UPMC to build network of hospitals in China

Pittsburgh-based UPMC broke ground Oct. 28 on a new hospital in Chengdu, China. It will be the first of five hospitals that UPMC will jointly operate with Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group.

Under the 20-year agreement, UPMC is responsible for co-managing the facility and hiring key hospital leaders, including the CEO, chief nursing officer and physician department heads to staff the international hospital. UPMC will also be responsible for training staff in China and Pittsburgh to work at the facility.

Wanda Group, best known for its massive shopping complexes, is financing the network of hospitals. It is part of Wanda Group's $2 billion investment into healthcare, according to the Tribune Live. 

The Chengdu Wanda-UPMC International Hospital, slated to open in 2022, is expected to cost about $870 million.

"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 U.S.," said Jeffrey Romoff, president and CEO of UPMC. "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."

This marks the first hospital in China that UPMC will co-run using UPMC managers and employees. Prior UPMC partnerships in China primarily revolved around providing healthcare consulting or using telemedicine to help patients. 

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