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CHLA and China formalize pediatric medicine collaboration
The program will design and develop a collaborative pediatric research project and focus on ways to provide cost-effective, quality health care in both China and the U.S.
by Mary Ellen Stumpfl
Originally published on August 7, 1998 in HSC Weekly
What started in 1986 as an informal exchange among pediatricians in Los Angeles and Beijing has become the first agreement to advance pediatric medicine struck between the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) General Hospital and Post Graduate Medical School in Beijing, and U.S. medical facilities.
The U.S. entities are Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), University Childrens Medical Group (UCMG), Los Angeles, and Kapi'olani Health Research Institute in Honolulu.
These organizations have come together to begin a dialogue and work with Chinese physicians to improve pediatric care in some 200 PLA hospitals while enriching American pediatricians' understanding of medical practice in China. The program will also design and develop a collaborative pediatric research project and focus on ways to provide cost-effective, quality health care in both China and the U.S.
"This agreement greatly expands and formalizes a process that has been under way for several years between China and CHLA," said Walter W. Noce, Jr., president and CEO of CHLA.
Stuart Siegel, professor of pediatrics, has visited the PLA Hospital four times since 1986 and CHLA physicians have been discussing medical cases and protocols with Chinese pediatricians for the past three years via the Internet.
In December 1997, a joint research and training program was inaugurated between the PLA General Hospital, CHLA, UCMG and Kapi'olani Health Systems to establish fellowships for Chinese physicians to receive training in pediatric hematology/oncology. To date four physicians have participated in the training program.
The overall agreement, signed June 16 in Beijing, aims at developing cooperative efforts and the exchange of information related to clinical medicine, research, nursing and information systems.
Regarding research, Siegel explains that each year in the U.S. there are 400-500 new cases of neuroblastoma, or childhood cancer of the peripheral nervous system, while in China there are more than 3,000 new cases annually. "The sheer size of the Chinese population opens up increased opportunities to sturdy such diseases as neuroblastoma as we jointly search for a cure."