A Bilateral Forum on International Public Health Policy Research Directions was held on May 23, 2020. The forum took place at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and included Yale participants by videoconference. Jointly hosted by Yale and SJTU, the forum was organized by SJTU-Yale Joint Center for Health Policy, Yale School of Public Health, SJTU Institute of Health Yangtze River Delta, and SJTU School of International and Public Affairs.
Forum participants from Yale included Pericles Lewis, Vice President and Vice Provost for Global Strategy, who gave welcoming remarks noting the depth and breadth of the links between SJTU and Yale. Welcoming remarks were also delivered by Xu Xuemin, SJTU Vice President for Global Affairs. The forum was moderated by Jiang Wenning, Director of Council Committee, SJTU School of International and Public Affairs.
Luo Peng, Director of SJTU International Affairs Division, made an official announcement at the forum regarding the establishment of a Council of the SJTU-Yale Joint Center for Health Policy. Xu Xuemin, SJTU Vice President for International Affairs, was appointed as the director of the Council.
With a focus on global public health governance and mechanisms for international cooperation, the forum brought experts together to explore the identification of research directions and specific bilateral cooperation projects, and to discuss the role of public health systems around the world in preventing and responding to COVID-19 as well as future public health emergencies. Zhao Dahai, executive director of the SJTU-Yale Joint Center for Health Policy, shared information about the center’s research directions.
Sten Vermund, Dean of Yale School of Public Health, shared insights gained combating COVID-19 in the U.S., while Zhao Dandan, Vice Director of Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, addressed China’s experience mobilizing to fight the pandemic. Wang Hui, Dean of SJTU School of Public Health, discussed the role of information technology and big data in epidemic control, stating that they should be valued and better applied.
A panel discussion on “World Public Health System in the Future” was moderated by Zhao Hongyu, Chair of Yale School of Public Health Department of Biostatistics. The themes discussed included how Yale and SJTU might learn from each other’s work, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak in China and the U.S.. The coordination of policy analysis and initiatives related to public health emergencies was also discussed. Participants explored the development of a model public health management system which might be adapted for use in other countries.
Paul D. Cleary, the Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Health Policy at the Yale School of Public Health and Director of SJTU-Yale Joint Center for Health Policy delivered closing remarks. He drew attention to the importance of increasing information exchanges between countries to jointly fight the COVID-19 pandemic as well as prepare for future global public health challenges. He noted that “sharing information openly about how infectious diseases spread as well as the strengths and limitations of different containment and mitigation strategies will be essential for more effectively addressing future outbreaks, as well as for continuing to address the current pandemic.”