School of Nursing Launches Major Research Capacity Building Effort with the Ministry of Public Health in Thailand
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding formalizes a research collaboration effort in the study of non-communicable diseases.
The School of Nursing solidified their commitment to collaboration with Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MPH) on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. According to Dean Kathleen Potempa, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Memorandum heralds the start of an exciting new partnership through which the two institutions can build research capacity, specifically in the area of non-communicable diseases. “[The project] launches a new pathway for us to build strong research training and research collaborative opportunities to better understand the needs of populations around non-communicable diseases, which are a concern in our country and a growing concern globally,” said Dean Potempa.
The delegation from Thailand in attendance at the signing ceremony included Dr. Tanongsan Sutatam, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Thailand’s MPH, and Dr. Somkuan Hanpatchaiyakul, Director of the Praboromarajchanok Institute of Health Workforce Development (PIHWD). PIHWD is the organization with which the School of Nursing will be working directly on research development.
Non-communicable, or chronic, disease management is an issue of particular importance to public health in countries like Thailand, whose primary focus in the recent past has been the treatment of communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. As prevention for these types of diseases develops, and as diet and exercise habits of many global populations westernize, people are living longer and thus becoming more susceptible to non-communicable diseases. “[These countries] are starting to have an epidemiological picture more similar to the U.S. in terms of emergence of non-communicable diseases,” said Dean Potempa. Examples of these diseases include hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.