New collaborators often ask why we formed Johns Hopkins Medicine International, and I love telling our story.
JHI’s origins go back to the 1990s and a small group of people who cared for the unique needs of patients coming to The Johns Hopkins Hospital from around the world. The initial idea was to provide these international patients with tailored, culturally sensitive medical concierge services, as well as with the highest-quality care.
Our scope then widened when we forged a joint venture with Singapore’s National Healthcare Group, which provides a network of primary health care clinics, hospitals and specialty centers. We signed an agreement with the local government to create Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre, the country’s first private medical facility that combines clinical research and teaching with patient care.
This agreement launched our efforts to improve health care systems through sustainable international collaboration. It also established us as a pioneer in a new field: international collaborative health.
When this work began, our vision was to advance cancer care and prevention in Singapore in a sustainable way. Together with National Healthcare Group, we grew patient volumes by more than 10 percent annually, received about S$10 million in research funding over the course of a decade, and enrolled more than 300 patients in clinical trials and research studies.
In part because of this collaboration, Singapore is now among the top destinations in the world for cancer prevention and care.
We were thrilled that our founding vision came to fruition. We also knew it was time to return the reins to the local experts and to reimagine the work we can do in Singapore to continue to advance health care and medical discovery.
We recently announced that our 20-year partnership with National Healthcare Group has progressed to a new phase, evolving into the NHG-Johns Hopkins Singapore Institute. The institute will focus on expanded joint research, new capabilities in medical oncology and other disciplines, knowledge-sharing, and training and education to better meet Singapore’s population health needs.
We’re so proud to celebrate our accomplishments and the next chapter together. From the beginning, we had a powerful vision, but I wonder if we could have foreseen then that we would grow to have affiliations in nearly 20 countries on five continents. I also wonder if we really grasped then just how exciting the next 20 years and beyond would be.