BUFFALO, NY — Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and King Fahad Specialist Hospital (KFSH) in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, signed a formal agreement November 16, 2010, under which RPCI will train KFSH clinicians, scientists, nurses and support staff to provide patients in Saudi Arabia with a level of cancer care comparable to that available at RPCI. The collaboration was finalized after negotiations and reciprocal visits by top leaders of the two institutions.
In February 2010, RPCI President and CEO Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP; Candace Johnson, PhD, Deputy Director of the Institute; and Youcef Rustum, PhD, Director of International Collaboration, met with leaders of several hospitals and university centers in Dammam, the major metropolitan center in the Eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia, as well as the capital city, Riyadh. “Many of Saudi Arabia’s health care leaders were trained in the United States and returned to Saudi Arabia to assume major leadership roles,” notes Dr. Rustum. “Now Saudi Arabia is seeking institutions in the West, particularly in the U.S., with whom they can build an effective collaborative opportunity for training their staff in all oncology-related disciplines.” KFSH, he says, wants to “create a mini Roswell Park in Saudi Arabia for their patients.”
The agreement was crafted to address specific needs identified at KFSH, in five areas:
Details of the training programs will be determined jointly by KFSH and relevant departments at RPCI. Trainees will stay at RPCI for periods ranging from three weeks to three years, and RPCI’s Office of International Collaboration will coordinate the implementation and monitoring of the program.
KFSH has already identified more than 55 faculty and staff who are candidates for training at RPCI over the next two years. The agreement could have significant academic and economic benefits for both RPCI and KFSH, Dr. Rustum said.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for both partner institutions, and the benefits we’ll see down the road include the potential for placing RPCI as a center of excellence for training foreign graduates in oncology and the opportunity to help develop a standard of care for cancer patients outside the U.S.,” added Dr. Trump.
“I’m looking forward to starting this collaboration,” said KFSH’s CEO, Dr. Khalid Al Shaibani. “We really don’t have access to sufficient facilities to train in all the specialties of cancer.”
The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager