Historical Responsibility and Heritage
Mackay Memorial Hospital is a hospital of love. God loves the world and sent Jesus Christ to die for us as a sacrifice for all our sins, so we are filled with great love for him. This is the gospel message Pastor Mackay brought when, at the age of 28, he arrived in Danshui in 1872. He wrote in his diary that “once again I promised you even with the greatest pain I will spend my life here…serving you; God help me.” His vision was carried forward by other leaders in the faith. In 1912, Dr. J. F. Ferguson moved Mackay Memorial Hospital from Danshui to Taipei City. Another important figure of Taiwanese medical missionary history, Dr. George Gushue-Taylor, arrived in Taiwan in 1923 and soon began treating leprosy patients. More recently, Dr. Samuel Noordhooff served as the Superintendent of Mackay Memorial Hospital and launched modernization of our medical equipment, services, physician training, and talent recruitment.
We learn from history and from those who are our models so that we ourselves can improve and have a better future.
Pioneers at Mackay Memorial Hospital handed on the tradition of serving those who were often ignored by others, such as caring for patients with leprosy. We established public health services, including the first Polio Rehabilitation Center in Taiwan, Counseling Center, Suicide Prevention Program, the first intensive care wards, a Cleft lip & Palate and Maxillofacial Surgery Division, and a Burn Ward. In the event of the horrendous explosion in Fuyuan Street in 1979, 33 people died and many others were seriously injured, but several hospitals refused or were unable to accept the patients, despite the pleas of their family members. Mackay Memorial Hospital took these patients without hesitation and put great effort into saving their lives. The Futian mine accident in Neihu in 1982, caused by a gas leak, trapped a number of miners. Mackay Memorial Hospital staff provided on-site emergency care for these men 1180 meters underground in the dark. My father, as the former Taipei City Mayor, bestowed an award on Mackay Memorial Hospital as a token of appreciation for its great contributions to society. Today, when I mention these achievements, I feel very proud of being a member of the Mackay Memorial Hospital staff.
Since the 1970s, Mackay Memorial Hospital has encountered three major crises. In 1976 when Taipei Chang Gung Memorial Hospital was established, many staff left to work at the new hospital. That was the first year of my residency training. Under the leadership of then Superintendent Wu, now Honorary Superintendent, colleagues at Mackay Memorial Hospital worked hand in hand to fill the gap and turn the crisis into new opportunities.
The second crisis challenged us in the late 1980s as the hospital was being expanded at the same time that our church partners were unable to continue providing as much support as previously. This crisis was an intangible challenge to the quality of our faith . But our God is a God who helps us in the time of trouble. On that basis, Mackay Memorial Hospital was able to continue serving God and the people we encounter in our medical and missionary journey.
At the end of the 1990s, the third crisis arose due to changes in medical policies and the implementation of National Health Insurance. In Taiwan, especially in the north, a large number of institutions compete fiercely for scarce payment resources. This is an ongoing challenge, as hospitals compete with one another in the provision of diversified, high quality medical services, while negotiating the difficult medical and health insurance policies with which we must comply.
I am very thankful for the sound foundation laid by previous chairmen of the Board of Directors, Superintendents, and the staff of Mackay Memorial Hospital. This hospital is known for its devoted, innovative, and exceptional provision of medical services. The hospital at present consists of five medical institutions in Taipei, Danshui, Taitung, and Hsinchu with 7300 employees as well as affiliated academic institutions, Mackay Medicine, Nursing, and Management College and Mackay Medical College, that are devoted to the education of health care professionals and medical missionaries.
Important strategic issues facing Mackay Memorial Hospital include:
1.Development of our corporate culture based on “Mackey Virtue,” incorporating 12 themes: gratitude, attentiveness, sincerity, modesty, faith, love, joy, truthfulness, innovation, persistence, tolerance, and sharing. The good spirit and traditions of Mackay Memorial Hospital will be sustained and handed on as we are able to inculcate these values.
2.Cooperation among our medical and academic institutions for mutual growth and flourishing. With continuing training based on the Mackay spirit, we seek to develop high quality medical professionals who love and care for people with the goal of providing the finest health care we can.
3.Inspiration to continue achieving new goals for the advancement of our mission. The book of Nehemiah in the Bible records how the Jews, led by Nehemiah, within just 52 days restored city walls of Jerusalem, which had been in ruins for more than 120 years.
Other important strategic issues include: 4.operation and mutual support of the branch hospitals; 5.modernized management of human resources; 6.stable financial resources and continuous planning and development; 7.coordination of diversified medical services, vertical integration, horizontal labor division, and development in line with current trends; 8.promotion of quality health care and improved treatment of critical and chronic diseases; 9.support for the implementation of National Health Insurance policy and enhancement of effectiveness; and 10.excellence in teaching and innovation in research.
I acknowledge that these are all great challenges for us. The book of Numbers in the Bible records how Moses sent the twelve spies into Canaan. They viewed the local people there as giants and felt they were too small to conquer them. Unlike the other ten spies, however, Joshua and Caleb comforted the people and said that “we will be given that land. If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey!”
After election by the Board of Directors and appointment by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, I now serve as the Superintendent of the Hospital. I am committed to my mission and the ministry of a hospital that makes our patients and their families feel as if it is a home. Should we differentiate ourselves from others primarily as a hospital blessed by God or as a hospital with the most advanced technology and expensive medical instruments? I believe that first and foremost, we must care for our patients with concern and sincerity. At our hospital, our staff is our most important asset, and our colleagues are like family. I am often touched by the care of our coworkers, especially the hard working nursing staff. I remember once during my evening clinic, I heard one of the nurses comforting her child on the telephone because of working late. I aspire to that caring, uncomplaining attitude and pledge to cherish my Mackay coworkers as my family.
Entrusted with historical responsibilities and heritage, I will work hand in hand with the hospital staff to serve God and our patients to carry out our mission. May I have a humble and loving attitude as I seek first God’s leading, relying first not on power or skill but on his guidance.
Finally, I pray for God’s blessings on Superintendent Tsai and his family. Thank you all for attending this worship service and induction ceremony. I look forward to your continuing support and counsel and thank God for his blessings and the privilege of serving him at Mackay Memorial Hospital. I wish all of you good health, joy, and happiness.
Dr. Yuh-cheng Yang, Superintendent, Mackay Memorial Hospital
Inaugural Speech as Superintendent of Mackay Memorial Hospital on December 29, 2011 A.D.