The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) 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, professor and chair of JABSOM’s 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.
“We know that with China’s enormous population, the need for trained therapists is critical,” said Lew.
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, the convention acknowledged Lew with a special recognition award, in addition to presenting him with the honorary guest professor certificate for KMU’s School of Rehabilitation Medicine.
For more information, read the John A. Burns School of Medicine story.