School of Allied Health Professions

Physical Therapy Education hosts visiting faculty from China

Regina Hu
Jia (Regina) Hu

Jia (Regina) Hu likes to swim and play badminton. She is also very passionate about her role as chief of research and education at Shanghai Sunshine Rehabilitation Center, Yang Zhi Affiliated Rehabilitation Hospital of Tongji University, China.

Regina has been our guest for the past three weeks as part of our partnership with Tongji University. In order to start a baccalaureate program in physical therapy there, Regina will collaborate with Tongji to develop clinical experiences for their students. This visit, her first time to the US, exposed her to aspects of curriculum development here and how we integrate clinical education into academic coursework.

“I’m so impressed with the education system here,” Regina said. “The patient-centered concept demonstrates how you value professionalism, teamwork, the psycho-social aspects of care, and communication with the patient.”

Her biggest surprise was the US healthcare and insurance system. Although China has a national policy to improve care and rehabilitation, it’s still in the beginning phases. They are trying to develop the three levels of care – acute care hospital, rehabilitation hospital, and community hospital.

She toured several rehabilitation centers in town. Of particular note to Regina were our elder care facilities, for which she felt quite envious.

“Hillcrest was very impressive,” she said. “In China, we have nursing homes, but the patients don’t have exercise facilities and social interaction like they do here. You have a great model for the future of care in China. Not just the equipment and buildings, but more importantly the staff is so committed.”

Of our PT faculty, Regina said, “It’s clear that they take the relationship with Tongji very seriously. Their passion and responsibility to educate was evident by their willingness to share information and curricula as they helped me revise my syllabus. They are all mission-oriented and truly devote themselves to their students and profession.”

In regard to our expansion to Kearney, Regina was excited about the active learning vs lecture model of education. She looks forward to taking these ideas back to China.

Her final reflections about the visit to UNMC were about the artwork around campus. “I love how you combine science and art!” she said. “You are enriched by education.” She pointed out a piece hanging just inside the PT suite – a photograph of many hands with the caption, “Reaching through Teaching,” which she thought embodied our mission.

Regina also remarked on a large painting in the Sorrell building of a doctor and patient, in front of which she had taken a selfie. I offered to go one better and give her some good souvenir photos, so I grabbed my camera and we embarked on a final tour of artwork and interesting places around campus. (See slideshow below.)

Regina will be working on her PhD at Tongji as she is developing the PT program. Hope she can make time for a swim and a set of badminton!

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