APRDP students, faculty get new digs

by Chuck Brown, UNMC public affairs | April 09, 2008

picture disc.
Pictured in front of UNMC's new Asian Pacific Rim Development Program (APRDP) house are, from left, APRDP director Jialin Zheng, M.D., Hui Zhu (Sally), UNMC Director of Business Services Keith Swarts, Lei Cheng (Echo), Xiaoye Liu (Lucy), Yinchu Dong (William), Vice Chancellor for Research Tom Rosenquist, Ph.D., and Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Don Leuenberger. Sally, Echo, Lucy and William are nursing students from China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Students who visit UNMC as part of the Asian Pacific Rim Development Program (APRDP) now have a midtown haven to return to after hard days in the classrooms, labs and clinics.

UNMC has purchased and renovated a three-story home at 3901 Dewey Ave. for APRDP students and faculty members who visit the medical center.

The house -- which can accommodate up to 10 people at a time -- recently welcomed its first inhabitants when four nursing students from China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine unpacked to spend a month studying here.

"The house is a sign that UNMC leaders are committed to the APRDP and understand its importance to the medical center's mission," said APRDP Director Jialin Zheng, M.D. "It's a beautiful house that provides a comfortable and convenient place for our visitors to call home while they are here."

The house helps UNMC strengthen its international relationships, which falls in line with the goal of Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., of UNMC achieving world-class status, Dr. Zheng said.

Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Don Leuenberger and UNMC Director of Business Services Keith Swarts and UNMC Business and Finance departments deserve a lot of credit for the house and its renovation, Dr. Zheng said.

"Keith and Don truly understand this program's importance to the medical center's mission and I am very grateful for their support," Dr. Zheng said.

Many staff members at in Business Services department including Esther Collins and APRDP staff members Emilie Scoggins and Mary Cavell should be credited for their hard work and effort for its renovation, getting furniture and decorating the house for our visitors, Dr. Zheng said

The house helps UNMC cement international relationships that could be fruitful on many levels, said UNMC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Rubens Pamies, M.D.

"International collaboration is necessary in these days of globalization, particularly in health care and research," Dr. Pamies said. "This house will help strengthen UNMC's relationships with outstanding institutions in China and other countries in Asia."

Vice Chancellor for Research Tom Rosenquist, Ph.D., said he is excited to see the medical center's commitment to the APRDP's mission grow.

"The house is a sign that UNMC leaders are committed to the APRDP and understand its importance to the medical center's mission. It's a beautiful house that provides a comfortable and convenient place for our visitors to call home while they are here."

Jialin Zheng, M.D.

"We already have strong relationships with several great institutions in China and this house serves as a notice that we see this program and the cooperation it breeds as something very valuable," Dr. Rosenquist said.

College of Medicine Dean John Gollan, M.D., Ph.D., echoed Dr. Rosenquist's comments.

"This program allows our students and faculty to forge relationships with international scientists that are essential in today's medical climate," Dr. Gollan said. "This house is a wonderful step for UNMC to take to literally make this a more hospitable arrangement."

Since the APRDP's inception in 2005, many UNMC nursing faculty members and students have had valuable interactions and experiences with Chinese colleagues. College of Nursing Dean Virginia Tilden, D.N.Sc., said the establishment of the APRDP house is proof that the medical center has made this program a priority.

"Our entire college has been enriched through exchanges that have brought Chinese students to UNMC and sent our students to China," Dr. Tilden said. "We are thrilled that UNMC has now given APRDP students and faculty a place to call home while they visit and study with us here."