As an active member among global health care providers, we never overlook the importance of international cooperation. We have taken steps to promote our internationalization by forging long-term partnership with world-class institutions overseas. So far, we have established collaborations with more than 64 universities, hospitals and research institutions including Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic.
We have developed several ways to enhance international exchange and cooperation including further education for medical staff, research /clinical cooperation, and academic conferences and lectures. We have established 12 first-rate joint institutes with Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Mayo Clinic, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Einstein and so forth. We are making rapid progress in achieving our goals of talent introduction with the appointment of over 20 foreign visiting professors. Every year, we invite more than 50 prominent foreign experts and scholars to give lectures and instruct research. Additionally, we have hired 33 foreign experts for talent introduction and sent out more than 196 medical staffs and students as part of a foreign exchange program as of 2016.
We are working to build, improve and sustain health care delivery and healthier communities. Our goal is to provide medical support to the most vulnerable areas around the world. Since 1971, we have been offering humanitarian assistance to people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Fiji, Mali and Central African. 12 medical aid teams including a number of excellent medical staff have been sent to Africa since 1972 with the purpose of improving the health conditions of African people. In 2009, Hu Jintao, former President of China, visited our medical aid team in Mali for the treatment of Malaria and expressed his appreciation for the endeavors of our team.
Currently, we are in the midst of change on almost every level of how we serve the needs of the public and our faculties. As we do so, we will keep an open mind and embrace innovation in every way. Through consistent work with international cooperative centers and foreign talents, we strive to integrate resources around the world and deliver the most advanced and compassionate care, educate the next generation of care providers and researchers, and make a difference in the health of the communities we serve. We welcome a variety of collaborative relationships with any potential partners who would like to contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research.