Hideaki Andoh，M.D., Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Health Sciences
Although declining birthrate and aging of population in Japan have progressed rapidly, and have been dreaded as the “2025 Problem”, no progress has been made yet in terms of countermeasures. Akita Prefecture, where this university is located, is in the forefront of declining birth rate and rapid aging as a region, reaching even worldwide top level. With respect to problems facing the community, due to cancer mortality, suicide of elderly people, and depopulation, there is an urgency for measures such as community rebuilding. With remarkable advance in medical sciences, we have been able to achieve longevity. However, this may not necessarily be equated to well-being. At present, with respect to life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, there is a difference of about 8 to 10 years between males and females. I believe that, bridging well-being to the longevity that can be enjoyed due to advances in medicine, is a theme in health science major.
The School of Health Sciences, consisting of the three majors of nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, is engaged in fostering nurses (some of them as public health nurses, midwives), physical therapists, and occupational therapists, who not only have advanced knowledge and technical skills, but also have communication capability and an ethical mind. In the undergraduate course, the students in the three majors not only acquire advanced professional knowledge and technical skills through lectures jointly held with the School of Medicine, the well-equipped in-campus laboratories, the simulation education center, and advanced clinical training at the university hospital, but also learn more about the practical aspects of communication, team-based medical care, and medical ethics through activities such as group work, scenario simulation, and practical training. Moreover, to facilitate learning from a global perspective about the things learned in this region (community), several short-term overseas training programs have also been established. The university is not just a place where things are taught, it is also a place where one learns on one’s own. This university provides an environment that facilitates positive and enjoyable learning.
In the graduate school, to foster researchers in health sciences, Doctoral Program Part One and Part Two, and Nurse Training Course for cancer nursing have been established. Based on the doubts I had and the difficulties I experienced in my work as a professional, and with Akita as the field, which is at the forefront of declining birthrate and rapid aging, I am engaged in practicing creative research aimed at supporting daily living of people, while being stimulated by various things I learn, and contributing to the living and well-being of people.
I sincerely hope that in this university, many individuals will be able to acquire knowledge and skills through progressive learning, and develop professionalism by always having a new perception of problems.