Sunday, April 15, 2007

Even Harvard can do it

Those of you familiar with Boston and the degree of competition among the Harvard hospitals may have trouble believing this, but is it true. Sometimes, even the Harvard affiliated hospitals can do it. What is "it"? Cooperate.

The prime example is the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, the largest hospital-based cancer research program in the United States. The Center is funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute and comprises more than 900 researchers with a unified goal of finding new and innovative ways to combat cancer.

The members of DF/HCC are BIDMC, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, and Massachusetts General Hospital. There is a shared governance structure and an organization of the research across different types of cancer (e.g., breast, prostate, leukemia) and scientific areas of inquiry (e.g., genetics, imaging, epidemiology). There is also a strong inter-institutional clinical trails program.

I have addressed the general relationship among the Harvard affiliates below. DF/HCC is an excellent example of well-intentioned people putting aside their competitive instincts to work together for the public good.

1 comment:

dale said...

Team work to save lives...excellent!

Do you think you can initiate a similar program with a unified goal of finding new and innovative ways to combat staph infections? I have seen way too much death and suffering and little talk of research and cures.