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Initiative Between International Agency and Jacksonville Pediatric Health Care Partners Announced

Friday, Jan 5, 2018

Initiative will benefit children in China and U.S. with brain, skull-base or spinal tumors

On January 12, 2018, in Beijing, China, leaders with GlobalMD Network Corporation and Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville, Nemours Children’s Health System, and the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, Jacksonville, Florida, will sign Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) to establishing a Sino-American Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program.  

Wolfson Children’s Hospital President Michael D. Aubin, Nemours Children’s Health System, Enterprise Vice President and Physician in Chief of Florida Operations, Michael J. Erhard, MD, UF Health Proton Therapy Institute Executive Director Stuart Klein along with Tim Shi, MD, PhD, Chief Officer for GlobalMD, China Office, will represent their respective organizations at the signing, which will be held at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Automation Institute in Beijing. Following the signing, key Chinese opinion leaders and oncologists will meet with the group from Jacksonville to learn more about three pediatric health care partners. 

The initiative will formalize relationships between Wolfson Children’s, Nemours Children’s Specialty Care and the Proton Therapy Institute and children’s hospitals across China to enhance and develop new treatments for children for life-threatening brain, skull-base and spinal tumors. 

The Sino-American Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program will include collaboration in:

  • Advanced training of physicians and nurses in pediatric neuro-oncologic and other pediatric health conditions
  • Teleconsultation for pediatric patients in China referred through GlobalMD with Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, and the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute
  • Provision of gold-standard treatment protocols for referred pediatric patients, including proton therapy, chemotherapy, neurosurgery and other treatments for these complex disorders
  • Tele-monitoring and evaluation of the outcomes of post-cancer treatment patients once they return home
  • Neuro-oncology research in China and Jacksonville

This program falls under the joint mission of the Sino-American Collaboration Project on Clinical and Translational Medicine, established in 2010. 

Dr. Shi said, "There are over half a million kids diagnosed with brain tumors in China every year, and until now, they have only been able to access available conventional radiotherapy or surgery. This collaboration between the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, Nemours Children’s Health System, Wolfson Children’s Hospital and GlobalMD will help children from China better access to advanced proton therapy and skilled pediatric specialists in Jacksonville, bringing the best and precisely therapeutic solution for them and their conditions."

Wolfson Children’s Hospital President Michael D. Aubin said this initiative with GlobalMD greatly expands the positive and burgeoning relationship the Jacksonville pediatric health care partners have had with children’s hospitals in China for several years. 

In 2015, Aubin and Dr. Erhard accompanied Thomas Chiu, MD, medical director of External Affairs, UF College of Medicine — Pediatrics, to China. There, they met with top hospital officials and medical schools in Beijing, Chengdu and Hong Kong to discuss further collaboration in medical education exchanges and implementation of evidence-based patient care protocols, as well as pediatric neuro-oncology patient referrals.

"Since then, we have continued to treat children from all over China here in Jacksonville, and we have held international pediatric medical forums in Beijing and Jacksonville, as well as bringing our pediatric physician experts to China for educational opportunities, and training Chinese physicians and nurses at our three facilities in Jacksonville," Aubin said. "It is exciting to see this partnership expand to have an even stronger impact on children with life-threatening conditions in China."

UF Health Proton Therapy Institute’s Executive Director Stuart Klein said the program, when fully executed, will build on successful agreements with other countries, including the United Kingdom, Norway and the Canadian Provinces of Quebec and Ontario. 

"Since opening in 2006, the Institute has seen patients from more than 30 countries, including China, and is the largest pediatric proton therapy program worldwide," said Klein. "In the past two years since organizing a symposium on radiotherapy in China, the number of patients from China has grown to the point that we have added a staff person who helps Chinese families with communication, transportation and housing needs." 

"This collaboration will bring together highly skilled physicians and nurses from miles apart bound by a common mission to teach and learn while delivering the highest quality care to children in need," said Dr. Erhard.

Services provided at Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville, Florida, are provided primarily by pediatric physician specialists with Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, and the University of Florida College of Medicine - Jacksonville.

About GlobalMD Network Corporation

GlobalMD Org network Corp.(GlobalMD) is a not for profit organization registered at the State of Maryland in 2006, which is one of the largest international medical professional firms working with 165 countries physicians, health professional groups and as well as local health authorities.

GlobalMD China office has officially registered in China in Sept. 2008. It has then become the leading international medical professional group in China to bring the advanced knowledges and technologies focus on clinical and translational medicine, telehealth and AI in healthcare and clinical applications.

Since 2008, GlobalMD China office has been partnering with the National Institute of Health Clinical Center to train over 10 thousands of local physicians and nurses on the principles of clinical research, clinical pharmacology and bioethics. 

Since 2010, GlobalMD China office has led to organize the Sino-American Symposia on Clinical and Translational Medicine. Sixty members of Translational Medicine Institutes funded by the NIH and 130 clinical translational centers in Chinese hospitals have become the active members and professional groups to join in this annual scientific conference and network. 

About Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville

Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, is a part of Baptist Health, Northeast Florida’s most comprehensive health system serving every stage of life. Wolfson Children’s is the only hospital just for children in Northeast Florida and South Georgia and it serves as the region’s pediatric referral center. Staffed 24/7 by pediatric nurses and other healthcare professionals specially trained to work with children, the 216-bed, patient- and family-centered hospital features the latest pediatric medical technology in a welcoming, child-friendly environment. At Wolfson Children’s, nationally recognized pediatric specialists representing nearly every medical and surgical specialty work with pediatricians to provide care for children of all ages with congenital heart conditions, cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and endocrinology disorders, orthopaedic conditions, behavioral health conditions, and more. Wolfson Children’s pediatric partners include Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, the University of Florida College of Medicine—Jacksonville, and Mayo Clinic Florida. For additional information, please visit wolfsonchildrens.org.

About UF Health Proton Therapy Institute

UF Health Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine and the UF Health Cancer Center, a Florida Cancer Center of Excellence, dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and setting new standards for treating and curing cancer. It is an accredited radiation oncology facility by the American College of Radiology. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and delivers proton therapy to 100 patients a day. For more information about the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, please visit www.floridaproton.org, or call toll-free (877) 426-9790.

About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the two free-standing children’s hospitals: the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens, KidsHealth.org, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect. Nemours ReadingBrightstart.org is a program dedicated to preventing reading failure in young children, grounded in Nemours’ understanding that child health and learning are inextricably linked, and that reading level is a strong predictor of adult health.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.