Forging international collaboration in Hong Kong and China

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and the La Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine (LKS) at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) is set to stimulate research collaboration and improve health care globally.

Dr. Davy Cheng, Acting Dean, and Andrew Hrymak, PhD, Provost & Vice President Academic, travelled to Hong Kong in October to formally sign the MOU, which will enable the School to work more closely with HKU in the area of health care. 

“I look forward to strengthening our partnership with the LKS Faculty of Medicine going forward,” said Dr. Cheng. “Our newly-signed agreement will facilitate collaboration in sustainable medical education and research between our institutions and contribute to our internationalization goals by bringing together top researchers and educators to improve health care abroad and at home.”

A university-wide agreement between Western and HKU was already in place, but the faculty-specific agreement focuses more closely on medical research.

During the trip, Hrymak and Dr. Cheng met with staff and faculty, including alumnus Dr. Gabriel Leung, MD’96, who is now the youngest ever Dean of the 132-year-old HKU Medical Faculty.

Dr. Cheng then travelled to China along with Dr. Eric Wong, Associate Professor, Family Medicine, to attend the annual Joint Symposium with Nanjing Medical University (NMU). Dr. Saverio Stranges, Chair, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, also participated in the Joint Symposium remotely.

This year’s theme was Primary Care and Public Health: Exploring Integration to Improve Population Health.

“Our annual symposium plays an integral role in fostering our relationship and contributing to our goal of improving life-long health for all – locally, regionally and globally,” Dr. Cheng said.

China has historically relied on specialists to treat patients. As family medicine and primary care are under development and being integrated into the Chinese health care system, the country looks to other nations, like Canada, for effective models.

A MOU has been in place between the School and NMU since 2014.

Drs. Cheng and Wong also visited two NMU teaching hospitals during their trip, Huai’an First People’s Hospital and Nanjing Jiangning Hospital. These modern facilities utilize automated patient registration, lab and medical imaging reports for patients, electronic pharmacy dispensaries and telemedicine.

Dr. Cheng says China is a key strategic partner for both Western and Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. “Our long-standing, mutually-beneficial collaboration with NMU enhances our efforts related to education, research and clinical training and leadership between the universities.”