Memphis hospital adds new China affiliate

Updated: 2015-06-08 11:25

By Paul Welitzkin in New York(China Daily USA)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, which provides health services in the Memphis, Tennessee, area, has signed another affiliation agreement with a medical facility in China.

As part of the three-year agreement with the 900-bed Liu'an Municipal Hospital in Anhui province, about 400 miles west of Shanghai, Methodist will provide training programs in Memphis and long-distance consulting services for its Chinese partner's physicians and executives.

The agreement, announced in May, involves Methodist associates working with Liu'an's administrative and clinical staff to develop clinical programs and protocols which will adhere to international healthcare standards, and will also share administrative policies and procedures.

David Baytos, senior vice-president and CEO of international healthcare for Methodist, said the agreement represents an extension of the system's mission. "It also gives us an opportunity to enhance the clinical services that are offered in China," he told China Daily. "They can send four physicians a year to participate in observation programs."

This isn't the first affiliation Methodist has in China or overseas. Baytos said Methodist has an agreement with an outpatient cardiology center in Beijing and a hospital in the African nation of Botswana. Previously the system had affiliations with hospitals in Germany and Russia.

Baytos said the agreement also includes financial considerations. "It will provide us additional income to make investments here and in China."

The potential impact this partnership can have on Liu'an is substantial as the city is home to nearly 7 million people. Baytos said the affiliation also means Liu'an Hospital will have access to the University of Tennessee Health Sciences center and the University of Memphis nursing program.

"This partnership will facilitate the standardization of our health care services and protocols with international standards, demonstrating our strong desire to become a leading healthcare services provider. With Methodist's expertise in cardiology, neurology, pediatrics, emergency and critical care, I believe our hospital will provide better services to our community," Dr Fangjun Li, chairman of Liu'an Municipal Hospital said in a statement.

Methodist isn't the only US hospital with a Chinese affiliate. Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, has a more than 20-year relationship with Qilu Hospital and Shandong University in Shandong province which is located between Beijing and Shanghai. Over the past two decades, more than 200 physicians have trained in Hartford, learning skills that they brought back to China.

Qilu is a 1,310-bed teaching hospital that takes care of over 1 million outpatients and 12,000 surgical cases annually. Shandong is one of the largest and oldest universities in China with more than 40,000 students, 3,000 professors, and over 70 doctoral programs.

Methodist Healthcare is an integrated, not-for-profit system that includes seven hospitals, home health services, outpatient surgery centers, minor medical centers, diagnostic centers, sleep centers and a hospice residence.