Temasek Foundation Launches Richard Magnus Endowment to Advance Health and Well-being of Mothers and Children in Singapore

Temasek Foundation has launched a new $100 million endowment dedicated in honour of Richard Magnus, a dedicated leader and public servant of Singapore who made a lasting difference in improving the lives of the vulnerable and the well-being of the Singapore community.[1] This was announced at an event on 5 June 2023 at Punggol Polyclinic, witnessed by the wife and family members of Richard Magnus.

The Richard Magnus Endowment will act as a beacon for healothers and babies, and to bring about optimal holistic development of children's health and well-being, including but not limited to, the areas of research, awareness, prevention and intervention for physical, mental and social well-being that can potentially aid policy and programme development.

A mother’s well-being exerts a significant influence on her child’s development, even before birth. A child’s early years of life can influence later life outcomes, and even benefitting the next generation, when the child becomes a parent. Both maternal and child wellness are thus essential for ensuring healthy individuals, families, and communities, and critical for promoting sustainable development.

Richard Magnus believed that a strong and healthy family plays an important role in contributing to community and social resilience. At Temasek Foundation from 2009 till 2022,[2] he introduced and championed new social models of care which brought real and impactful changes to the quality of life of both individuals in need, and their caregivers. He spearheaded efforts – often lobbying and tirelessly galvanising many public agencies to work together.

Mr Lim Swee Say, Chairman of Temasek Foundation Cares Executive Board, said: “In naming this $100 million endowment after Richard Magnus, we honour the legacy of Richard Magnus. At the same time, we are also committing ourselves to continue his passion and his vision to support research, community programmes, education, and advocacy to ensure that the advancing of the wellness of mothers and children in Singapore will continue for a long time to come. On behalf of Temasek Foundation, I am proud to announce the launch of the Richard Magnus Endowment.”

Ms Nicole Magnus, granddaughter of Richard Magnus, said, “The Integrated Maternal and Child Wellness Hub represents the very essence of my grandfather’s work, a dedication to nurturing and supporting both mother and child throughout their life journey. On behalf of my family, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Temasek Foundation for the tremendous honour of naming this endowment fund after my beloved grandfather Richard Magnus. It is a gesture that immortalises his legacy and generosity for generations to come, and for this we are beyond thankful.”

Under the leadership of Richard Magnus, Temasek Foundation supported many programmes for new care models which were adopted by the government or mainstreamed by the relevant sector. The pilot Temasek Foundation Integrated Maternal and Child Wellness Hub (IMCWH) at Punggol Polyclinic launched with KKH and SingHealth Polyclinics in 2019 is one example of a successful scaled-up programme, which targets maternal and child wellness.

Programme Director, IMCWH, Associate Professor Chan Yoke Hwee, who is also the Chairman, Medical Board, of KKH, said, “With the support of Temasek Foundation, over 14,000 screenings were carried out during this two-year pilot programme. The IMCWH’s focus on building healthy behaviours and preventive care through screening and early intervention sets a strong foundation for nurturing healthier generations of Singaporeans. This life-course approach has the potential to transform maternal and child health in Singapore, and to offer families the best start in life.”

Dr Guo Xiaoxuan, Clinic Director, SHP-Punggol said, “Stemming from the valuable learnings from the IMCWH pilot funded by Temasek Foundation, the hub model is now being expanded to Bedok Polyclinic and Tampines Polyclinic, followed by Sengkang Polyclinic later this year. The expansion, supported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and its partnering agencies, will allow more Singaporean families to benefit from enhanced maternal and child wellness services and resources.”

Facilitating integrated care within the community for mothers and their children in areas such as nutrition, development, parenting, and mental health and wellness, this hub model at SHP-Punggol Polyclinic is now being incorporated as one of the four pilot sites of a new multi-agency collaborative programme called Family Nexus, co-led by MOH and Ministry of Social and Family Development, which will bring health and social services together at the same site to provide more holistic support for children and their families.

Please see Annex for a list of selected programmes, which also target maternal and child wellness.

[1] The other named endowments under Temasek Foundation are the Balaji Sadavisan Endowment; the David Marshall Endowment; the Ee Peng Liang Endowment; the EW Barker Endowment; the Hon Sui Sen Endowment; the S Rajaratnam Endowment; and the Tay Eng Soon Endowment.

[2] Richard Magnus was the founding Chairman of Temasek Cares, which was launched in June 2009. Temasek Cares was renamed Temasek Foundation Cares in 2016 and is now part of Temasek Foundation.