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China's Leading Academic Health Science Center and Hospital Network to Partner with Duke Medicine in Integrating Health Care

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BEIJING – In a historic effort by the leading academic health center and hospital network in China to begin integrating health care delivery and providing care for greater numbers of Chinese people, Peking University Health Science Center today entered into a strategic agreement with Duke Medicine to help guide them in this complex and essential transformation.

Duke University administrators, faculty and researchers will shuttle between Durham and Beijing during the seven-year agreement to help guide China's leading academic health center and hospital network through its transformation. The agreement calls for Duke Medicine to help introduce the concepts for systems and services integration that will lead to greater efficiencies at a time when the Chinese health care system is under tremendous pressure to perform.

The agreement was signed in Beijing by Victor Dzau, MD, Chancellor for Health Affairs and President and CEO of the Duke University Health System and Chinese officials Professor Qide Han, Vice President of the People's Congress and PUHSC President, and Professor Yang Ke, Executive Vice President of Peking University and PUHSC Executive Vice President.

"As China grows economically into a less-controlled, market-based economy, its health care leaders are facing the new and daunting challenge of running a system with limited government support," Dzau said. "We believe that our experiences in managing a complex health care system will help Chinese leaders develop creative new ideas to keep their hospitals financially self-sufficient while providing a high level of care to a growing and more sophisticated population.

"By working closely with the most prestigious medical institution in China and Asia, we also believe that Duke Medicine can advance its mission of becoming more instrumental in solving global health issues," Dzau said.

Founded in 1912, the PUHSC is made up of eight independent hospitals and 11 schools with more than 10,000 students. The rapid rise in China's standard of living and its aging population has strained the country's health care system, which in the past had been controlled and funded by the central government, but is now being asked to become more self-sufficient.

In addition to providing expertise in modernizing PUHSC's health care system, the comprehensive agreement covers such initiatives as health care management training for Chinese officials; joint research and clinical care programs in such specialties as cardiology, cancer and geriatrics; and the establishment of a framework for conducting large-scale clinical trials in China.

The first specific manifestation of the agreement is the Duke-PUHSC Cardiovascular Training Center. The center is being inaugurated in Beijing on Sept. 19. This effort is supported in part by the China Medical Board and Christopher O'Connor, M.D., Director of the Duke Heart Center, who is in Beijing for the occasion.

Additionally, the strategic partnership envisions the creation of a Duke-Peking University Heart Center and a Duke-Peking University Center on Global Health, where researchers from both institutions will focus on new strategies for addressing the disparities in health care around the world.

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