In February, the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville hosted a delegation of five pediatricians and four administrators from Sichuan University/West China Medical Center in Chengdu, China, for a two-day pediatric educational conference, enabling faculty of both institutions to participate in and discuss patient care, education and research.
The event was coordinated by Thomas Chiu, MD, MBA, a UF professor of pediatrics and medical director for pediatric external affairs. He has been coordinating visits and conferences between Sichuan University and Jacksonville for years.
In November 2015, Chiu led a delegation from Jacksonville to China, which included UF physicians Mark Hudak, MD; Mobeen Rathore, MD; and Asad Tolaymat, MD, as well as Wolfson Children’s Hospital president Michael Aubin and Nemours physicians Michael Erhard, MD, and Angela Black, MD. During that meeting, invitations were extended to Sichuan University leadership to visit Jacksonville.
On Feb. 18, campus leaders including UF Health Jacksonville CEO Russ Armistead and Linda Edwards, MD, UFCOMJ senior associate dean for educational affairs, welcomed the Chinese delegation during an initial meeting. This was followed by tours of the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute by radiation oncologist Daniel Indelicato, MD; the Florida Poison Information Center – Jacksonville by director Jay Schauben, PharmD; and the UF Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research by assistant dean of simulation education Andy Godwin, MD. The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute is an international resource for pediatric patients. They even have materials about the institute already translated into Chinese.
On Feb. 19, the delegation toured locations at Wolfson Children's Hospital and Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, led by Aubin and Erhard, respectively.
While in Jacksonville, the physician members of the Chinese delegation spoke at the International Forum on Pediatrics, which had more than 120 registrants.
While the forum was being held, the four Sichuan University International Center representatives met with the leadership from UF Health, Nemours Children's Specialty Care and Wolfson Children's Hospital to discuss resident, student and faculty educational exchange; research collaboration; telemedicine; patient referrals; and plans for future conferences.
The Sichuan University delegation left Jacksonville on Feb. 20 and extended the invitation for a Jacksonville delegation to visit China in 2017.