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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Partners With Royal Berkshire to Bring Cancer Care Close to Home for U.K. Patients

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 8, 2009 –The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, part of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, today announced a partnership aimed at developing and expanding the cancer services offered by the Trust in Reading, England, and the surrounding region.

Under the new 12-year services agreement, UPMC will assist Royal Berkshire in enhancing  its cancer “hub” at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, while creating satellite centers that will offer patients cancer care close to home. This approach is modeled after a hub-and-spoke system that UPMC first perfected in western Pennsylvania, where it now operates more than 40 cancer centers providing a wide range of oncology services and supported by UPMC’s academic and clinical hub at the Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh. Through a telemedicine network, UPMC’s cancer centers share expertise with specialists at the hub, including highly trained medical physicists who devise radiation treatment plans.

“Royal Berkshire is committed to delivering leading-edge services that exceed patient expectations,” said Professor Ann Sheen, chief executive of Royal Berkshire, one of the largest and best-performing general hospital trusts in the U.K. “By working with a non-profit health care innovator like UPMC, we will ensure that state-of-the-art cancer care is more convenient for our patients, while providing expanded access to the best, evidence-based treatment plans and to clinical research trials.”

Added Charles Bogosta, president of UPMC’s International and Commercial Services Division, “UPMC has proven at two cancer centers in Ireland that our approach to cancer care is exportable and well-received by patients. We will work closely with Royal Berkshire to adapt this model to ensure high-quality, cost-effective care for patients throughout the region.”

This partnership marks UPMC’s third initiative in the United Kingdom, where it is implementing electronic medical record technology at Royal Berkshire and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals, another NHS Foundation trust. UPMC’s international portfolio also includes management of an independent hospital in Ireland and a leading transplant facility and research center in Italy. Additionally, UPMC provides emergency medical services and training in Qatar and has announced an agreement to manage a planned health center in Cyprus. UPMC’s expansion beyond western Pennsylvania is aimed at strengthening the organization’s health care, research and teaching mission.

Although Royal Berkshire will retain responsibility for the management of oncology services at its facilities, UPMC will provide several key management personnel to support day-to-day clinical operations, improve the efficiency of clinical and operating procedures, and provide clinical pathways, or evidence-based protocols for treating various forms of cancer.

“Patients are at the center of everything we do, and this strategic arrangement underscores that commitment,” said Professor Sheen of Royal Berkshire. Key performance indicators to be tracked under the agreement, she noted, include patient satisfaction, safety and access to treatment.

About UPMC

UPMC is an $8 billion integrated global health enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and one of the leading nonprofit health systems in the United States. By integrating 20 hospitals, 400 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, long-term care facilities and a major health insurance services division, and in collaboration with its academic partner, the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC has advanced the quality and efficiency of health care and developed internationally renowned programs in transplantation, cancer, neurosurgery, psychiatry, orthopaedics and sports medicine, among others. UPMC is commercializing its medical and technological expertise by nurturing new companies, developing strategic business relationships with some of the world’s leading multinational corporations and expanding into international markets, including Italy, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Cyprus and Qatar. For more information about UPMC, visit our Web site at www.upmc.com.

About Royal Berkshire

The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest general hospital trusts in the United Kingdom, providing acute medical and surgical services to Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire and specialist services including cancer, renal and ophthalmology to a wider population across Berkshire and its borders. The trust employs over 4,000 staff, includes 813 inpatient beds and 204 day beds, and has an annual budget of £270 million.

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