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Posted By: John P. Howe, III, M.D. on October 29, 2012

Labels: China , Health Care Education, Health Systems Strengthening

With the opening to the West, over thirty years ago, Project HOPE was invited by the leadership of China to assist in the training of the country's doctors and nurses. This training continues to this day in both the urban and rural areas of China, with the support of our academic and community partners. 

The invitations came this past summer from two of these partners, the Peking University Health Science Center (PUHSC) in Beijing and the Jiao Tong University Medical School (JTUMS) in Shanghai. Each was to celebrate significant milestone events this month. I want to share the highlights of them, as they involved HOPE, during the past 72 hours. 

Our ties to the PUHSC, since 1983, have principally been those of nurse training, with the creation of innovative academic programs and the graduation of outstanding nurse leaders. The HSC's current Dean of the School of Nursing was recommended by HOPE. 

Over 3000 students, faculty, staff and dignitaries gathered at the PUHSC Stadium in Beijing last Friday for a morning-long Centenary Celebration. Project HOPE was recognized by Dr. Ke Yang, the NIH-trained, distinguished head of the HSC. 

Chinese Minister of Health, Chen Zhu

The Chinese Minister of Health, Chen Zhu, a close friend of a former HOPE Board member, Nancy Chang, congratulated the leadership of the HSC on its 100 years of teaching, research and service. It is widely-recognized as the leading HSC in China. 

Dr. Victor Dzau, the Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University, a friend of HOPE who spoke at our last Board meeting, shared his perspectives on the achievements of the HSC, as a native of Shanghai. 

Our collaborations with the JTUMS have centered on both nursing and medicine, since 1988. It was Jiang Zemin, the Mayor of Shanghai, who would later become President of China, who asked HOPE to join him in the creation of the Shanghai Children's Medical Center (SCMC), in partnership with the Second Shanghai Medical University, which was subsequently merged with the JTUMS. 

Over 500 of the city's academic and professional leadership came to the new Shanghai Cultural Center last Saturday morning to honor the JTUMS on the occasion of its 60th anniversary. They included Dr. Shen Xiaoming, the former President of the SCMC and present Vice Mayor of Shanghai. 

Dr. Howe and Mayor of Shanghai Han Zheng in 2011

The Mayor of Shanghai, Han Zheng, gave the keynote address. He has been, and continues to be, a strong supporter of HOPE's nursing and medical programs at the SCMC. He met with Richard Clark, the retired Chairman of Merck and current HOPE Board Chairman, during his most recent visit to Shanghai. 

As the Peking University Health Science Center and the Jiao Tong University Medical School celebrated significant milestones (100 years and 60 years, respectively), they both recognized HOPE -- and our shared efforts. Both events were stage-setting for even greater accomplishments together in the years ahead!

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