Health Promotion Board
Feature | HPB

Inspiring Youth Wellness in the Digital Age

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) stands at the forefront of Singapore’s efforts to enhance and promote the health of Singaporeans through programmes and initiatives. The organisation is dedicated to fostering a healthier Singapore, led by forward-thinking, creative, and passionate individuals at its helm. Scholar Xiong Lingxi epitomises this commitment by engaging youths through digital avenues, shaping a brighter future for Singapore.

Xiong Lingxi graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Social Sciences Second Class Honours (Upper) in Psychology. She was also a recipient of the HPB Local Merit Undergraduate Scholarship. Today, she is a Senior Manager at the Health Promotion Board.

In Singapore’s dynamic healthcare landscape, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) plays a pivotal role in empowering every citizen to attain better health and well-being. HPB’s commitment to this mission is fuelled by its dedication to cultivating healthier lifestyles and addressing challenges posed by chronic diseases.

At the heart of this mission lies a dynamic approach of employing digital touchpoints to engage with young people and nudge them to adopt healthy lifestyles from a young age. Leading this effort is HPB Local Merit Undergraduate Scholar Xiong Lingxi, who serves as Senior Manager in the Partnerships and Growth department under the School Health and Outreach division. Her role focuses on amplifying youth awareness, engagement, and active participation in healthy living through collaborative ventures. For example, partnering with ministries and companies to encourage youths to develop projects that harness the power of technology to promote healthy living.

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Social Sciences Second Class Honours (Upper) in Psychology from NUS, Lingxi is a beacon of inspiration who actively mentors and motivates young individuals to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

You’ve been an invaluable part of HPB for a while now. What made you apply for the scholarship with HPB?

My memories of the health education programme and various healthy habits campaigns as a primary school student left a deep impact on me. When I found out that many of these initiatives were championed by HPB, I felt that HPB’s mission to improve the nation’s health and well-being resonated deeply with me. Therefore, I saw this scholarship as a valuable opportunity to contribute to a meaningful cause while furthering my education.

That’s interesting! How has the scholarship impacted your academic journey?

The HPB scholarship provided me with financial support to cover my tuition fees and living expenses so that I can focus on my studies. I was also able to engage in extracurricular activities, such as volunteering and internships.

The internships by HPB offered opportunities for scholars to be exposed to the various fields of health promotion. I also went on an exchange programme with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, United States. These offered valuable mentorship and exposure to the field of public health and in my professional development.

That sounds like it was incredibly helpful. How are you able to apply what you learnt at university to your job?

My background in psychology has been instrumental in understanding both the individual and environmental factors that influence health behaviours. It enables me to develop programmes and resources from a user-centric perspective that resonates with our target audience and to evaluate and measure the effectiveness of our programmes.

“Working at HPB offers a wide range of possibilities for personal and professional growth through both formal training opportunities and on-the-job learning. Both scholars and employees have the opportunity to contribute to nationwide public health initiatives and to develop their leadership skills in a dynamic and mission-driven environment.” Xiong Lingxi

Can you walk us through your role at HPB?

As part of the School Health and Outreach division’s Partnerships and Growth team, my work is anchored on improving youths’ mindshare, engagement and participation in healthy living by leveraging digital touch points synergistic with their lifestyles such as curating media content that integrates healthy living content with lifestyle tips.

Through close collaborations with partners from schools, government agencies and commercial organisations, we strive to forge a variety of platforms and opportunities for youths to innovate digital solutions that cater to their well-being needs and aspirations. By enabling youths to harness the power of technology, we hope to make healthy living more accessible and relevant to them, wherever they may be.

That’s very admirable. What do you think is most fulfilling about your job?

The most meaningful aspect of my work is knowing that I am contributing to a healthier future in Singapore. In my previous stint in the Preschool Partnerships team, we developed programmes and guidelines to ensure that our young ones have a healthy head start in life. I was also in the Mental Health department where I worked on raising awareness on positive mental well-being and dementia among seniors. I’m proud to work alongside so many dedicated individuals who are striving hard to work on a healthier future for Singapore and help Singaporeans of all ages attain healthier lifestyles.

What would you say has been your most significant career achievement so far?

My most significant career achievement would be serving as the preschool project lead to promote and implement health-promoting programmes in preschools. I am also proud to have worked as the lead for the Healthy Meals in Preschools Programme (HMPP), which was nominated for the HPB Innovation Award in 2018 for inclusive guidelines catering to consumer needs and enhanced programme take-up. Despite COVID-19 disruptions, the preschool sector reported remarkably high satisfaction rates with HPB’s initiatives and saw even more preschools being on boarded for the Healthy Preschool and HMPP accreditation. Seeing these tangible results and knowing that our efforts are making a difference in the lives of young individuals has been immensely rewarding.

I have also been fortunate to be under the guidance of many nurturing leaders such as Ms. Vasuki Utravathy and Ms. Wendy Pang, who have spared no efforts in grooming staff and going the extra mile in affirming our contributions. With their mentorship, I was honoured to clinch the EPIC HPBian (Gold) award in 2022 for demonstrating HPB’s core values in my work.

That’s amazing! What opportunities are available for the people who work at HPB?

Working at HPB offers a wide range of possibilities for personal and professional growth through both formal training opportunities and on-the-job learning. We have the opportunity to contribute to nationwide public health initiatives and further our professional development in a dynamic and mission-driven environment.

Finally, do you have any parting words of advice for people interested in the field of public health?

I would encourage anyone considering a career in public health to be passionate about improving the health and well-being of others. It’s a field that requires empathy, creativity, and adaptability. It is important to be open to learning, stay up-to-date on the latest health research and evidence, and be motivated to think from the perspective of our target audience in order to inspire behavioural change.