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Beijing and Haifa Cooperate to Help the Aged
Tsinghua University Hosts UH Contingent

Two old civilizations that respect their aged are joining forces to try to ensure that modern society does not abandon the welfare and health of its aging members. In July, a contingent from the University of Haifa led by Vice-President Yael Metser traveled to Tsinghua University in Beijing for the signing of an agreement by the two institutions in the area of care for the elderly. The agreement is the fruit of a year-long process, led by Prof. Pei Xiaomei of China and Assoc. Prof. Jacob Gindin of Israel, that started at the meeting of the World Health Forum in Dallas, Texas, in February 2003 and matured at the world meeting of InterRAI in Berlin in March 2004.  InterRAI promotes the use of internationally standardized “Resident Assessment Instruments” for health care settings for the aged and the disabled.
The agreement, which is under the authorization of InterRAI, encompasses the exchange of trainees and faculty between the two universities. It includes a call for a cadre of Chinese physicians and nurses to come to Haifa to receive training in the set of standards and evaluation tools developed by InterRAI. This training will be provided by the Laboratory for Geriatrics and Gerontology Research in the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies. Prof. Ariela Loewenstein, who as Head of the Center for the Study of Aging represented the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies, and Gindin, director of the laboratory, were on hand for the signing ceremony.
Gindin, who also runs the physicians program in the Department of Gerontology and has a worldwide reputation in the field of geriatrics, is a Fellow of Interbrain, and chair of its Committee for International Development. He is also head of the Geriatrics Dept. at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.
Tsinghua University Vice-President Prof. Xie Weihe, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences Prof. Li Qiang, and Prof. Pei Xiaomei, head of its Gerontology Center, represented the large and highly reputable Beijing-based institution. The Beijing municipality, as well as the Chinese government, was represented at the ceremony by high-ranking officials.
InterRAI consists of professionals working in the fields of health and social care research of older people, whether in residential settings or in the community. The organization believes that a standardized assessment of older peoples’ physical, psychosocial, and cognitive needs provides necessary information for “good care planning decisions that raise the quality of care for the individual” and “better informed policy decisions at a local, national, and international level.”
The international instrument presently deals with medical care, but the aim is to develop standards that will also eventually cover the whole environment of the aged population, according to Loewenstein.
The China National Working Commission on the Aging, set up by the government, was instrumental in advancing the agreement with the University of Haifa, which actually won a tender to deal with the Chinese on this subject. Loewenstein told Focus that she hopes this will be the start of joint research programs between the two institutions.
Professor Xiaomei is scheduled to come to Haifa to work out a schedule and training plan. She will be accompanied by Chinese government officials. China has put care of the aged into its five-year national program, and the training project fits into the plan. This will involve, among others, the construction throughout China of gerontology centers that will apply the international set of practices and tools. The cadre trained on Mt. Carmel will return to set up a pilot project in Beijing.
While at Tsinghua, Loewenstein and Gindin also gave a seminar to the Chinese academics.

In This Issue:

Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, a Philosopher, Is Elected President Says Social Responsibility Should Be a Strategic Goal for the University

President Hayuth’s Last Report to Governors: ‘I leave behind me … a University that is well equipped, financially and academically, to meet the challenges ahead’

Prof. Manfred Lahnstein Re-Elected Chairman of University’s Board of Governors

Executive Committee Approves New Vice-Presidents

University Confers Honorary Doctorate on Lord Jacobs, Sammy Ofer, Prof. Bernard Cohen, and Yitzhak Ben-Aharon

Jacobs Building Dedicated

Sammy and Aviva Ofer Observation Gallery Dedicated

Kluger Building Dedicated

Honorary Fellow Bestowed on Alex Samuel

Hatter, Fraenkel, and Recanati Fellowships Awarded

Guy Bar-Oz, a Zooarcheologist, Awarded Dusty Miller Fellowship

Werner Otto Fellowships

Beijing and Haifa Cooperate to Help the Aged Tsinghua University Hosts UH Contingent

Prof. David Kushner: Expert on Turkey Reflects on His Cairo Assignment



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