Karen Kwa Su-fen
Head & Senior Principal Medical Social Worker
Care & Counselling Department
18 November 2022
Karen has over twenty years of social work experience and has demonstrated tremendous commitment to serving patients and leading her team through challenges. Karen was a young medical social worker who braved the SARS outbreak to support suspected cases, earning her the Courage Fund Healthcare Humanity Award. She is constantly going above and beyond to meet the needs of her patients and staff. When she noticed the stress and fear staff experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, she initiated the Spread a Smile Campaign to spread encouragement.
Seeing the plight of ICU patients on ventilators, unable to go home due to their condition, Karen and a team of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals led the development of the Home Ventilation and Respiratory Support Service (HVRSS) to support them. Throughout her career, she has spearheaded many services to address gaps in the system and improve patients’ access to subsidised care, developing critical care social work in ICU, managing brain death and organ donation, and driving innovation within the medical social worker community so that they can co-learn and co-create.
In recognition of her passion for the people and her immense dedication to social work, Karen has been conferred the Outstanding Social Worker Award.
“It is important to master the art of helping and enact moral courage with sense and sensibility. Knowing that I can plant seeds of change and improve the lives of the people I serve through the big or small things I do makes me feel very proud of my job.”
- Karen Kwa Su-fen
In addition to winning the OSWA, Karen recently received the Family Violence Dialogue Group (FVDG) Appreciation Award 2022 (Individual) for her contributions in helping keep families safe.