Since its founding in 1962, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has been committed to finding cures and saving children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases through research and treatment. Discoveries made by St. Jude are freely shared with the global scientific community.
The hospital is dedicated to ensuring that children with life-threatening diseases have access to quality care and treatment no matter where they live.
In a high-income country such as the United States, access to modern treatments and robust supportive care have resulted in cure rates of more than 80% for children with cancer. But about 90% of children live in low- or middle-income countries, where access to quality pediatric oncology care is suboptimal to nonexistent. In those countries, most children with cancer will die. The outlook is similar for children with life-threatening blood disorders.
In 1993, the St. Jude established the International Outreach Program to extend its global impact. Using a “twinning” model, St. Jude developed one-on-one relationships with 24 hospitals in 17 countries in low- and middle-income areas. These include institutions in Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Venezuela.
The efforts were primarily humanitarian—when pediatric oncology help was needed, St. Jude provided it. Regional partnerships emerged around the hospital’s partner sites. By sharing knowledge, technology, organizational skills and resources, St. Jude steadily improved outcomes in children with cancer.
In spite of its success, the program affected less than 3% of the children with cancer worldwide. A scalable approach was necessary to reach more children and hasten progress.
St. Jude is in a position to make a major impact.
The work that has occurred through the International Outreach Program has planted the seeds for what could be the most ambitious initiative ever developed in global pediatric oncology and hematology: St. Jude Global.
The Department of Global Pediatric Medicine has been created to accelerate this initiative.