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January 31, 2015

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Cleveland Clinic makes international connections for collaboration


Steve Marcus

Trish Lake, an MRI technician, prepares MMA fighter Anthony Hamilton for a brain scan at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health Tuesday, February 7, 2012. Hamilton was getting a scan as part of the Professional Fighters Clinical Research Study.

Downtown Las Vegas’ Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is going international, and experts in Las Vegas will collaborate on trials for the treatment for brain disorders in China and the United Arab Emirates by next year.

Officials at the three-year-old facility that is one of the anchors of downtown Las Vegas’ redevelopment hope the new relationships in Beijing and Abu Dhabi may someday lead to the expansion of the Lou Ruvo facility in Las Vegas.

A five-year management agreement is expected to be signed next week between the Ohio-based Cleveland Clinic and the prestigious Peking Union Medical College to assist opening and the initial operation of what is being called the Beijing Brain Center, which will open in the fall. Dr. Jeffrey Cummings, who heads Las Vegas’ Ruvo Center, will be one of the consultants to the Beijing center.

The clinic team will develop and implement programs to treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy and provide rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, a contractor has been appointed for the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, a 364-bed multispecialty hospital that will house five clinic floors, three diagnostic and treatment levels, and 13 floors of critical and acute inpatient units. Officials say the building could be expanded to house 490 beds.

Ground was broken in January 2008 for what will be the largest structural steel building in the United Arab Emirates on 23 acres on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.

Clinic officials say the new facility will bring “the Cleveland Clinic model of care, offering a range of tertiary and quaternary medical services that will bring the highest international standards of health care to Abu Dhabi and the region.”

Although detailed plans have not been announced for the facility, it is expected to house a brain health facility when it opens in April. Space has been made for operational and support departments, retailers, a conference center and a high-fidelity clinical simulation center. The facility also will host new technologies for surgery, imaging, telemedicine and electronic medical records, integrating systems in a manner that would be the first of its kind in the Middle East.

“Both these projects will expand our reach to do care and trials the Cleveland Clinic Las Vegas way in Asia,” Cummings said.

The $100 million, Frank Gehry-designed Lou Ruvo Center in downtown Las Vegas opened in 2009 and is owned by the Keep Memory Alive Foundation, which has been funded through benefit galas featuring the world’s top entertainers. The star-studded events not only have raised money, but have brought attention to brain disorders.

The Cleveland Clinic operation in Las Vegas expanded recently with the opening of the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute in April. The expansion was the result of Cleveland Clinic’s acquisition of the local practice of Drs. Scott Slavis and Laurie Larsen, who, with their nine office workers, have become Cleveland Clinic employees.

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