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ASU, Mayo Clinic enhance collaboration with formal commitment

people looking at xrays
February 15, 2011

ASU and Mayo Clinic announced today that they have signed an agreement to broaden and deepen their collaboration in health care, medical research and education. The agreement is a formal commitment to enhance the relationship built over the past eight years.

ASU and Mayo have established a wide variety of successful programmatic collaborations since 2003, including a joint nursing education program, a variety of collaborative research projects, joint faculty appointments and dual degree programs. The success of the ASU-Mayo collaboration led to this broader, formal agreement, which also sets an ambitious vision for an enhanced level of future collaboration, cooperation and partnership.

“ASU and Mayo have a long history of working together to advance medical education and research,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “This agreement will help us deliver new ideas, new solutions and new technologies that will have positive impacts on the future of health care.”

“We are very excited about this agreement, which reflects our mutual commitment to working closely with our partners at ASU as we continue to enhance our ongoing collaborations across a broad variety of projects and programs,” added Victor Trastek, M.D., vice president of Mayo Clinic and CEO for Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “One important area of focus with ASU is our collective ability to redesign medical education in ways that align with the future of health care delivery.”

The agreement will coordinate future complementary goals of both organizations.

“For Mayo Clinic, this will mean engagement with ASU at all levels across the entire organization, spanning activities in all three shields of practice, education and research,” said John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic president and CEO. “Together with ASU, we will design and implement new ways to deliver high-value health care.”

“The Arizona State University-Mayo Clinic partnership is a great example of the public and private sectors collaborating in the design, implementation and delivery of high value health care for the benefit of American citizens,” said Sen. John McCain.

“This partnership has the potential to generate more jobs and opportunity for Phoenix as other medical and research organizations will no doubt take notice of the synergy that is beginning to take place on and around the Phoenix Mayo Campus,” added Phoenix City Councilmember Peggy Neely.

Examples of successful existing Mayo-ASU collaborations include joint work on the new Proton Beam Program at Mayo’s Scottsdale campus, sharing in development of Mayo’s new Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, joint faculty appointments and joint degree programs, such as M.D./J.D. and M.D./M.B.A.

As part of the new agreement, ASU announced it would relocate its Department of Biomedical Informatics to the Scottsdale campus of Mayo Clinic. ASU faculty, staff and students will complete the move by late summer 2011.

Biomedical informatics is a burgeoning field at the intersection of information science, computer science and health care. It deals with the resources, devices and methods needed to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of health and biomedical information to enhance patient care and human health.

ASU chief research officer, Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan said biomedical informatics research conducted by ASU and Mayo scientists has the potential to significantly impact future patient care. He added that being physically located on the Mayo campus provides many benefits for all parties.

“There are tremendous synergies at work here,” Panchanathan said. “In order to advance biomedical informatics education and research, we need to be embedded in a clinical environment. Mayo provides access to world-class physicians and researchers. It will provide extraordinary opportunities for ASU faculty and students to work in one of the top clinical facilities in the country and advance education, research and training in biomedical informatics.”

The new setup will allow Biomedical Informatics to draw on the strengths of ASU and Mayo, allowing the program to serve as an informatics engine for practice enhancement and safer, high-quality patient care across Mayo Clinic.

Moving the biomedical informatics department into Mayo “is an important opportunity to further our partnership with an advanced biomedical and clinical organization; to expand our joint research, development and technology transfer; and to improve patient care with this new technology,” added Robert Greenes, M.D. and Ph.D., and ASU’s Ira A. Fulton chair and professor of the Biomedical Informatics department.

In the future, the closer ties between Mayo and ASU are expected to lead to new, cutting-edge collaborations.

“This is the doorway to create more exciting opportunities between ASU and all of Mayo Clinic,” said Keith Frey, M.D., vice chair, Executive Operations Team, chief medical information officer at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, and faculty member of the Biomedical Informatics department. “We hope to take two very successful and smart organizations and do more together in integrating scientific research with a world-class medical organization.”

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