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Several Children from Earthquake Area in Sichuan Province Are Being Treated at SCMC

Shanghai, China, May 31, 2008

International humanitarian aid and health education organization Project HOPE and the Shanghai Municipal Government are marking an important milestone as the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center (SCMC) celebrates its 10th Anniversary of bringing advanced pediatric health care to the children of China.

The hospital has become Shanghai’s pediatric center of choice and the country’s leading pediatric medical treatment facility, seeing more than 880,000 outpatients, admitting more than 12,500 inpatients, and performing more than 2,400 pediatric heart surgeries in 2007. SCMC is also a national training center for health professionals learning the most advanced techniques in pediatric medicine.

SCMC has been called on recently to provide advanced pediatric care to more than 15 children from the Sichuan Province who were injured as a result of the recent earthquakes in the region. In addition, SCMC has dispatched a team of two surgeons and four nurses to the quake zone to assist in relief efforts.  

“At Project HOPE, we are pleased that our partnership with the Shanghai government and SCMC officials has yielded a full decade of improving the health of China’s children,” says John P. Howe, III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE. “The fact that we are playing a role in helping childhood victims of the recent earthquake 1,100 miles from Shanghai reinforces the leading role that the Medical Center plays in advanced pediatric care for all of China.”

Last year, Project HOPE played a key role in the development and opening of a 10,000-square meter, seven-story cardiac tower that added 130 beds to SCMC, which is known for its leadership in the field of pediatric cardiology. Officials estimate that approximately 1,000 heart surgeries will be performed each year in the new tower, bringing SCMC’s total annual heart surgery capability to more than 2,500.

Since 1987, Project HOPE has obtained more than $30 million in state-of-the-art medical equipment from its corporate partners for the hospital. The equipment, which includes items such as monitors and infusion pumps, as well as large scale imaging tools, are used to treat and save the lives of the more than 7,000 pediatric cardiovascular patients that come to SCMC every year.

Project HOPE’s role in the development of SCMC began in 1987 when the idea of the hospital was first conceived. At the time there were no pediatric referral hospitals in China that had the advanced capabilities and lifesaving technologies found in other pediatric hospitals in other parts of the world. The purpose for creating and building SCMC was to provide China with a much needed state-of-the-art pediatric health care facility.

Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) has been involved in improving the health of Chinese citizens since 1983, and is one of only five U.S.-based organizations registered to operate in China. Project HOPE also is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2008.

Highlights over the last decade include:

1988: Dr. William Walsh, HOPE founder, and Shanghai Communist Party Secretary Jiang Zhemin agree to the establishment of SCMC

1989: Mayor Zhu Rongi allocates 13 acres of land to SCMC

1991: Agreement officially signed between Project HOPE and SSMU

1994: Ground clearing, leveling and infrastructure put into place

1998: First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton dedicates SCMC and outpatient and diagnostic equipment installed as patient services commence

1999: Inpatient diagnostic and treatment equipment is installed and inpatient services commence while outpatient daily patient load exceeds 1,000 patients per day for the first time

2000: SCMC achieves break-even status, well ahead of projection, and 1,143 Pediatric Cardiovascular surgeries are performed, the highest number ever in China and equaling CV throughputs of leading children’s centers in the world

2003: SCMC celebrates its five-year anniversary as well as HOPE’s 20th anniversary in China

2007: New Cardiac Tower opens, bring annual heart surgery capability to more than 2,500

2008: Groundbreaking for new SCMC Oncology Tower, which will allow the Center each year to perform 60 more bone marrow transplants, see an additional 15,000 outpatients, and treat 500 more patients.

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Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now conducts land-based medical training and health education programs in 30 countries across five continents.