UPMC and Bon Secours Health System Ltd. today announced that they have formed a joint venture in Cork, Ireland, to own and operate one of the nation’s most advanced radiation therapy centers for the treatment of cancer patients. The new center will combine the expertise of Ireland’s largest independent health care provider with UPMC’s world-renowned model of cancer care that brings innovative and personalized treatments close to where patients live.
“This partnership builds upon the world-class medical and surgical oncology services that we already offer to patients in Cork,” said Bill Maher, chief executive officer of Bon Secours Health System. “With the help of UPMC, we will soon enhance our cancer services by providing access to leading-edge radiation technology and clinical protocols.”
The radiotherapy center will be built on the Bon Secours campus in Cork as part of a new, six-story expansion currently under construction. The joint venture, to be managed by UPMC and owned equally by both partners, will lease space from Bon Secours. Starting in 2019, it expects to treat patients with two advanced Varian TrueBeam Radiotherapy System linear accelerators, providing image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Used for a variety of cancers, these approaches are designed to improve patient outcomes while minimizing side effects.
“We’re excited to work with such a highly regarded clinical partner as Bon Secours to reach more patients in Ireland with world-class care close to home,” said Charles Bogosta, president of UPMC International and UPMC Cancer Center. “This new facility will share in the learning and best practices at the UPMC Whitfield Cancer Centre in Waterford, now celebrating 10 years of providing state-of-the-art radiotherapy and personalized care in Ireland.”
The center in Cork also will benefit from access to the entire UPMC CancerCenter network, comprising more than 40 sites in the U.S. and around the world. As part of that powerful network, patients have access to cutting-edge treatments, protocols and technologies guided by the latest scientific evidence. UPMC CancerCenter partners with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, western Pennsylvania’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.
In 2006, UPMC CancerCenter opened its first international cancer center, UPMC Whitfield, based on UPMC’s “hub-and-spoke” model in which a wide range of oncology services are offered in local communities with support from UPMC’s academic and clinical hub at the Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh. Based on its high quality standards and patient safety, UPMC Whitfield was accredited by the Joint Commission International in 2008. UPMC also operates a radiation center in Rome and works with partners in Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Colombia, Russia, Myanmar and other nations to improve cancer care worldwide.
“With Bon Secours, we look forward to continuing to grow the number of patients that we can help in Ireland,” said Mr. Bogosta. “This investment underscores UPMC’s commitment to improving cancer care in Ireland, while giving us access to knowledge and resources that will strengthen our medical and research mission in Pittsburgh and around the world.”
Completion of the agreement is contingent on the approval of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission of Ireland.