October 3, 2018

Chang Gung collaboration grows with delegation visit, new exchange agreement

A partnership between Michigan Medicine and Taiwan’s large Chang Gung Memorial Hospital is advancing following a recent a delegation visit to Ann Arbor and an agreement to increase bilateral exchanges between the two institutions.

Seven top officials from Chang Gung Memorial, Taiwan’s biggest healthcare institution, visited Michigan Medicine last month, a group that included Chang Gung Chairwoman Diana Wang as well as the hospital’s chief finance administrator, chief research administrator, and many of the organization’s top re-searchers.

Emergency Medicine Chair Robert Neumar speaks with Chang Gung Memorial Hospital leaders during a recent delegation visit to Ann Arbor.

The partnership already comprises 13 joint research projects, funded by Chang Gung, with collaborators partnering to study everything from C. difficile infections to acute respiratory distress syndrome. Moving forward, both institutions are planning to further invest in exchange programs, including bringing as many as 20 Chang Gung researchers for extensive research training over the next five years.

“Heading into the next phase of our partnership, I am happy to see our collaborations continue to grow,” said Chang Gung Vice President of Research See-Tong Pang, PhD. “Exchanges between our institutions will allow for a more integrated program, with new ideas to see how we can work together in the future.”

The three-day visit, held the first week of September, included meetings with top Michigan Medicine administrators from clinical and research operations, as well as extensive medical campus tours that included behind-the-scenes looks at the Emergency Department, Survival Flight, and Cardiovascular Center. Chang Gung Senior Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Ming-Huei Cheng, MD, one of the world’s leading physicians in lymph node transplant procedures, gave a lecture at Surgery Grand Rounds and did a dissection for UMMS medical students during the visit.

Global REACH Global Visitors Coordinator Carrie Ashton leads a hospital tour for leaders from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital.

“At Michigan Medicine, we have a lot of opportunity to partner internationally, but we’re very careful about who we choose to collaborate with,” said Chief of Hand Surgery Kevin Chung, MD, who has been spearheading the partnership for Michigan Medicine. “We’re very grateful to have been selected by Chang Gung, a premier institution that brings not only top-notch expertise but also values that closely align with our own. My hope is that, ten years from now, people will to this Michigan Medicine-Chang Gung partnership as a model for international collaborations.”

The next round of joint Chang Gung-Michigan Medicine research projects is expected to be announced before the end of the year and plans call for faculty exchanges to ramp up in 2019. A delegation from Michigan Medicine is expected to travel to Taipei in May to visit Chang Gung for the dedication of a new research facility there.