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To co-create a new vision for local healthcare, National Chung Cheng University and Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital signed up the agreement for industry-university cooperation

In order to continuously improve the healthcare services, and its relevant educational standards in Yunlin and Chiayi areas, National Chung Cheng University (CCU) and Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital (DTCH) of Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, jointly held a MOU signing ceremony for their future cooperation on September 28, 2022. Based on the agreement, in the future, CCU will set up a team of faculty members from different departments, colleges and academic fields to work with doctors from various DTCH departments for numerous purposes. Through the sharing of research results, equipment and other resources between the two parties, it can help facilitate the development of innovative clinical technologies. And by building the academia-hospital relationship locally, it is also hoped that the signing of the agreement will accelerate the establishment of CCU Department of Post-Baccalaureate Medicine to cultivate medical talents for Chiayi’s healthcare industry.

At the ceremony, Dr. Zhang-Hua Fong, President of CCU signed the agreement with Dr. Ning-Sheng Lai, Superintendent of DTCH. CCU later revealed that the two parties have been in a cooperative relationship for a long time. Since DTCH started its business in Chiayi in 2000, it has been working closely with CCU departments of Mechanical Engineering, Psychology, and Biomedical Sciences. Dharma Master Cheng Yen, Founder of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from CCU on January 7, 2019, at DTCH. The award was to recognize her dedication to serving society and caring for people in need around the world, and to highlight the bonding relationship between CCU and DTCH.

During last year, CCU has successively signed agreements with other medical institutions in neighboring areas such as Chia-Yi Christian Hospital (CYCH) and Taiwan University Hospital Yunlin Branch to promote specific projects. Dr. Hsiang-Chen Wang, Director of CCU Office of Research and Development (ORD), explained that the signing with DTCH this time is quite different from the past, the agreement between the two is more comprehensive than the previous similar conducts with other hospitals. The signing includes various cross-field cooperative actions from CCU faculty, at individual department level and at collegial level, and DTCH doctors of different medical departments. The cooperation will deal with a wider range of research issues across telemedicine, smart healthcare, medical imaging, geriatric healthcare, etc. Coupled with the recent planning in preparations of the post-baccalaureate medical department by CCU, the signing of the agreement not only can promote academic researches and help develop relevant technologies for both parties, but also generate mutual opportunities for adjunct employments, as well as allowing medical professionals to provide teaching on CCU campus in the future.

Dr. Hsiang-Chen Wang further pointed out that CCU has been devoted to the development of technologies to tackle tasks in varied areas such as the gene therapy, smart machinery, smart medical sensors, geriatric healthcare, and the medical imaging, demonstrating the strength of the university. Recently, Taiwan Government is putting its great efforts to promote Chiayi Science Park, its main planning direction for the Park also lie in the developments of precision medicine, elderly assistive devices, aged care and other related industries. It seems that, the cooperation between CCU and neighboring hospitals has been stepping on the right track and in line with the Government’s local industrial development policy.

As Taiwan is about to be a super-aged society, and the elderly population accounts for the majority in the Chiayi area, thus, DTCH has also decided to pay more attention on smart medicine, rural medical care, and geriatric healthcare in recent years, to help resolve the upcoming relevant challenges in the society. Dr. Hsiang-Chen Wang hoped that by matching the rich clinical experience of medical professionals, medical equipment and other resources from DTCH with the scientific and technological research and development capabilities of CCU faculty, the two parties can jointly work out something to help remove the barriers in clinical diagnosis, and to provide more convenient, time-saving and accurate medical services eventually.

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