NEWS | September 9, 2020

COVID-19 conference with Wuhan scientists shows UC Davis Health’s global reach

Valuable coronavirus treatment info was exchanged early in the outbreak


In the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, health care providers and academic medical centers worldwide were scrambling to gather information about treatments for the very novel disease.

Nicholas Kenyon Nicholas Kenyon

Physicians, researchers, public health officials and others were collaborating across borders and continents to learn more, and UC Davis Health became a noteworthy source for information.

One example was a video conference co-hosted in April by Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China and the UC Davis Medical Center. It featured Nicholas Kenyon, UC Davis Health professor and the health system’s leading pulmonary and critical care expert.

“They had more experience with the coronavirus than we did and they shared some of their early research,” Kenyon said. “They also wanted to understand what our best practices were and to get our feedback on various treatment options.”

The video event, titled, “Living Through a Pandemic,” drew more than 400 physicians from 49 countries. It was one of a handful of conferences that Huazhong University and its affiliated Wuhan Tongji Hospital have done with UC Davis Health leaders. It was also another example of the growing global reach of the health system and its experts.

Kenyon has been part of that international impact. Before COVID-19 shut down travel, he spoke at the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology in Taipei, Taiwan and at a conference in Beijing on best hospital practices in the U.S. He was scheduled for another conference in Taiwan in March that was cancelled because of the coronavirus.

Kenyon said the teleconference in April showed the value of being part of global health care efforts – the information sharing can produce better care at the UC Davis Medical Center and worldwide.

“It was clear they were farther ahead of us in some areas,” Kenyon said. “But we were doing some things that turned out to be quite effective that they weren’t doing. When we have a conference like this, everyone learns from everyone. It’s always good to see how much UC Davis Health can contribute.”