The University of Colorado College of Nursing and the School of Medicine Physical Therapy Program in the School of Medicine’s Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation held a joint signing ceremony with Japan’s Yamagata Prefectural University of Health Sciences, Yamagata Prefectural University of Health Sciences in Japan, for a third five-year renewal of their educational exchange agreements with Yamagata. The ceremony was held last week in the Tower Room of the Health Sciences Library.
Roderick Nairn, PhD, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at the Denver Campus and Anschutz Medical Campus, welcomed Yamagata and Anschutz officials to the signing ceremony. Carolyn North, PhD, assistant vice chancellor for international affairs, participated in the ceremony.
"The relationship between Yamagata Prefectural University of Health Sciences and the physical therapy and nursing programs at Anschutz Medical Campus was established in 2001 and has resulted in a steady exchange of scholars and students," North explains.
"Visiting lecturers and student observations have been the core of this relationship over the years. The relationship is all the more significant because of the City of Denver’s longstanding relationship with Yamagata as a Sister City.
"We are honored by the friendship extended by our colleagues at Yamagata Prefectural University and look forward to a thriving partnership in the coming years."
Akira Kusakabe, MD, PhD, president of Yamagata University, also welcomed attendees.
Other participants from Yamagata included the chairs of the Yamagata departments of nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, Takao Yamashita, PhD, Kouji Ihashi, PhD, and Emiko Fukuda, PhD, respectively.
Additional Yamagata attendees included Hiroyuki Watanabe, manager of curriculum and student services; and Yamagata representative Nagai Takeshi.
Yamagata officials also held a signing ceremony at Colorado State University in Fort Collins on March 24 for their occupational therapy programs.
Members of the Japanese government from the Consulate General of Japan at Denver attended, including: Kazuaki Kubo, consul general, Fumiyoshi Kashima, deputy consul general, Ayako Ide, consulate staff.
"Our nursing students and faculty have really enjoyed and benefited from the visits of Yamagata University’s students and faculty. Their active involvement in their experiences and their zest for learning and enjoyment of nursing is infectious," said College of Nursing Dean Patricia Moritz.
Officials from the Anschutz Medical Campus who spoke at the signing included Richard Krugman, MD, SOM dean and Anschutz vice chancellor for health affairs; Moritz, RN, PhD; Dennis Matthews, MD, chair, SOM Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Margaret Schenkman, PhD, director of Physical Therapy (PT) Program and associate dean, PT education, SOM Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
Staff participants included Diane Lenfest, director of the CON International Program, and David Weil, education technology manager, PT Program.
A tea was held after the signing ceremony, followed by a tour of the College of Nursing and PT Program’s simulation labs in Education I and a tour of the PT Program and College of Nursing offices in Education II-South and Education II-North, respectively.