HONOLULU (Oct. 14, 2016) - Regional Health Command-Pacific, known as RHC-P, recently hosted a delegation of eight Chinese military medical personal at region headquarters in Honolulu. RHC-P leadership and the Chinese delegates met as part of continuing health care focused subject matter expert exchanges in direct support of U.S. Army Pacific and U.S. Pacific Command global health engagement efforts.

Col. Scott Avery, chief of staff, RHC-P, welcomed the Chinese delegation to RHC-P, led by Commodore Sun Yeqin, Directorate of Medical Services, Logistics Support Department, Chinese Central Military Commission and Maj. Gen. Yang Minghui, professor, People's Liberation Army General Hospital.

The visit by the Chinese delegation to RHC-P and Tripler Army Medical Center, RHC-P's largest military treatment facility in Hawaii, builds upon and continues subject matter expert exchanges between the two nations through dialogue on medical acupuncture.

RHC-P serves as the lead for Army Medicine in the Pacific, synchronizing health operations, actions and activities across the region. Activities such as subject matter expert exchanges break ground for new partnerships or reinforce on-going partnerships through engagements such as the one with the Chinese.

"Developing our relationship through continued collaboration during multilateral events such as subject matter expert exchanges is a good foundation," states Lt. Col. Derek Licina, chief, Global Health Engagements, RHC-P. "The knowledge exchanged during these events not only contributes to our shared understanding, but provides further opportunity for us to increase our own capacity in support of regional stability and global health security."

Through the recent expert exchange on acupuncture with the Chinese, each nation increased their understanding of other unique approaches to health based on culture and science. The Chinese delegation gained a deeper understanding of how RHC-P's military treatment facilities uses western and eastern medicine, while RHC-P gained insight into how traditional Chinese medicine can potentially assist with the management of patients with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and in response to disaster situations.

Tripler Army Medical Center hosted the Chinese delegation for a tour as part of the subject matter expert exchange. The Chinese were given an unique opportunity to engage face-to-face with providers in the pain management clinic. Providers demonstrated the capabilities of the pain management clinic, including acupuncture, opening doors to potential future collaborations in the medical arena.

"Through these combined efforts, both nations contribute to regional security and stability by improving bilateral and multilateral relationships, enhancing health care and public health systems, and mitigating the destabilizing impact of infectious disease outbreaks and natural disasters," stated Licina.

Subject matter expert exchanges, conferences and disaster relief training with China are not new to the Pacific region and Regional Health Command-Pacific. In the past, both nations have collaborated at events, conferences and disaster management exchanges. There are plans for future collaborations as well. The joint U.S. military and Chinese military medicine departments will co-host the 2018 Asia Pacific Military Health Exchange conference.

With China's deeper understanding of RHC-P's health capabilities, support of the beneficiary population and global health engagements, the Chinese are poised to increase engagement efforts with the support of U.S. Army Pacific and U.S. Pacific Command.

To read about RHC-P's past health engagements with China, see the story at https://www.army.mil/article/168738/rhc_p_supports_pacom_strategic_objectives_during_expert_knowledge_exchange_in_china