Regency Specialist Hospital (Regency) won the 2021 “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the Year in Malaysia” Healthcare Asia Awards in recognition of their 2020 efforts in relieving the social-economic burden of the underprivileged communities.
Helping small businesses stay afloat
Beyond the healthcare industry, COVID-19 had far greater impacts on society. Businesses, particularly micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) such as food stalls and traditional grocery merchants, were severely affected as economic activities were disrupted as a result of local movement restrictions and business lockdown. Small businesses in Johor that rely on visitors from Singapore have been severely affected as a result of the closing of the Johor-Singapore border.
Among Regency’s most significant CSR programmes in 2020 was the launch of the free Facebook group “Johor Bersama” to help small businesses in the state stay afloat and preserve livelihoods. The platform built an opportunity for small businesses to connect with their patrons digitally and continue providing services and had successfully attracted more than 1,200 members and 100 businesses within 2 weeks.
Jessica Yap, the Founder of Homemade Bakery, who lost her job during the pandemic, started selling baked goods online and needed a platform to promote her business.
“I am glad that Regency Specialist Hospital initiated this platform to help us reach out to our potential customers for free when we faced this hardship,” she added. The support that Yap received is one example of how the initiative created an alternative for small businesses owners to continue providing their services by allowing them to pivot online during the pandemic.
Lifting lower-income communities
School closures have caused more than 1.5 billion Malaysian children and youth to switch to online study at the height of the imposed lockdown, yet many underprivileged students are unable to afford educational resources to support their home-based learning.
Regency supplied refurbished laptops to 50 families from lower-income communities (B40 group) to enable children to continue their regular online learning. The hospital also announced the first Johor Bersama Virtual Charity Run 2020 to raise funds for financially disadvantaged single mothers who cannot afford school supplies for their children. Regency also provided crucial food supplies to 190 underprivileged families.
“One of the most fulfilling parts of the CSR initiatives was to witness our collaborative effort touch the lives of our underprivileged groups,” said Serena Yong, CEO of Regency Specialist Hospital.
Saving lives through community engagement
“Another key focus of our CSR is close to the heart within the healthcare community,” she shared. Regency replenished over 1,000 pints of blood in Johor through their blood donation drives alongside Johor state hospitals Hospital Sultanah Aminah and Hospital Sultan Ismail. The hospital also led the Virtual MaRe Charity Run to rally Malaysians and Indonesians in raising funds to relieve the PPE shortage in Indonesia.
She continued, “Regency’s core values are Competence, Compassion, and Collaboration. ‘Compassion’ guides and motivates us to do what we do best. These ideas and effort were only possible when we practise compassion in our daily work.”
The next lap
Human health and wellbeing are at the core of Regency’s heart and business and the hospital has been consistently driving health education programmes among the public with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) advocacy in 2019 and stroke recognition in 2020. Moving forward, Regency is planning to launch a rapid remote screening programme to advocate early detection of chronic diseases and even setting up a patient support group focusing on cancer care, mental health and many others.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s challenges, Regency never faltered in their mission to serve their patients and their community, thereby earning them the award for their best practices in CSR. “On behalf of the Regency team, I am truly humbled to be receiving this award. We hope that our initiatives are able to inspire many others including individuals and organisations to also come forward and render their support towards the members of the community, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic,” she added. “Together, we will walk through this difficult time and see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
The Healthcare Asia Awards celebrates the best achievements and milestones from healthcare industry players across the Asia Pacific. In 2021, the awards aim to honour hospitals and clinics that have risen above the challenges and made an impact on their patients most especially amidst the massive disruption caused by the unprecedented pandemic.