On October 10, 2017, Shinanomachi Campus welcomed a seven-person delegation from Lithuania that included Dr. Aurelijus Veryga, Lithuanian Minister of Health, as well as two general directors of the two largest hospitals in Lithuania and the Dean of Vilnius University Medical Faculty.
The visit began with Dean Masayuki Amagai, of the Keio University School of Medicine, who explained the collaborations between education, research, and clinical practice. He was followed by the Keio University Hospital Director General Yuko Kitagawa, who shared the hospital’s mission and the healthcare structures needed to fulfill it. An enthusiastic exchange of opinions ensued with Hospital Deputy Director Morio Matsumoto. The delegation was particularly interested in the interdisciplinary cluster treatment system at Keio University Hospital. This interdisciplinary approach transcends medical departments to provide comprehensive and individualized medical care to every patient. There was also significant interest in the New Hospital Building's outpatient floor, which once completed will enable even more comprehensive medical treatments.
Prof. Kenjiro Kosaki, Director of the Center for Medical Genetics, explained approach to Keio’s IRUD (Initiative on Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases) and let the group observe firsthand the center’s genome analysis. Working with a specialist in Lithuania, Prof. Kosaki has received diagnostic requests from more than 10 Lithuanian patients with undiagnosed diseases to date. Diagnoses have already been found for four of those patients, and two of them are able to receive treatment. The delegation expressed great expectations at the prospect of a future working relationship with the IRUD.
Lastly, the delegation toured the facilities of the Center for Preventive Medicine with Assistant Professor Ryoko Shimizu, who explained how the center provides medical examinations and follow-ups and detailed how they work in collaboration with the hospital. As there is no system for comprehensive medical examinations in Lithuania, a Q&A session was held to discuss the necessity of preventive medicine for the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer and metabolic syndrome.
Keio founder Yukichi Fukuzawa was the first Japanese person to visit Lithuania, and this visit, much more than a century later, is expected to strengthen the relationship between Keio University and the country of Lithuania.