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Lai Heng Foong

Australasian College for Emergency Medicine

Vice Chair, Public and Environmental Health Sig

BMBS, FACEM, MHS (International Health), BA(Hons)

Dr Foong is a Senior Emergency Staff Specialist based in Sydney who has a passion for Public Health and Disaster preparedness including COVID-19 preparedness, Climate change and health impacts, Indigenous Health, Domestic Violence advocacy and the social determinants of health. She is a Conjoint Lecturer at the University of New South Wales. She has additional training in Public Health, having obtained a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD, USA and is also a Sexual Assault/Forensic Examiner. She is currently the Chair of the Public Health and Disaster Committee of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM), and a member of the Indigenous Health Committee. She is the Clinical Lead of the NSW ED Community of Practice (CoP) in Covid-19 Response and led the response in Emergency Departments in New South Wales during the COVID-19 Pandemic. She has published papers on COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and impact, Climate change and health, Anti-racism in peer-reviewed journals. Dr Foong has been active in Climate Advocacy for the last few years.  She led ACEM’s effort to declare a Climate Emergency during the ASM in Hobart in 2019 (the first of the professional colleges in Australia to do so), divestment from Fossil fuels in college investments and also banking.  She was a key contributor for the Environmental Strategy and Environmental Action Plan for ACEM.  She is a member of the Multi College Climate Change and Health Project of the Royal Australasian College for Physicians (RACP).  Through the Doctors for the Environment (DEA) she has been involved in multi-college collaboration and teaching and working on Climate Action at various levels of society.  She has also given talks to the Royal College for Emergency Medicine (RCEM), IFEM and to General practitioners, ED trainees and Junior Medical Officers (JMOs).  She recently chaired the Scientific Committee of the International Conference on Emergency Medicine (ICEM) in Melbourne 2022.  She is the COVID-19, Disaster and Sustainability Lead for her hospital. She has co-authored a chapter on Disaster Management in the Paediatric population in Cameron’s Textbook on Paediatric Emergency Medicine.  She is a champion for Indigenous health and health equity and recently her ED won the Al Spilman Cultural Safety Award from ACEM.