo. Beneath her no-nonsense is a kind soul with an amazing career spanning almost 30 years in Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC). In conjunction with our 38th anniversary this month #weare38, let’s walk down memory lane with Ms. Tan and celebrate her inspiring journey in healthcare.

With a nursing background, Ms. Tan returned to Malaysia when she received an invitation to set up a nursing agency alongside SJMC’s former Chief Operating Officer. Little did she know that this path presented her first big break when the late Ms. Sue Chew, the Director of Nursing and Matron at that time, extended her the position of Assistant Director of Nursing.

Ms. Tan (left) with the Emergency Department team. 

In her role, she assumed leadership of the ambulatory care team comprising the Emergency Department, Endoscopy, Haemodialysis, Pharmacy and Outpatient Clinics. The dynamic nature of the Emergency Department filled each day with anticipation and excitement as she never knew what to expect.

Her next big break arrived when the late Ms. Elaine Cheong, SJMC’s then Chief Executive Officer, presented her with an opportunity in management services. In this capacity, she managed various departments including Food & Beverage, Dietetics, Support Services, Carpark Management & Security, and Facility not only in SJMC but also in ParkCity Medical Centre and Ara Damansara Medical Centre.

Her expertise expanded beyond the borders of Malaysia as she was actively engaged in providing consultancy services to develop hospitals in Vietnam and Maldives. She also played a significant role in the completion of ParkCity Medical Centre.

Ms. Tan (left) with Japanese interpreters, Sato-san (middle) and Celyn Chiang-san (right). 

During her tenure, she was responsible for managing the Japanese Interpreter Services when SJMC was affiliated with the Japan Overseas Health Administration Centre (JOHAC). With two in-house Japanese interpreters, Sato-san and Celyn Chiang-san, the hospital once had a considerable number of Japanese patients.

One of the most enriching experiences in her career was spending three months in Japan, where she immersed herself in the language and dedicated herself to serving the wards at Yokohama Rosai Hospital. Despite the language barrier, the Japanese extended their warm hospitality and kindness. The experience provided her with invaluable insights into the Japanese way of healthcare that she bought home to SJMC.

Ms. Tan (centre) with a doctor and nurse at Yokohama Rosai Hospital. 

She encountered many challenges throughout her career, but in her own words, “I believe that nothing is impossible with perseverance, resilience and keeping an open mind. Ultimately, we will reach the goal we set out for.”

In parting, she shared some words of wisdom: “SJMC is an excellent training ground and a good place to work in. If you are willing to learn, people here are willing to teach you and you are given every opportunity to excel.”

Ms. Tan has truly enabled SJMC to be where we are today with her can-do and no-nonsense attitude sprinkled with kindness, grace and humour. She will be dearly missed. We wish her a happy and well-deserved retirement!