PITTSBURGH — A long-time leader in providing advanced cancer care internationally, UPMC announced today that it is partnering with a leading physician and health care innovator in Croatia to offer cancer services in the country. Together, they will target opportunities to partner and provide access to cutting-edge cancer therapies and personalized medicine to patients in Croatia and neighboring countries.
Under the new agreement, UPMC and Dragan Primorac, M.D., Ph.D., founder and chairman of St. Catherine Specialty Hospital, are focused on opening the first of what is expected to be many cancer centers in Croatia, encompassing medical and radiation oncology, as well as diagnostic PET/CT imaging and other services.
“By combining UPMC’s decades of international cancer experience with Professor Primorac’s track record as a successful health care leader, educator and founder of the most innovative private hospital in Croatia, we expect that our joint venture will positively impact the lives of patients and support the national health system’s goals for improving cancer prevention and treatment,” said Charles Bogosta, president of UPMC International. He noted that over the past five years, including multiple visits to the country, the UPMC team has worked with Primorac, the Health Ministry and other key stakeholders to understand and address the health care needs of the region.
The cancer services will be managed by UPMC and integrated into the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, one of the largest cancer networks in the United States, with additional locations in Italy and Ireland. The partnership will benefit from the training, education, sharing of clinical protocols and other forms of collaboration across this network, particularly in Europe.
UPMC expects to offer stereotactic radiosurgery, image-guided radiation therapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy, as well as medical oncology, screening and other patient-centered care.
“This is an example of cooperation where medical and scientific excellence come together to develop a new concept of advanced diagnostics and therapies. I look forward to working with UPMC as we partner with our local hospitals and physicians to provide patients with high-quality, evidence-based care and a compassionate patient experience,” said Primorac, a pediatrician, clinical geneticist and personalized medicine pioneer.
Primorac is the former Minister of Science, Education, and Sports of The Republic of Croatia, and during his term, Croatia made major education reforms with significant results. He serves as an adjunct professor at Eberly College of Science, The Pennsylvania State University, and Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, University of New Haven, in the United States, and as a professor at medical schools in Germany and Croatia.
With health care operations and consulting agreements in Italy, Ireland, China and Kazakhstan, UPMC is now adding Croatia as an area of focus for its international growth. “We are confident that we have a shared vision with Dr. Primorac and the right team for delivering exceptional health care in Croatia and surrounding regions,” said Bogosta. “We look forward to expanding this partnership to encompass the full spectrum of cancer care – and to adding academic research collaborations in Croatia. This exciting partnership will help to fuel UPMC’s ongoing investments in our medical and research mission at home and around the world.”
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center connects patients to the integrated expertise of leading clinicians, academic researchers, specialty programs and treatment centers. By partnering with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in western Pennsylvania, is accelerating breakthroughs from the lab to clinical practice around the world. UPMC — nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for excellence in cancer care — has more than 70 cancer treatment locations throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Maryland, as well as centers in Ireland and Italy.