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Fox Chase Cancer Center and Other Area Institutions Establish International Union

PHILADELPHIA (December 1, 1998) -- Fox Chase Cancer Center and nine other Philadelphia area premier medical institutions have joined forces to bond the rich healthcare resources of the region with the growing international demand for U.S. medical services. This unique consortium of 10 separate institutions--known as Philadelphia International Medicine (PIM)--expects to establish the Greater Philadelphia area as a predominant destination for international patients seeking diagnosis, prevention and treatment, effecting a substantial impact on the region's overall economy.

"Philadelphia offers some of the best doctors and healthcare providers in the world," said Robert C. Young, M.D., president of Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Without a doubt, this region leads the nation in cutting-edge treatments, technology and research. Through Philadelphia International Medicine, we can extend our expertise to the world."

The other member institutions that make up PIM are Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Christiana Care, Crozer-Keystone Health System, MossRehab Hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, Temple University Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and Wills Eye Hospital.

"Philadelphia International Medicine is not just a health care initiative. It will have an impact throughout the region," said Andrew Wigglesworth, PIM president. "This truly is an economic development model for the future that will benefit the entire community now. Additionally, PIM's commitment to synergistically partner with the business community, and state and local government and others will expand the region's role and presence in international trade."

At projected future patient volume of about 6,000 annually, it is estimated that international patients can generate more than $200 million in regional economic activity. PIM leadership believes that their international patient base will expand rapidly due to the growing trend for international patients to seek medical treatment in the U.S., combined with PIM members' prominent domestic reputation.

"Philadelphia International Medicine provides an excellent opportunity for the region to capitalize on our tremendous expertise in the healthcare field," said Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA), who represents portions of Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. "By marketing our region's greatest health care assets, and providing services in a manner that is respectful of particular cultural needs, we can attract patients from around the world and make the Philadelphia area a major player in the global health care industry."

"The benefits of this partnership are manifold--from preserving healthcare employment in the region, providing new patient revenue to aid the hospitals in continuing their community mission, boosting the region's hospitality industry and bolstering the region's overall economic base," commented Philadelphia Mayor Edward G. Rendell.

Until now, Philadelphia's hospitals have not made a coordinated effort to attract international patients. However, this segment of the healthcare industry represents a high-growth, profitable market. In 1997, for example, approximately 66,000 international inpatients and 385,000 outpatients were treated in American facilities. This is attributable to emerging middle classes in many countries that can now afford to purchase U.S. healthcare services, either through self-pay or the purchase of private insurance. In some cases, foreign governments will fully or partially subsidize medical care due to internal health systems that do not adequately address many specialized healthcare needs.

With one phone call, Philadelphia International Medicine can coordinate the diverse healthcare needs of patients from around the world. For more information, call PIM at 215-735-9695.

Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of 35 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation. The Center's activities include basic and clinical research including prevention, detection and treatment of cancer, and community outreach programs.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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