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UNMC is all over China

You just never know where that UNMC secondary icon will show up. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Excellent use of a proper branding term. Ten points for Gryffindor!)


Yes, that’s the Great Wall in the background. And the Forbidden City:

OK, I’m sure you’ve guessed that I planted that backpack. Maybe our icon isn’t all over China. Our reputation, however, definitely is growing. And UNMC leaders are all over the potential for the growth of our partnerships in China.

From left: Beverly Maurer; Chancellor Harold M. Maurer; Dehua Yu, president, Yangpu Hospital of Tongji University in Shanghai; and Assistant Vice Chancellor Jialin Zheng, director of UNMC’s Asia-Pacific Rim Development Program.

Relationships are an important part of that. And it’s hard to capture friendship in a photo or a blog post.

As hard as it is to describe, though, it can be easy to recognize. I witnessed it almost immediately upon arriving in Beijing on a recent trip (my first to China). Keith Swarts greeted Yanli Hao, the young woman who was at the airport to meet us, like an old friend. In fact, Keith greeted nearly everyone we dealt with during the two-week trip like an old friend.

Keith and his wife, Jayme Nekuda of UNMC’s wellness programs, and Professor Qingyong Ma of Xi’an Jiaotong University.

That’s what they are. Friends.

Yong Zhao, director of UNMC’s Beijing office; his assistant, Yanli Hao; Keith Swarts; and Fred Salzinger, who also was in China on business for UNMC.

Sometimes Keith had so many friends to talk to that it he seemed like a blur of constant motion.

(Or I have poor photography skills.)

Many of those friends have visited UNMC to do research or study.  And they take back to China stories of UNMC and its friendly people.

Three Shanghai family medicine doctors who were here earlier this year spoke glowingly of their experience at UNMC at the opening ceremony of the Third Annual Shanghai Symposium on Sino-U.S. Family Medicine at Tongji University. They said they were especially moved by the way patients are treated in U.S. clinics, with uninterrupted one-on-one visits with a doctor.

Zhang Aihua, Samuel Liang Xinglun and Mary Wang Jingli visited UNMC this year.

“In two weeks, I learned a great deal … about the humanistic care of American patients,” Mary said.

The friendship and conversation went on long after each day’s speeches and lessons were finished.

From left: Dongsheng Xu, M.D., executive director of UNMC’s Shanghai office and a professor at Tongji University; Jeffrey Harrison, M.D., director of UNMC’s Family Medicine Residency Program; and Samuel Liang Xinglun, M.D.

I made a lot of new friends, too ….

Don’t worry, those aren’t the real — and very fragile — Terracotta Warriors.

And we had a little fun along the way.

Lost in translation: The photographer didn’t understand that we wanted the leaning tower behind us in the picture. From left: Paul Paulman, Audrey Paulman, Kent Zhao, Jeffrey Harrison, yours truly, Marilyn Sitorius, and Mike Sitorius.

We even celebrated the birthday of Jialin Zheng, M.D., director of UNMC’s Asia-Pacific Rim Development Program. October is a busy month for UNMC’s programs in China, so Jialin has celebrated there — away from his family — for several years in a row.

He said it’s tradition in China to eat noodles to help bring good luck and a long life to the one marking a birthday. Jialin taught me how to eat noodles with chopsticks but I think I contributed more noodles to the floor than to his long life.

Fortunately, this photo was taken before I dropped noodles all over.

Maybe I should have tried Jayme’s noodle technique:

We also learned about a beautiful ….

and colorful country …

where UNMC has lots of friends.

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