October 04, 2017
By Greg Peters
Robert D. Simari, M.D., interim vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center, led a team of officials from KU Medical Center that participated in the U.S.-China Health Cooperation Symposium Sept. 27 in Washington D.C. Highlighting the trip for the delegation was the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding continuing the Sino-US Advanced Healthcare Professional Exchange Program.
The goal of the program is to foster collaboration and understanding of the two countries' health care systems, while promoting the exchange of medical education between China and the United States. Since its inception, 41 Chinese physicians from 37 institutions throughout the country have traveled to KU Medical Center as part of the exchange. The continuation agreement was officially signed in the presence of Liu Yandong, vice premier of China, and Tom Price, who was U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services at the time.
The program was established at KU Medical Center in 2015 by Susan Pingleton, M.D., former associate dean of continuing medical education, with the support of Robert Klein, Ph.D., vice chancellor of academic affairs, John Chen, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, director of the Office of Scholarly, Academic and Research Mentoring, and Kimberly Connelly, senior international officer in the Office of International Programs. Steven Simpson, M.D., acting director of the Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine, added his support to the program in June.
"On behalf of the entire University of Kansas Medical Center community, we are honored to have been selected by the Chinese Ministry of Health as the institution for the initial Sino-US Advanced Health Care Professional Exchange Program," Simari said.
KU Medical Center joined Johns Hopkins and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as the only three academic centers that took part in the event. Chinese officials signed memorandums of understanding with all three institutions during the event.
"We were proud to represent our program and the physicians who have served as hosts," Simari said. "To hear our hosts refer to the three institutions as representatives of our nation's finest academic medical centers should be a source of pride for all of us."