Wanda Group, UPMC to develop and co-manage network of international hospitals in China

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Wanda Group, one of the largest conglomerates in China, and UPMC, a leading, U.S.-based academic medical center, broke ground in Chengdu on the first of what is expected to be a network of hospitals in major cities across China. Financed by Wanda, the Chengdu hospital is expected to meet the highest international quality standards when it opens in three years.

As co-manager of the new hospital in China’s fourth-largest city, UPMC is providing its expertise in hospital design, clinical operations, technology and management to ensure a patient- and family centric experience, while creating a model that will be used to start construction on the other facilities over the next five years.

“With its global reputation for clinical excellence and more than 20 years of hands-on international operating experience, UPMC is the perfect partner to make Wanda a leader in delivering international-quality health care throughout China,” said Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda Group. “It’s particularly fitting that my birthplace should be the starting point for Wanda’s investment into the health and well-being of China’s citizens and for this visionary effort with UPMC.”

Added Jeffrey Romoff, chief executive officer and president of UPMC: “This partnership goes far beyond a traditional joint venture. Our first-of-its-kind network will become the largest presence of American-style academic medicine outside of the United States. Wanda-UPMC hospitals will be operated as part of our world-renowned health system, offering the most advanced and compassionate care and fueled by cutting-edge research.”

Wanda Group is one of the world’s largest diversified conglomerates, encompassing multiple ventures in real estate, film, children’s entertainment and education, professional and amateur sports, sports broadcasting, hotel management and tourism, as well as the world’s largest chain of cinemas. Wanda’s diversification into health care is guided by the national government’s “Healthy China 2030” policy, encouraging private investment to supplement the public hospital system so that patients can get the best care close to home.

Under the agreement for Chengdu Wanda-UPMC International Hospital, expected to open in 2022, UPMC is responsible for hiring key hospital leaders, including the chief executive officer, chief nursing officer and physicians leading clinical departments. UPMC also will train staff in China and Pittsburgh — as well as in UPMC’s international locations in Ireland and Italy — while certain qualified Chengdu Wanda physicians may be considered for adjunct faculty positions at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC’s academic partner.

“The creation of this first hospital in Chengdu will fill a gap for state-of-the-art, patient-focused care in western China,” said Charles Bogosta, president of UPMC International and UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. “Our 20-year cooperation agreement with Wanda, reached last November, will help not only local patients but also those from other parts of the country and beyond. At the same time, this new partnership will strengthen our global network of physicians, researchers and staff as we advance excellence and innovation in health care for all of the communities we serve.”

Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh, one of the top five recipients of research grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, UPMC is world-renowned in such specialties as transplantation, cancer, neurosurgery, cardiology, concussion and others for both adults and children. With more than two decades of experience building and managing health care facilities and services internationally, UPMC works with government and private partners in Italy, Ireland, Kazakhstan and China to offer patients the best possible care close to home.