HUAAS Welcomes Atul Gawande for breakfast
On Aug 29, 2016 the Harvard University Association of Alumni in Singapore (HUAAS) hosted a small group breakfast at the home of Rebecca Woo (AB '89 and HUAAS committee member) & her husband Kevin Dwan (AB ’96, MBA ’01) for Atul Gawande (professor at the TH Chan School of Public Health and the Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School) and Michael Voligny (Vice Dean of the Office for External Relations, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health). Dr Gawande might be more widely known as the author of several highly acclaimed books - “The Checklist Manifesto”, “Being Mortal” - to name two; as well as medical and health articles in The New Yorker and Slate.
They were in Singapore on the invitation from the Ministry of Health; so it was extremely fortunate that they had expressed interest in meeting with committee members of the Singapore's official Harvard alumni club and other relevant Harvard alumni connected with the social aspect of critical illness and palliative care here in Singapore. As such, they were able to find time in their packed schedule to squeeze in a small breakfast gathering before a press conference, meetings, and a larger talk organised by the MOH.
As several in the room at breakfast were industry professionals, the conversation provoked thoughts on: the status and methods of critical care, “big pharma” vs R&D, the individual vs the state and government policy…. all areas of which evoked passionate and emotional discussion; because at the root of it all is the key issue of human mortality. We hope Dr Gawandi will come back again for a visit!!