In December 2016, professors from Kunming Medical University (KMU) visited the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) at the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) at Mānoa to continue an extraordinary collaboration with the medical school. Faculty from KMU toured JABSOM, visiting some of the school’s clinical training facilities and sampling the Health Sciences Library’s new stress-reducing activities (“Brain Busters”). They also were introduced to some UH medical students. Dr. Luo also performed a brief demonstration of tai chi.
Earlier in 2016, KMU realized a groundbreaking accomplishment — achieved with assistance from the UH medical school — establishing China’s first-ever accredited academic program in speech and hearing. “There are 1.3 billion people in China and the government is strategically trying to improve the training of health professionals, especially rehab professionals in China,” said Dr. Zhiyong Luo, Director of Rehabilitation Medicine and professor at KMU. “Most importantly, the people really need rehabilitation.”
This partnership between KMU and JABSOM has spanned two years, after department chair and LIH Healthcare Technical Advisory Board Member Henry Lew, MD, PhD, signed a memorandum of understanding with KMU in 2014 to create a speech and hearing program in China. Afterward, professors from the Department of CSD traveled to China to help create the syllabus and curriculum for KMU’s speech and hearing program and to train the faculty in teaching speech pathology.
“Right now, we are proud to say that we have the first accredited speech therapy program in China,” Dr. Luo said.