On the morning of January 4, President Tsai Ing-wen attended a memorial service for former Chang Gung Memorial Hospital president Dr. Samuel Noordhoff, where she personally issued a Presidential Citation commemorating Dr. Noordhoff's outstanding contributions to modern Taiwanese medicine.
After arriving, President Tsai first presented the Presidential Citation to Dr. Noordhoff's eldest son.
In remarks, President Tsai stated that we come together today in the spirit of greatest respect and gratitude to remember Dr. Samuel Noordhoff, who so deeply influenced and contributed to modern medicine in Taiwan. The president pointed out that Dr. Noordhoff practiced medicine in Taiwan for 40 years, giving some of the best years of his life for Taiwan. At a time when Taiwan's population was most underserved and healthcare resources were most limited, Dr. Noordhoff established many key healthcare systems. He was the most important driver of Taiwan's entry into modernized healthcare.
The president said that Dr. Noordhoff previously served as president of Mackay Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. He also accomplished many firsts in medical history, including Taiwan's first intensive care unit, first burn treatment center, first cleft lip and palate treatment center, and Asia's first suicide prevention center. All of these were brought about by Dr. Noordhoff's complete dedication and participation.
President Tsai mentioned that Dr. Noordhoff donated his retirement pension to establish the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation, which has served more than 50,000 patients. Dr. Noordhoff was also a dedicated educator, helping cultivate many important medical talents. Taiwan's role as an international leader in both craniofacial surgery and plastic surgery is a testament to Dr. Noordhoff's selfless legacy and guidance, which laid a solid foundation.
The president said that Dr. Noordhoff was especially concerned with Taiwan's rural areas, and provided a number of mobile healthcare services for offshore islands and indigenous communities. He also led students to engage in important international humanitarian medical aid. Last year, Dr. Noordhoff was awarded the Presidential Cultural Awards' Humanitarian Dedication Award, a well-deserved recognition.
In closing, President Tsai expressed the greatest respect for Dr. Noordhoff on behalf of the country of Taiwan, and said that Dr. Noordhoff dedicated his life to serving Taiwan through love, bringing genuine warmth to Taiwanese. We thank Dr. Noordhoff, who will always be a "True Taiwanese" and will forever remain in our hearts.
Also present at the memorial service were Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Chairwoman Diana Wang (王瑞慧).
A translation of the Presidential Citation to Dr. Samuel Nordhoff is as follows:
Dr. Samuel Noordhoff, American-born founder of the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation and former president of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, was a physician of consummate skill, integrity, and compassion.
After graduating with a medical degree from the University of Iowa, US, Dr. Noordhoff accepted an invitation to come to Taiwan as a missionary and physician. His extensive knowledge and progressive ideas played a pivotal role in developing Taiwan's medical system during an extraordinary career spanning 40 years of selfless service.
During his tenure as president of Mackay Memorial Hospital, Dr. Noordhoff advocated holistic treatment modalities, provided mobile healthcare to mountainous areas, and established suicide prevention and burn treatment centers, alleviating suffering and showing his compassion and love for humanity. Through his far-reaching vision, he achieved the creation of a wide range of previously unavailable services.
As the founder of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and concurrent head of plastic surgery, Dr. Noordhoff introduced advanced management systems and standardized workflows, nurtured outstanding professional talent, and promoted academic exchanges and research.
Dr. Noordhoff also provided education and free clinical services both domestically and abroad, enhancing Taiwan's international image. His profound achievements are a testament to his dedication to his vocation and earned him a glowing reputation.
Dr. Noordhoff later donated funds to establish the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation. Devoted to addressing the diverse needs of his patients, he showed an exceptional quality of care and strength of character, and his reputation and contributions have spread far and wide.
Dr. Noordhoff's numerous accolades include the Wu Tsun-Hsien Love Award, the Medical Contribution Award, the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy, the Presidential Cultural Awards' Humanitarian Dedication Award, and the Order of Brilliant Star with Violet Grand Cordon.
Dr. Noordhoff's was a life of philanthropic acts and commendable achievements. He exemplified virtue and benevolence. In sharing his gifts with the people, Dr. Noordhoff's lasting influence can be seen throughout Taiwan, and his name will go down in history as an illustration of true character.
The Republic of China (Taiwan) government was deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Noordhoff's sudden passing, and issues this Presidential Citation to express our deepest respect and reverence in memory of his upstanding moral integrity.