How UPMC's expansion into Colombia is shaping modern cancer care

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The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) recently strengthened its long-term relationship with Colombia after announcing a 10-year agreement w...

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) recently strengthened its long-term relationship with Colombia after announcing a 10-year agreement with the Cardiovascular Foundation of Colombia (FCV) in Bucaramanga to develop and co-manage an oncology center for adults and children, the first private cancer program in Colombia.

The proposed oncology center—which will be funded by the FCV—will include chemotherapy and radiation therapy services, as well as a unit of bone marrow transplantation.

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Expected to open in 2016 in the town of Piedecuesta, the new Oncology Institute at the Hospital International de Colombia (HIC) will contain 870 beds with 20 specifically for cancer care.

Dr. Victor Castillo, executive director of the FCV, was recently interviewed by our sister publication Business Review America Latina in which he commented, “The development of the partnership we signed with UPMC will let the Colombians have access to our oncology institute with services at the height of one of the largest and most renowned centers of the world in this field.”

Bringing oncology services to Colombia

Until now, accessibility for cancer treatments in Colombia was largely unmet. This year alone the country is expected to receive 80,000 new cases of cancer, with that number rising to 113,000 cases per year within the next 10 years.

“With the development of the clinical cancer center, administrative and operating world-class processes in Colombia and throughout Latin America will be provided to serve these patients occupy advanced treatments,” said Castillo.

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During the pre-operational phase of the project, UPMC will provide guidance on the training of doctors and nurses, equipment selection, construction plans, operational policies and procedures, and the provision of clinical pathways and best practices in cancer care.

Once the facility opens, UPMC will act as co-manager and will support staff with medical experts from Pittsburgh, USA and telehealth initiatives underway.

“This expansion of our relationship in Colombia underscores the strong reputation that has earned worldwide UPMC to work effectively with our partners to improve the quality and accessibility in other regions,” said Charles Bogosta, president of the International Services Division UPMC, in a press release.

The goal is to advance UPMC's mission of transforming the way health care is provided, while revitalizing the economy of western Pennsylvania.

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