School of Medicine, Univ. of Southern Queensland Formally Agree to Collaborate on Research

Memorandum of cooperation to promote innovative use of information and communications technology to help underserved communities

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) —  The University of California, Riverside School of Medicine and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia (USQ) have signed a memorandum of cooperation to explore opportunities to use information and communications technology to make up a shortfall in healthcare and educational opportunities in rural communities, compared to their metropolitan counterparts.

As part of the memorandum of cooperation, the schools will build upon existing work between UCR School of Medicine Chair of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Gerald A. Maguire, M.D. and USQ Professor and Head of School Teacher Education and Early Childhood Stephen Winn, sharing information and ideas between researchers, participating in collaborations, and exchanging faculty members, research fellows and students.

“The exchange of ideas certainly will give us that platform for offering diverse opinions and diverse ways of doing things,” said UCR School of Medicine Dean Deborah Deas. “We know diversity is certainly a tool for excellence and we look forward to getting this collaboration started.”

Dean Deborah Deas signs the memorandum of cooperation between UC Riverside School of Medicine and the University of Southern Queensland as Prof. Stephen Winn of USQ looks on. Photo by Kathy Barton

Deas welcomed Winn for a signing ceremony on Tuesday, October 31 that also included  Provost/Executive Vice-Chancellor Cynthia K. Larive, Vice Provost of International Affairs Kelechi Kalu, and Maguire. The agreement is is the first of its kind for the UC Riverside School of Medicine

While Maguire and Winn have been working together for the better part of a decade, the discussions of a formal partnership between their respective universities began shortly after Maguire arrived at UCR and Winn at USQ.

“The missions of the two universities really fit together well – to provide medical resources to the underserved in rural and remote areas in their respective communities,” Maguire said, adding that rural areas served by the University of Southern Queensland are similar, but “more vast than what we have here in Inland Southern California.”

“This partnership will forge opportunities for our students, faculty and residents to exchange with their peers at a like-minded institution,” he added. “I believe we can learn a lot from each other, and as a result our institutions will benefit and our communities will prosper.”

Winn said the schools will continue to develop and enhance videoconferencing connections between California and Queensland that will focus education and health issues.

“It centers on the concept of schools as communities, working with schools and teachers to affect positive changes in children and supporting parents, particularly when it comes to health and well-being,” Winn said.

“We’re using technology like synchronized video conferencing as a point of connection – to bring our shared expertise to those who need it.”

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