UH Med Now
UH Medical School helps China establish nation’s first-ever accredited university speech-hearing program
The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has helped establish the first-ever accredited speech pathology training program in China, where the demand for speech language and hearing rehabilitation far exceeds the number of qualified practitioners. With a population of 1.3 billion, China has only one speech therapy professional for every 300,000 patients. That compares to 42 professionals for every 300,000 in the U.S.
To establish the groundbreaking new program in China, JABSOM reached out to the Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine in 2010. The medical school signed a memorandum of understanding with Kunming Medical University (KMU) in 2014, and now has helped KMU’s School of Rehabilitation Medicine establish the first accredited speech pathology program in the history of China.
Henry Lew, MD, PhD, Professor of the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) and Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, was honored during the Annual Meeting of the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine for establishing the program.
“With support from the Dean’s office, the UH Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Department has reached out to many Asia-Pacific Countries,” said Dr. Lew. “We know that with China’s enormous population, the need for trained speech and hearing therapists is significant, and growing.”
Dr. Lew also was instrumental in developing the educational standards for rehabilitation physicians in China. Last month, during the 2016 Annual Convention of the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine for Developing Countries (ISPRM-DC), the convention acknowledged Dr. Lew with a special recognition award, in addition to presenting him with the Honorary Guest Professor Certificate for KMU’s School of Rehabilitation Medicine.
Now in its 60th year, graduates of the University of Hawai‘i Communication Sciences and Disorders program can be found globally, working throughout the Pacific Basin, across the Continental U.S., through the Caribbean and Europe. The CSD department also regularly hosts visiting students from Japan (Serei Christopher University) and Taiwan (Chung Shan Medical University). Learn more about the UH-JABSOM Communication Sciences and Disorders Department.