Posted By: John P. Howe, III, M.D. on November 2, 2011

Labels: China , Health Care Education, Health Systems Strengthening, Women’s and Children’s Health

We started off our morning with a visit to the PuDong District Tang Qiao Community Health Center in downtown Shanghai. Dr. Huang Xuan, Director of the clinic, told us 1,200 to 1,500 patients are seen at the clinic each day, many for symptoms of chronic disease. Project HOPE is supporting the clinic by providing chronic disease education to health professionals and also supplying the clinic with patient education materials.

Before our much anticipated visit to the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center (SCMC), HOPE Chairman Dick Clark and I had the rare honor of meeting with the Mayor of Shanghai, Han Zheng. The Mayor was very appreciative of our humanitarian work after the 2008 earthquake and our long-time relationship with the city of Shanghai which has resulted in HOPE’s involvement with the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center.

Nowhere is HOPE’s commitment to improving the health of children in China more evident than at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. Joined by some of our corporate donors, including Peter Wilden, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Ferring and Elaine Leavenworth, Vice President of Government Affairs for Abbott, we were greeted at the busy children’s hospital by staff and hospital administrators who briefed our delegation on HOPE’s continuing impact on the health of children in China. HOPE’s medical professional training, patient education programs and medical equipment donation programs have helped the hospital to become number one in the world for the number of pediatric heart surgeries performed, as well as a national leader in pediatric nutrition and oncology.

At the SCMC, we met with some young patients and families, including a 5-year-old girl awaiting heart surgery. As we said our goodbyes, the young girl treated us to a traditional Chinese children’s song, complete with graceful hand motions and a bow to end the performance. I hope to share a video of this heartwarming experience with you soon.

Before we departed from our busy day at the SCMC, we spoke with some of the nurses and doctors being educated through HOPE’s Rural Training Program. To date, 248 medical professionals across 18 provinces in China have participated in the one-year fellowship at the SCMC. This experience is invaluable to these medical professionals, allowing them to gain lifesaving skills and knowledge that they will use when they return home to rural areas of China to practice medicine. I will share more about their impact in coming days, when we travel to Chengdu.  

One of the members of our delegation, John Boyer, Ph.D., Chairman of MAXIMUS Federal Services, Inc.,  a supporter of HOPE programs, presented the rural fellows with a set of IPods, loaded with a medical database that is able to be translated into any language, including Chinese. This technology will provide the rural fellows with complete up-to-date medical information when they return to their hometowns far away from the medical resources in Shanghai.

As we left SCMC, we noticed the Project HOPE flag flying proudly above the hospital in tandem with the Chinese national flag and the SCMC flag. While we live in a complicated world, the SCMC is a shining example of people coming together for the common good.


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