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College of Public Health

Chinese delegation visits ETSU to learn more about public health

China-Tennessee ETSU has a good reputation internationally for public health education, according to a spokeswoman for a delegation of Chinese public health experts visiting the region to learn more about their field.  Nearly 20 government officials from China are being hosted for the next two weeks by the ETSU College of Public Health.  The visit is part of the China-Tennessee Health Education Training Institute.  The delegation wants to take back some of the processes used here and take that back for implementation in some of China's health education systems.  "We want to, through this trip and especially this trianing institute, to take in a lot regarding health education in this state and the United States," said Li Ying-hua, director of health policy and theory research at the Chinese Center for Health Education.  "Because we know that ETSU has a very good experience in the health education training, particularly in the community health-based education."  

Speaking through Liang Wang, assistant professor in ETSU's department of biostatistics and epidemiology, she said community health-based education is an area for improvement in China.  Recently, the Chinese economy has developed very dramatically and the government has been able to invest heavily in the field of public health education.  Everyone in the Chinese delegation has at least 10 years experience in public health,Ying-hua said.  "They are all working on the front lines of the public health fields so they are very familiar with health education, the policy and the situation in all of China," she said.  

During the two week institute university faculty and guest speakers will present special lectures on an array of public health topics, according to the school.  Several community health projects will be showcased, as well, including the Nu-Val Program and employee health initiatives at Food City; the LIFEPATH Public Health Training Center in the College of Public Health and other regional employers' health initiatives.  "And we believe we can learn a lot and bring back to China after this training," Ying-hua said.

Public Health Dean Randy Wykoff said the visit and the institute was a good opportunity to share knowledge.  "We hope to get out of this some ongoing relationships, maybe some students form China, some online training programs," Wykoff said.  "I think it's good for ETSU, it gets our name out nationally and internationally.  And it's good for our students to have an opportunity to interact with folks from other countries."  The whole trip will not be all work though.  The delegation requested an American Thanksgiving style banquet, which has been scheduled for Nov. 18.  "You know, Thanksgiving Day is very well known in China," Ying-hua said.  "And this festival is very popular, especially in the young people of China."  So, in that spirit, the delegation wanted to experience what a real Thanksgiving holiday and feast are like.

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