Day one: After a near 14 hour flight from TO to Beijing we landed safely at one of the biggest and most efficient airports in the world. People and service have been excellent so far and I must say the Air Canada flight, food and service were all top notch. With only one hour between flights (including a frantic race for our luggage) it was off to our next three hour flight from Beijing to Chengdu.
Arrived at the spectacular Shangri-La Hotel (thank God we got a great rate) and crashed from exhaustion. Grant Hopcroft and Marian Hughes from the City of London have done a magnificent job of coordinating Team London’s on the ground logistics as has our own Lily Wang of London, who has been in China visiting while at the same time coordinating our needs from across the ocean. I’m not sure we could have done it without the very capable Lily Wang and her many contacts here in China.
Back to Grant and Marian – Wow, talk about organized, thoughtful and detailed. If anybody doubts why these two were selected to guide our group you only have to travel with them once to find out. Accurate, timely, detailed, inclusive and extraordinarily budget conscious doesn’t come close. These two are pros all the way and we are thankful that they are leading our group. Marian has developed a four party, blended itinerary that would make those planning a royal visit proud. Its off to our first meeting – a Health Policy Forum at West China Hospital where Ambassador David Mulroney will speak to representatives of both Universities, Government Officials, Industry Leaders, our Mayor and the balance of team London. This Afternoon I am schedule to meet with the Sichuan Chamber of Commerce to sign an important Founders Agreement followed by a UWO Sponsored Education Roundtable then a well deserved dinner.
Canadian Ambassador, David Mulroney
Dr. Michael Strong, Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine
Monday morning kicked off with the Team London group joining up with the Western/CSTAR group at West China Hospital in Chengdu. Headed by London’s own Dr. John Denstedt, the event was designed to bring together both teaching institutions in a joint Aligning of Rural/Urban Primary Care in China- A Pilot Project. Remarks were heard from Dean Michael Strong of the Schulich School of Medicine, Janice Deakin, the Provost and Vice President of Western University and the Canadian Ambassador to China, the Hon. David Mulroney along with their counterparts at WCSM & SSMD.
Mayor Fontana and the rest of team London listen as
Dr. John Dendsted of CSTAR leads the Western group
at the West China Hospital, Chinas largest hospital