Collaborations in medicine — forged between providers, between researchers, or with patients themselves, among others — are a key factor in providing better women’s health. That’s why the Johns Hopkins Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics is excited to announce a new collaboration with Allegheny Health Network (AHN), a 13-hospital system with facilities located in Western Pennsylvania, says department director Andrew Satin.
This new joint research platform between Johns Hopkins and AHN will have numerous benefits, and the goal is for thousands of patients to participate each year, he explains.
“We’re creating a community of collaborators who are operationally integrated and programmatically focused on raising the standards of excellence in patient care, research and education to benefit women of all ages and stages of life,” Satin says.
Women’s health care providers within AHN have long referred patients to Johns Hopkins for rare and complex quaternary services, such as gynecological oncology, fetal surgery and fertility preservation. Having a formalized relationship will help ease the pathway for these referrals, says Satin, as well as for second opinions within subspecialties.
Patients within AHN will also have easier access to clinical trials through Johns Hopkins, giving them the chance to participate in clinical trials testing new therapies. Working together on collaborative research may include future studies that pool data from their tens of thousands of deliveries and gynecological surgeries and hundreds of thousands of ambulatory visits annually to better answer tough questions in gynecological research — findings that have the potential to change practice beyond the two health systems.
“Outside of national multicenter collaborative networks sponsored by the government, our new partnership will create one of the largest women’s health research opportunities in the country,” Satin says.
Providers within the participating institutions will have access to interdisciplinary care conferences, allowing experts to regularly learn from each other about best practices and the latest research. The collaboration will also spur other learning opportunities between Johns Hopkins and AHN at all levels, from faculty to trainees, Satin says.“This is collectively expanding all our resources to do what both systems do best: advancing discovery and innovation in terms of patient care and expanding our education platforms to train a new generation of leaders in our field,” Satin says. “We truly see this as a win-win for both systems and all of our patients.”