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Case Western Reserve, University Hospitals announce 10-year affiliation extension

'The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how powerful partnerships can be in protecting the health of our community.'

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: Video at the top of this story was originally published on Jan. 28, 2021.

In a plan “that expands opportunities for collaboration between the two organizations and with others across Northeast Ohio,” Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals have extended their affiliation through 2031.

While the previous arrangement between the hospital and university continued through September of this year, officials announced Monday their leaders felt earlier conversations would well serve both organizations and the region more broadly.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how powerful partnerships can be in protecting the health of our community,” Case Western Reserve Interim President Scott Cowen said. “This amendment encourages our joint pursuit of shared priorities, offers flexibility to engage with others, and creates new opportunities for region-wide progress.”

Leaders cited the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCCC) as an example of the kinds of initiatives they expect the new agreement will help catalyze. A partnership among CWRU, UH and Cleveland Clinic, the center received the National Cancer Institute’s highest rating in 2018 -- putting it among the very few top centers in the country. With 400 investigators spread among the three organizations, the CCCC advances education and research while also caring for the region’s roughly 15,000 new cancer cases each year.

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“The cancer center’s success is not simply a function of establishing a formal relationship among three entities,” said longtime CCCC Director Stan Gerson, now also serving as Interim Dean of the School of Medicine. “It involves bringing talented people together, exchanging ideas, and developing new ways to tackle complex challenges. This 10-year extension provides the time and context for us to achieve comparable gains with one another, and also with additional partners.”

The agreement also includes commitments from hospital and medical school leaders to engage in regular conversations regarding existing and emerging strategic priorities. In cases where alignment occurs, the organizations would have the opportunity to engage in coordinated investments in research and education.

“We’ve identified several initial strategic priorities in this renewed commitment to research,” said Daniel Simon, MD, Chief Scientific and Clinical Officer for University Hospitals and President of UH Cleveland Medical Center. “Among those priorities are cancer, neuroscience, immunity, imaging and population health. Finally, the extension maintains UH’s commitment to provide clinical opportunities for CWRU’s medical and allied health students.”

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