Dr. Cory Ross's connection to China began when he travelled there in his days as a graduate student and it continues more than three decades later. He recently received an important honour that further strengthens that connection and helps to provide new international opportunities for George Brown College students.
Ross is George Brown College's Vice-President, Academic. This spring, the Bethune Medical Development Association of Canada (BMDAC) granted him member laureate status – the highest membership status in the organization.
The Bethune Medical Development Association of Canada works to promote co-operative efforts between Canadian and Chinese medical professionals in medical research, education, public health, patient care and humanitarian work. It serves as a conduit for sharing research and new techniques, and aims to improve peoples' lives in both countries, and beyond.
"I think what I'm doing, and what George Brown is trying to do, dovetails very nicely with what the Bethune Medical Development Association of Canada is doing," Ross says. " I think there could be a marriage of the two."
Dr. Cory Ross (far right), receives membership laureate status with Bethune Medical Development Association of Canada.
Membership opens doors to new partnerships
Dr. Ross, a proficient Mandarin speaker, visits China at least once a year. During those trips he tours hospitals, medical centres and universities to learn about innovative practices and tools, and to find opportunities for George Brown students. His affiliation with the Bethune Medical Development Association of Canada is expected to open more doors for George Brown in China and strengthen his professional relationships in the country.
Since receiving his membership status, Ross has already talked to a number of Chinese universities about a visiting professorship and potential partnerships focusing on three areas: faculty exchanges, electronic education and multi-site research.
Many opportunities for PSWs in China
The size of China's population and the scale to which services must be delivered fuels innovation, Ross says. Whether it's the automated dispensing of medication at pharmacies, the use of robots to clean and sanitize hospital facilities, or 3D printing dentures in under an hour, Ross says we have a lot to learn from the rapid technological advances happening in China. There are many opportunities for us to share George Brown expertise, as well.
"What we're trying to do is highlight that George Brown can help with some of their challenges with training," he says. "We've got a number of ideas we want to pursue."
One of these ideas is to provide training for Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and "push the envelope on elder care." By 2025, there will be approximately 700 million people over the age of 65 in China, Ross says.
Because young people aren't caring for elderly family members like they did in previous generations, China is facing a shortage of professionals trained to assist the elderly. There are nurses and maids, Ross says, but no professionals in between. This is where George Brown's Personal Support Worker faculty and students could play an important role in bridging that gap.
Dr. Ross also sees potential for partnerships in other program areas, including early childhood development, behavioural science and orthotics and prosthetics.
"There are great opportunities in certain things in China that we don't realize," he says.