Together, physicians can solve chronic diseases

December 6, 2012 9:00 AM

Matt Roberts
mrobert1@tulane.edu

Dr. Paul K. Whelton has a one-word recommendation for physicians treating patients with multiple chronic illnesses: collaboration. When leaders in multiple fields and institutions work together, patients’ lives improve and healthcare costs decrease, says Whelton, who was invested in the new Show Chwan Health System Chair in Global Public Health at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Min-Ho Huang and Paul Whelton

Dr. Paul K. Whelton, right, is invested as the new chair of global public health at Tulane, thanks to Dr. Min-Ho Huang, founder and president of the Show Chwan Health System in Taiwan. (Photo by Tracie Morris Schaefer)


“The chronic diseases we are seeing around the world today require that we make progress in small increments, and the only way to do that is through collaboration,” Whelton says.
 
That spirit of global connectivity is the focus of the new chair. A ceremony on Tuesday (Dec. 4) honored Whelton’s investment as the inaugural Show Chwan Chair and celebrated his accomplishments in health care and higher education.
 
An international authority on cardiovascular and renal disease, Whelton first came to Tulane in 1997 as dean of public health. He also served as dean of the medical school and senior vice president of health sciences at Tulane University before assuming the helm of Loyola University Chicago’s health sciences complex in 2007.
 
Just 20 percent of patients account for 90 percent of U.S. healthcare costs, research shows. Meeting the challenge of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease in light of growing costs demands that students be trained in team settings where partnerships are reinforced. As chair, Whelton will administer the public health school’s programs in Asia. In doing so, he hopes to strengthen research collaborations between Tulane investigators and their peers abroad.
 
The Show Chwan Chair was established by Dr. Min-Ho Huang, an internationally recognized developer of hospitals and a parent of three Tulane University graduates. Huang is founder and president of Taiwan’s Show Chwan Health Care System, which has helped put Taiwan at the forefront of global health.
 
“The country (Taiwan) has much to teach us,” says Whelton.
 
Matt Roberts is a writer in the Office of Development.



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