Greetings from the website of the WHOCC

群馬大学長 石崎 泰樹

President of
Gunma University
Yasuki Ishizaki

Modern medicine has become increasingly sophisticated and specialized, and a variety of health care professionals, including physicians and nurses, provide patients with health care. It is therefore necessary for these health care specialists, or professionals working in various medical fields, to communicate with each other, design optimal health care for each patient, and share their roles in an effective manner.

Since its establishment, Gunma University Graduate School of Health Sciences and the School of Health Sciences, has placed special emphasis on interprofessional collaboration among nurses, public health nurses, midwives, clinical laboratory technologists, and physical and occupational therapists. In close collaboration with the School of Medicine, we have implemented curriculums that allow undergraduate students of the Schools of “Health Sciences” and “Medicine” to learn in the same classes to prepare them for interprofessional health care. These efforts implemented by the university, designated as “Simulated Interprofessional Training among Students of Different Professions in Health Sciences and Medicine” (2007 to 2009) and “Interprofessional Education for Comprehensive Undergraduate Training among Students in Health Sciences and Medicine” (2010 to 2012) – “The Support Program for Distinctive University Education (Distinctive Good Practice)” by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, have contributed to the promotion of interprofessional education, based on a wealth of experience and achievements.

With the aim of promoting interprofessional health care systems, we have strengthened collaboration with other universities through a variety of activities, such as the organization of the Japan Interprofessional Working and Education Network (JIPWEN). We have also promoted training of health care professionals in Asia, such as the introduction of an educational program for rehabilitation in Mongolia. Over a long period of time, we have contributed to the training of health care specialists and promotion of interprofessional health care at global levels through dispatching personnel to the WHO and working with it.

In this age of the Internet and information-sharing across the world, the WHO Collaborating Centre was established in Gunma University based on a global perspective. The center has facilitated interprofessional collaboration as a future form of health care, and is expected to nurture a number of excellent health care professionals responsible for the future of interprofessional health care.

Greetings from the Head of WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training on Interprofessional Education

Hiromitsu SHINOZAKI, MD, Ph.D. Head Centre for Research and Training on Interprofessional Education

The United Nations has listed 17 goals to be achieved in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015. The third goal, “health and welfare,” is based on the philosophy of Universal Health Coverage.

The previous developmental programs of Human Resource for Health(HRH)have been becoming inadequate due to fragmentation due to specialization, rapid demographic changes, epidemiological changes, new infectious diseases, and changes in the environment and behavior.

WHO stated that an innovative development program of HRH, including Interprofessional education, is necessary for future HRH developmental program.

In July 2013, Gunma University was designated as the WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training on Interprofessional Education.

The first head of the center was Professor Hideomi WATANABE (Former Vice President of Gunma University), and I have been assigned as the head of the center since April 2020.

The activities of this center will contribute to the development of HRH that match current needs by conducting research and training on Interprofessional education based on the terms of reference with WHO.

The activities of this center are conducting with the collaboration with JIWEN Network which consists of 11 universities: Sapporo Medical University, Niigata Medical and Welfare University, Tsukuba University, Saitama Prefectural University, Tokyo Jikei Medical University, Keio University, Chiba University, Kitasato University, Kobe University, Tokyo Metropolitan University, and Gunma University.

We would like to ask for the support and cooperation of everyone in Japan and overseas so that we could continue to promote this activity and contribute to “health and welfare” through the development of HRH.

Greetings from the Coordinator Special University Professor

Dr. Akinori Kama Special University Professor

The Gunma University WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training on Interprofessional Education was designated by World Health Organization since 2013.
Five years ago, I was called to Gunma University after I retired from the World Health Organization (WHO/Regional Office for South-East Asia) after working for more than 25 years to strengthen this WHO collaborating center, and at first I could not fully understand the contents of multidisciplinary education and took the job. However, then I immediately realized the importance of interprofessional education.

Unfortunately, there are only two institutions (two countries) in the world, including Gunma University, as the WHO Cooperation Center, which specializes in this nterprofessional education, which needed to be more active in our university.
In recent years, the Patient Safety Department of the WHO Headquarters has requested strengthening of collaborating center with interprofessional education, which is an activity of this WHO Collaborating Center, and participated in the “World Patient Safety Day”. It has been highly evaluated by WHO Headquarters, WPRO (Regional Office for the Western Pacific), Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare, and related organizations. It was considered a great success.

Since WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations, people from all over the world with different religions, races, and cultures gather as experts in various occupations. At the SEARO, all staff are divided into two groups, and at a resort in the suburbs where radio waves do not reach for three days, we call it “retreat” and provide interprofessional education so that we can cooperate in better work. The importance of multidisciplinary education will continue to increase, and the WHO Collaborating Center is expected to play an active role.