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Visitors a vibrant part of the Asia Health Policy Program


A view of Stanford's main quad area.
Photo credit: 
Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Countries throughout the world increasingly share similar health policy challenges such as healthcare and insurance reform, rapid demographic change, and high rates of chronic diseases like diabetes. The Asia-Health Policy Program (AHPP) is one of several Stanford organizations seeking solutions to major global health issues through a comparative study of the health policies of different countries. Visiting fellows and scholars from Asia play an integral part in AHPP’s research, publishing, and outreach activities.

Since AHPP’s founding in 2007, the program has hosted 10 visitors from Asia, including Cambodia, China, and Korea, and, in the coming academic year, it will welcome three new visitors, from Japan, Mongolia, and the Philippines. In just five years AHPP has established strong postdoctoral and developing Asia fellowship programs, in addition to the visiting scholars it hosts. Lasting ties have been established, resulting in numerous publications as well as research and outreach projects in Asia.

Even now we still keep in touch and collaborate on certain research areas.
-Yan Wang, 2009–10 Visiting Scholar

Three former AHPP visitors recently spoke about their experience with the program and about the work they have been doing since their time at Stanford.

Young Kyung Do, AHPP’s inaugural postdoctoral fellow (2008–09), conducted research on the social and economic implications of population aging in Asia. Focusing on education and diabetes care, Do also examined the impact of socioeconomic disparities on the health and health care of elderly citizens. AHPP helped define his future research agenda, and also provided him with publishing opportunities, including collaborating on a chapter on diabetes in the edited volume Aging Asia (2010). Do is now an assistant professor with the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, where he studies health economics and policy issues related to population aging and noncommunicable diseases in Southeast and East Asia.

Byongho Tchoe served as a visiting scholar during the 2008–09 academic year, researching and writing about health care reform in South Korea. Tchoe enjoyed conducting research in Stanford’s peaceful campus environment, and taking part in seminars offered by the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and other Stanford organizations. He contributed the chapter “Old-Age Pension Reform in South Korea” to Aging Asia, and published a working paper and article on the impact of population aging on medical costs in South Korea. Tchoe is now the president of the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs in Seoul.

Yan Wang (former), an AHPP visiting scholar from 2009 to 2010, is currently deputy director of the Division of Disease Control in the Health Department of China’s Shandong Province. At AHPP, Wang studied how private health care providers, in conjunction with government-run health services, can help improve the overall primary care available in China’s cities. She also collaborated with Stanford’s Asian Liver Center to develop an online program to provide better hepatitis B education to health professionals in Shandong. Wang appreciated attending AHPP seminars and learning about health reform around the world, and still remains in touch with some of the scholars she connected with during her time at Stanford.

AHPP looks forward to continuing to welcome and collaborate with visiting fellows and scholars in the coming years, and to expanding its postdoctoral and developing Asia fellowship programs.