Hopkins creates global unit; Venture to develop consulting practice


Seeking to coordinate and expand its global efforts, Johns Hopkins Medicine announced the creation yesterday of Johns Hopkins International LLC.

JHI will bring together a number of Hopkins programs designed to reach out to individuals and institutions around the world, and will seek to develop an international consulting practice.

The new venture is aimed at bringing patients to Hopkins for care and research, consulting fees and research dollars.

"It makes good business sense and good health care sense to take Hopkins' quality around the world," said Dr. Edward D. Miller, chief executive officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine, which includes Hopkins' hospital and medical school.

Steven J. Thompson, vice dean for administration of Johns Hopkins Medicine and chief executive officer of Johns Hopkins Singapore, will head the international unit.

"This is consistent with the direction the university is taking to extend its boundaries in a global economy," said Thompson, who was reached in Singapore, where Hopkins is developing a hospital and research facility.

Thompson said the Singapore "hub and spoke" model -- a centralized Hopkins facility that has ties to doctors and clinics in the region -- could be adopted for other countries. The Hopkins Singapore deal was announced a year ago.

Also, he continued, Hopkins will be looking for more consulting opportunities similar to one under way in Dubai. There, he said, Hopkins is advising a hospital on how to manage itself better and how to develop programs, including cardiology and women's services. The effort is expected to last three years.

In seeking such contracts, he said, Hopkins is competing with large health consulting firms. However, he said, he was not aware of other American academic medical centers with such operations.

While big firms rely on full-time consultants, he said, Hopkins would "assemble teams on an ad-hoc basis," depending on what the client needed. For example, the chief of cardiology at Hopkins could advise the hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that is building a cardiology program.

JHI will also oversee efforts at telemedicine -- Hopkins works with a company called WorldCare Ltd. to view X-rays and lab samples from other countries -- and international patient services.

Hopkins has an office to help international patients make travel and housing arrangements, and will open offices in Singapore and in the Middle East, Thompson said.

He said Hopkins gets about 6,300 international patients a year, and hopes to increase that number by 10 percent in the next year. Beyond that, Thompson said, Johns Hopkins International does not have particular business projections or revenue goals.

Pub Date: 1/08/99

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