A new partnership between Duquesne University and four Chinese universities will enhance efforts to educate healthcare practitioners to meet the world's growing need for these professionals.

Duquesne's John G. Rangos Sr. School of Health Sciences (RSHS) has established the Duquesne-China Health Institute (DCHI), along with Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Sichuan University-Medical School and Tongji University-Medical School.

Since 2013, the universities have collaborated through the China Linkage Program (CLP), which provided a means for exchanging faculty and master's and doctoral students. Students coming to Duquesne could earn master's degrees in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology. To date, 87 students from China have graduated from the program and now work in the country's major hospitals and medical institutes. The program's enrollment is increasing steadily.

"As the world's over-65 population continues to grow, the need for these professionals grows with it," says Duquesne Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. David Dausey. "The new Institute recognizes the past success of the CLP and challenges us to stretch farther in developing new degree offerings and engaging more people with great potential in these fields."

DCHI will sustain the RSHS's global outreach efforts by creating an independent body within the Rangos School. The Institute will confer degrees, expand offerings beneficial to students in the program, foster collaborative research and encourage faculty and student mobility.

"In close collaboration with our partner universities in China, we have created successful pathways for vital degrees and fruitful exchanges," says RSHS Dean Dr. Fevzi Akinci. "Global demand shows no signs of weakening, and with the tight competition for the best students and future practitioners, now is the time to give the Institute greater significance and presence."

Dr. Yang Chen has been appointed executive director of the DCHI. Chen's leadership will expand program offerings, with a particular goal of establishing new joint master's and doctoral programs with partners in China.

"DCHI will provide multidisciplinary education to prepare students for careers in emerging areas of healthcare in China," Chen says. "It will offer several rigorous clinical and health management/public health programs. DCHI graduates will be equipped with key competencies in both rehabilitation theory and clinical skills, as well as health administration/public health expertise."

DCHI's goals also include promoting congruent, state-of-the-art rehabilitation and health administration/public health practices internationally, resulting in enhanced care and improved global health.

"We expect rapid growth," Akinci says. "Our programs and partnerships are strong, and the Institute can bring resources together to continue evolving not only how we teach and prepare practitioners, but also produce evidence-based research to facilitate informed decision-making by healthcare professionals and policy makers."

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The Universitys academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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July 01, 2019