Cedars-Sinai Blog

Advancing Cedars-Sinai Affiliation in China

Cedars-Sinai staff with physicians and administrators from Taikang

In healthcare, collaboration is key to success. Partnerships among diverse teams of caregivers can improve patient outcomes and strengthen the fabric of entire communities. This also holds true for relationships that cross boundaries and borders, building cohesive networks of care that can both nurture the health of local populations and promote international understanding.

One case in point: the affiliation between Cedars-Sinai and China’s Taikang Healthcare. Since 2019, the two organizations have worked together to develop Shenzhen Qianhai Taikang International Hospital in Shenzhen, one of China’s largest and fastest-growing cities (ranked number three in terms of gross domestic product). The goal is to bring Cedars-Sinai-level care to millions of patients – and, in the process, to foster global cooperation for the benefit of people everywhere.

"We are thrilled to be teaming up with Cedars-Sinai to realize a vision of healthcare in Shenzhen that is accessible, patient-centered and focused on quality and safety."

This January, a high-level delegation of physicians and administrators from Taikang spent four weeks at Cedars-Sinai to expand their knowledge and learn best practices. Led by Professor Xianxin Li, MD, PhD, executive president of the new hospital’s commissioning team and a prominent Shenzhen urologist, the delegation took part in a series of intensive, interactive workshops and briefings designed to hone their expertise in subjects ranging from hospital operations, patient relations and marketing, to nursing, data reporting and infection prevention.

“We are tremendously excited to be bringing a new care model closer to home, and we are thrilled to be teaming up with Cedars-Sinai to realize a vision of healthcare in Shenzhen that is accessible, patient-centered and focused on quality and safety,” Dr. Li says. “Cedars-Sinai’s partnership and support are invaluable.”

The feeling, notes Heitham Hassoun, MD, vice president and medical director of Cedars-Sinai International, is mutual. “In this era of social media and incessant hype, the demise of globalization is just not true,” he says. “As humans and friends and colleagues, we are as connected as ever to our partners in China, caring for our communities and bringing the best of modern healthcare to our patients, wherever they are.”

Set to open in 2024, Qianhai Hospital recently notched a major milestone, with construction being finished up to the 22nd floor. To date, the hospital has hired more than 160 people, including 60 physicians recruited from top medical schools in China and over 50 nurses. Upon completion, plans are for the hospital to span over 400,000 square feet and have capacity for 1,160 beds.

“I firmly believe that with the devoted contribution of these two world-class groups, Taikang and Cedars-Sinai will make great achievements in the healthcare industry and provide healthier lives for more people,” Dr. Benjamin Liu, the president and COO of Taikang Insurance Group said when describing this relationship.

The delegation’s visit kicked off what is envisioned as a frequent back-and-forth between stakeholders at Cedars-Sinai and Qianhai. “We want our people to get to know each other well because this project is more than just a business; it’s a relationship,” says Yawei Kong, PhD, associate director for Asia at Cedars-Sinai International. “Cedars-Sinai will be sending people to provide on-site guidance of things like clinical training, hospital administration and workflow. We’re opening our hearts to show our Chinese colleagues our best because we believe people in both countries benefit from a lively exchange of ideas.”

The affiliation also acknowledges a growing trend in global healthcare tourism and a desire to ensure patients who seek treatment at Cedars-Sinai are able to receive appropriate care once they arrive back home. “We see over 2,000 international patients each year, and that number is increasing,” Dr. Kong says. “But it’s not a closed loop: The flow is bi-directional, and it’s crucial that local providers can follow up in a timely and targeted way.”

To that end, Cedars-Sinai has continued to broaden its reach through other collaborations around the world. Today, the medical center has a presence in far-flung locations from Mumbai to Mexico, Indonesia to Israel and Qatar to Seoul.

“There are so many divisions in the world, but healthcare is one of the few areas where we can connect people together,” Dr. Kong says. “These partnerships serve to advance everyone’s health – and everyone deserves health, no matter where they live.”