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Heritage College dean honored for training Chinese physicians

(DUBLIN, Ohio — Sept. 11, 2015) - The dean of the central Ohio campus of Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has been recognized by a province in China, for his work there in helping to improve the training of primary care physicians.

William J. Burke, D.O., F.A.C.O.F.P., dean of the Heritage College, Dublin, has been invited to China to receive the Tianfu Friendship Award, conferred by the government of China’s Sichuan Province. The award is presented annually to persons from other countries who have made outstanding contributions to Sichuan’s economic and social development. The Sichuan Province, the country’s fourth largest province, is located in southwest China and has a population of over 81 million people. The award will be presented on Thursday, Sept. 17.

Burke’s contribution has been through his service as team leader of the International Primary Care Educational Alliance (IPCEA), an organization founded under the auspices of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians Education and Research Foundation. The IPCEA is leading the effort by members of the osteopathic medical profession to help train more Chinese physicians in primary care. Seeking to enhance access, improve care quality and lower its cost, the Chinese government has mandated that all the country’s provinces move toward a primary care-centered model of health care delivery.

The Heritage College, whose Dublin campus Burke leads, promotes recruitment and education of high-quality primary care physicians as a core element of its mission. Burke has made more than a dozen trips to China since 2007, based on his roles with IPCEA and initially with the American Osteopathic Foundation’s China Primary Care Program Team.

In 2013, IPCEA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sichuan Provincial Health Department and the Primary Care Training Center of Sichuan, to extend its training program. Burke has led a team of osteopathic physicians, who have helped teach Chinese medical educators how to better train and evaluate medical residents for primary care.

Sichuan officials have praised Burke and his team for providing intensive hands-on training, including instruction on how to effectively communicate with patients, demonstrate empathy and gather medical histories. They note that Burke and his team have visited 15 hospitals and 20 community health centers in the province to share their teaching expertise.

Burke has also organized a program in which every two years, a 20-member delegation from Sichuan spends three weeks training in the United States.

In 2013, Burke was named dean of the Heritage College’s Dublin campus, which opened in July 2014. A 1988 graduate of the Heritage College, Burke had been serving as vice president for medical education at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital in Columbus. OhioHealth is the college’s pre-eminent education partner for its central Ohio campus.

Burke has received numerous awards over the course of his career, including the Heritage College’s Distinguished Service Award in 2006; Ohio University’s Distinguished Service Award in 2009; the American Osteopathic Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award in 2008; the Ohio State Society of the American College of Osteopathic Physicians’ Family Physician of the Year Award in 2010; and the Ohio Osteopathic Association’s Trustees’ Award at the Ohio Osteopathic Symposium in 2013.

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a leader in training dedicated primary care physicians who are prepared to address the most pervasive medical needs in the state and the nation. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio. CARE LEADS HERE.

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Last updated: 01/28/2016