John A. Williams, dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of New Orleans, has been appointed honorary director of the National Engineering Research Center for Technological Innovation Method and Tool at China’s Hebei University of Technology.
The honor is the latest development in UNO’s efforts to develop meaningful curriculum and research partnerships with two Chinese universities—Hebei, located in Tianjin, and Putian University, located in a city of the same name.
UNO offers joint-study transfer programs for students at both universities who are pursuing degrees in health care management. At Hebei, students seeking master’s degrees can take three courses at Hebei and then take a subsequent eight courses at UNO. At Putian, students seeking undergraduate degrees may take their first 60 credits at Putian and the final 60 credits at UNO.
Williams said collaboration with the universities has been in development for more than four years and came about in part as an effort to identify similarities between health care challenges in the United States and those in China and, together, to try to find meaningful solutions. UNO over the last several years has expanded its healthcare management program offerings in response to expected growth in the biomedical corridor of New Orleans. The corridor now includes two newly constructed hospitals: University Medical Center and the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System Medical Center.
Like the UNO’s Division of Business and Economic Research and its Hospitality Research Center, Williams said, Hebei’s National Engineering Research Center for Technological Innovation Method and Tool is well-regarded in its country as one of the premier research centers in its area, which is technology innovation theory. This fall, a doctoral student from Hebei will work at UNO alongside Williams in the two centers, which Williams directs.
Williams received the honorary directorship on June 19 while on a trip to China, where he visited universities, hospitals and other medical centers. He said one complex commonality that both nations are facing is how to best care for their aging populations in a landscape where demand is outpacing capacity. He said both Hebei and UNO have an interest in looking at the ways disruptive innovation may help meet those challenges.
In October, UNO and Hebei will host a summit in China that promises to draw together health care leaders from both countries to discuss health and medical tourism, healthcare technology, pharmaceuticals, retirement communities and healthcare equipment. Among those expected are John Rother, president and CEO of the National Health Care Coalition in Washington, D.C. Expected participants from China include the presidents of Hebei, Chengde City Hospital and Jinfukang Pharmaceutical Group, the executive director of Tianjin New World Pharmaceutical Company, the health director for Hebei Province, the vice mayor of Chengde City and representatives from a leading Chinese energy company, ENN Group.