Mission Of Enhancing Health

By Dr. Meng Yu Cheng Roe
Interviewed by Melissa Moniz
Wednesday - November 19, 2008
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Dr. Meng Yu Cheng Roe
Physical Medicine

Interviewed by Melissa Moniz

Aside from being a medical doctor, what other professional titles do you hold?

I am Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (FAAPMR). I am also President of the Cheng Health Foundation.

Where did you receive your schooling and training?

I was born in Hong Kong, moving to the U.S. for university. I received a bachelor’s of science in chemistry and master of science in physical chemistry from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.


I received my doctor of medicine degree from the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

I did my internal medicine internship at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and my residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at University of California Los Angeles and the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Where is your private practice?

I am a medical staff member at Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, The Queen’s Medical Center and Kuakini Medical Center. My outpatient practice is based with Medical Associates in The Queen’s Medical Center Professional Office Building I on the eighth floor.

Beijing, People’s Republic of China: Dr. Meng Roe discusses the patient care provided by the China Rehabilitation Research Center with

How long have you been seeing patients at REHAB?

Seven years.

How much of your time is spent at your private practice and how much is spent at REHAB?

About 80 to 90 percent of my time is spent in private outpatient practice. I follow inpatients at REHAB as needed and to provide assistance with coverage for other physicians practicing at REHAB.

Do you have an area of specialty?

In my outpatient practice I provide conservative nonsurgical treatment for patients who have suffered musculoskeletal injuries. This includes back, neck, hip, shoulder and distal extremities.

My inpatient practice is more general, including care for patients who have suffered strokes, brain injuries and serious orthopedic injuries.

What are the most common musculoskeletal injuries that you see and treat?

Neck and back pain; soft tissue injuries and pain of the shoulder, hip and other joints.

Can you talk about the outreach nonprofit organization, Cheng Health Foundation that you and your husband, Dr. Timothy Roe founded? When was it founded?

The Cheng Health Foundation was founded in July of 2007. The mission of the Cheng Health Foundation is to enhance the health of people living in the U.S. and other countries through education, international cooperation and direct assistance to life science organizations. Based on the backgrounds of my husband and myself, the initial focus of the foundation is to promote the development of medical rehabilitation in China, particularly rehabilitation for children with disabilities. We also are working to promote cooperation in medical rehabilitation between rehabilitation professionals in the U.S. and China.

The Cheng Health Foundation is a domestic Hawaii nonprofit corporation recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States,

How did you begin working with the China Rehabilitation Research Center in Beijing to promote cooperation in rehabilitation medicine between the U.S. and China?

On our travels in China, my husband and I became aware of the pressing need for medical rehabilitation services, particularly for children from rural or impoverished areas. China has more than 80 million disabled persons, and it is estimated that the recent earthquakes in Sichuan province resulted in tens of thousands of disabling injuries. The country has made tremendous strides in recognizing the rights of the disabled and their need for medical rehabilitation. Unfortunately China lacks enough physicians, nurses and therapists to meet these needs.

Our foundation believes that education and international cooperation are necessary to assist China in meeting the needs of its disabled population. We traveled to several cities meeting with different groups and discovered that the China Rehabilitation Research Center (CRRC) in Beijing was clearly the leader in scientific research, educational programs and patient services for adults and children with disabling injuries. On our initial meeting last year we quickly found that the CRRC staff shared our vision. Founded in 1988, the CRRC’s administration and professional staff are committed to providing state-of-the-art care for their patients and developing services appropriate for all of China.

Since the Cheng Health Foundation started, what have been the biggest strides made?

Earlier this year, our foundation helped to establish a formal cooperation between the CRRC, REHAB Hospital, REHAB Foundation, and ourselves. This cooperation has led to the development of the Distinguished Scholars program at REHAB Hospital, an educational exchange program for rehabilitation professionals from China and Hawaii.

Our first exchange conference is scheduled for April 2009 and will feature two physicians from the CRRC providing presentations here in Honolulu. These presentations will feature an update on the treatment of spinal cord injury in China, including the use of stem cell and nerve tissue growth factors, and a lecture and demonstration on the integration of traditional Chinese medicine techniques in the care of patients with disabilities.

How often do you travel to China?

Personal relationships and face-to-face contact are very important in China, so we travel there approximately three times a year. Between my husband and I we have traveled to over a dozen Chinese cities, and are always excited by the changes occurring there.

What are the goals for Cheng Health Foundation?

Our short-term goal is to work with our partners to ensure that the April conference is a success. We also hope to develop community support for the Distinguished Scholars program so it can be a recurring event. The initial response from the community has been enthusiastic, and we have high hopes for the long-term success of the program.

Additionally we are continuing to work with the CRRC to develop educational resources in China. They wish to triple the number of physicians, therapists, nurses and other rehabilitation professionals being trained at the center through the establishment of a College of Rehabilitation Medicine, and we are working with them to meet that goal in the coming years. We also hope to develop educational materials in Chinese to assist in their training efforts. Ultimately, our goal is to help in ensuring that all disabled children in China are able to receive the medical rehabilitation they need regardless of their disability, location or economic status. Given the great need, I am sure this will keep our foundation busy for many years.

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