USF World News

USF Professor Given Highest Educational Honor in Vietnam
December 13, 2012

Hanoi Medical University (HMU), Vietnam, has bestowed USF’s own Dr. Michael Churton with an Honorary Professorship, the Vietnamese equivalent of an honorary doctorate, for his contribution and expertise to an e-learning initiative. Hanoi Medical University was founded in 1902 and is considered the premier medical university in Vietnam.

Dr. Churton at the Honorary Professorship ceremony in Vietnam

Beginning in 2007, the Government of the Netherlands-Ministry of Health began working to develop five centers of excellence one of which is an e-learning model for improving and sustaining the capacity of Vietnam’s eight medical universities to address the significant health issues. This is not a new relationship as the Netherlands have a history of providing medical services to Vietnam. Dr. Churton has been assisting with the project and was honored when it came to a close this year.

Dr. Churton is in good company, other recipients of the Honorary Professorship include, Dr. Bart VanBergen (University of Arnhem-Nijmegen- retired); Dr. Peter Mason, University Zimbabwe; Ms. Pamela Wright, Vietnam Ministry of Health; Dr. John Stewart, University of North Carolina. Dr. Churton is a professor, in Department of Special Education, College of Education and has extensive experience establishing distance learning and international programs.

Signed in June of 2012, USF has a general collaboration agreement with Hanoi Medical University. President Genshaft, Senior Vice President Dr. Karen Holbrook and USF Health Drs. Sinnott, and Snead and Dr. Churton traveled to HMU for a signing ceremony. This agreement provides a general basis for corporative activities and joint research.

Dr. Churton has recently been asked to participate in another e-learning project to assist Vietnam’s health care system. This project, sponsored by the World Bank, aims to improve healthcare training across the country. As multiple factors prohibit adequately trained medical doctors from taking positions in rural and remote areas, this new initiative will help create a quality standard of care. He’s excited about these connections as they lead to opportunities to collaborate in a variety of disciplines.