Modeled on the concept of international sister cities, the formal linkage of hospitals in two countries is much rarer. As international sister hospitals, the two institutions will take a decade of experience with exchange of faculty members to new levels, benefiting medical care for children in both nations.
“This new relationship offers an opportunity for faculty physicians from the Capital Institute of Pediatrics to come to Riley Hospital to receive further training in their disciplines, observe our medical staff and take back to China new techniques and medical knowledge. And Riley physicians will lecture and conduct research at the Capital Institute, bringing new ideas home with them,” said Howard Eigen, M.D., director of pediatric pulmonology and critical care at Riley Hospital and Billie Lou Wood Professor of Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
“The Capital Institute sees nearly a million outpatients every year. If we can help Capital Institute improve care in any way we are making an incredible difference in the lives of Chinese children. And children in the United States will benefit from studies we are working on together, including one on pulmonary function in preschoolers currently underway,” said Dr. Eigen.
The invitation to form the international sister hospitals relationship was initiated by Fan Maohuai, M.D., dean of the Capital Institute. Dr. Fan and his colleague Dr. Chen Yuzhi, director of pulmonary medicine at the Capital Institute, have worked with Riley physicians over the past decade and were eager to both formalize and amplify the relationship.
“We are especially excited about collaborating on clinical research projects in the areas of the developmental aspects of asthma and asthma care,” added Dr. Eigen, who has worked closely with Capital Institute physicians for several years. This fall he returns to Beijing to provide continuing medical education training to Capital Institute faculty and pulmonologists throughout the region.
In addition to pediatric lung disease other areas of initial focus of the Riley – Capital linkage include pediatric endocrinology and pediatric neurology.
“I have been amazed how many of Riley’s physicians, nurses, researchers, administrators and other health care professionals are interested and committed to working with health-care professionals in other countries. It doesn’t take much imagination to envision the mutual benefits to the health care of children in the United States and China that this new sister children’s hospital relationship will create. In the broadest sense it will result in improvements in the health of children throughout the world,” said Richard L. Schreiner, M.D., physician-in-chief of Riley Hospital and chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine.
In its 2007 “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Parent’s magazine ranked Riley Hospital 11th in the nation overall out of nearly 250 children’s hospitals. In 2006 Child magazine ranked the hospital’s pulmonary medicine and neonatology departments in the nation’s top 10. Riley Hospital physicians are faculty members of the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Founded 50 years ago, the Capital Institute is Beijing’s second largest children’s hospital and is a highly productive research institution.