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UChicago Medicine, Advocate Children's, NorthShore form major pediatric collaboration to enhance care, access

The collaboration is effective immediately and builds on the recently-revealed joint operating agreement between Advocate Health Care and NorthShore.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

Advocate Children's HospitalAdvocate Children's Hospital

With an eye on increasing access for pediatric patients to care for childhood cancer and blood diseases as well as cardiovascular and general surgery, the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital and new pediatric care partners Advocate Children's Hospital and NorthShore University HealthSystem have announced a new pediatric clinical collaboration.

The collaboration is effective immediately and builds on the recently-revealed joint operating agreement between Advocate Health Care and NorthShore for pediatric care.

Several distinguished physicians will lead service in several specialties including Cardiology/Cardiovascular surgery, which will be led by Luca A. Vricella, who serves as director of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Advocate Children's Hospital and UCM Comer Children's Hospital. Vricella was formerly director of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Heart Transplantation Program at Johns Hopkins Medicine

General surgery will be headed by Jessica Kandel, surgeon-in-chief at Comer Children's and division director of pediatric general surgery at Advocate Children's. Kandel is an expert in the treatment of pediatric cancers.

Finally, hematology/oncology services will be led by Susan L. Cohn, chief of the Section of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and dean of Clinical Research at UChicago Medicine. Cohn is a leading authority in pediatric cancers and blood diseases, especially neuroblastoma, the most common type of extracranial solid tumor in children, the systems said in a statement.


The systems will work together to enhance clinical capabilities and promote new programs and therapies. The institutions also will enhance coordination of academic research will the goal of improving patient outcomes, as well as training new physicians.

Merger and acquisition activity has been rampant the past few years especially, but the industry is also seeing collaborations between organizations that want to increase scale and enhance their services and capabilities. Collaborations and partnerships can achieve these goals but do not carry the same onerous regulatory and operational burdens that a full merger does. They also do not carry the same level of cost.


"By partnering on these important pediatric services, we are building a stronger and more diverse network of care," said John M. Cunningham, George M. Eisenberg Professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of Comer Children's. "We are tapping physicians with strong national reputations in their fields to help lead our collective efforts."

Twitter: @BethJSanborn
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