JHMI Office of Communications and Public Affairs

April 1, 1999

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Johns Hopkins Singapore Opens Oncology Unit

In the latest move to establish Singapore as a major medical hub in the Pacific Rim, Johns Hopkins Singapore (JHS) opens on April 15 its 14-bed oncology unit in the Kent Ridge Wing of National University Hospital, adjacent to the campus of the National University of Singapore. Providing inpatient and outpatient cancer services, the unit is part of JHS Clinical Services Pte. Ltd. (JHSCS), offering care for patients with solid tumors. JHSCS was established as part of JHS to provide health care services in Singapore for complex medical conditions.

Alex Chang, M.D., former professor of oncology in medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York has been appointed as unit director effective July 1, 1999. Chang, principal investigator in more than 80 clinical trials, is an internationally known expert in breast and lung cancer treatment.

Monica Fulton, R.N., M.B.A., former nurse manager for the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center in Baltimore, Maryland, has moved to Singapore to become director of nursing.

According to Chang, the unit will focus initially on diagnosing and treating cancers prevalent in Southeast Asia, including lung, liver, stomach, breast, colon, cervix and nasopharyngeal cancers. In addition, the JHS oncology program will organize and conduct clinical trials of anti-cancer drugs.

"The opportunity to work with cancer experts at the Johns Hopkins Cancer Center as well as in Singapore means enhanced quality of life for our patients and increased clinical research to advance knowledge of prevalent cancers in the region," according to Chang.

The new center will collaborate closely with Singapore's National University Hospital oncology program, Singapore General Hospital Oncology, the National Cancer Center and other Singapore medical facilities. As part of the program, JHSCS will work closely with cancer centers and health care providers throughout Southeast Asia to provide consultation, patient care and research collaboration.

"Johns Hopkins and Singapore have made a wise and farsighted commitment to operate in Singapore together," said Enser W. Cole III, M.D., assistant oncology program director at JHS. "The enterprise is in the midst of one-third of the Earth's population, and the opportunities are enormous."

The JHSCS partnership, which includes Singapore's Economic Development Board Investments (EDBI), VISTA Healthcare, Arcasia Land and Johns Hopkins International LLC, also calls for establishing partnerships with regional universities, multinational corporations, insurance companies and referring physician networks in Asia, as well as forming satellite centers in the region.

Unlike most arrangements between U.S.-based medical centers and foreign facilities, JHSCS follows a "center of excellence" model that emphasizes research and medical education, as well as direct patient care, within a collaborative structure that benefits all participating organizations.

Johns Hopkins Medicine, a $1.7 billion enterprise that unites Hopkins' biomedical research, clinical, teaching and business enterprises, includes The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, three acute care hospitals -- The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Howard County General Hospital -- and all other aspects of an integrated health care delivery system, from community clinics to long-term care and home care. Every year since 1991, U.S. News & World Report has ranked The Johns Hopkins Hospital as the best hospital in America, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Hopkins scientists more research funding than faculty at any other medical school.


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