Baylor College of Medicine today announced the first major project of its new Center for Globalization, a plan to partner with a leading health care provider in India in an academic affiliation.

Dr. Paul E. Klotman, BCM president and CEO, signed the memorandum of understanding with Analjit Singh, founder and chair of Max India Group. The MOU provides the framework for the two groups to finalize an academic affiliation between BCM and Max Healthcare.

The BCM Center for Globalization was established by the College in March with support from BCM Trustee Wallace S. Wilson.

Tackling worldwide challenge

"Through the Center for Globalization, Baylor College of Medicine is committed to tackling a worldwide challenge by increasing health care provider capacity around the globe," said Klotman. "We believe by providing our expertise and experiences, as well as learning from others, we can make a difference in changing the delivery of healthcare in our communities, no matter where they are located."

Klotman said the College's history of training health care professionals to meet the needs of local communities has been proven effective and serves as a platform for new programs.

"Whether it is to fill a need in countries of Africa or counties of South Texas, we know the biggest challenge is to train physicians and other health care providers so they can be the catalysts for change in their communities," he said. "Baylor is committed to being a leader, in both practice and knowledge, throughout the world in this effort."

Klotman said the expansion to India is a major step toward BCM's goals.

Ideal academic affiliate

"Max Healthcare will make an ideal academic affiliate for Baylor College of Medicine," he said. "We share a vision of providing the best education possible for physicians and other health care providers, a safe and effective research enterprise and the highest level of care available to patients."

Max India is a multi-business enterprise with a consolidated turnover of over $1.7 billion, with interest in businesses such as insurance and healthcare. Max Healthcare is the country's leading comprehensive provider of standardized, seamless and international-class healthcare services. It is committed to the highest standards of medical and service excellence, patient care, scientific and medical education.

Partnering with best in world

"Max India Group has had a philosophy of partnering with the best institutions in the world," said Singh. "Our affiliation with Baylor College of Medicine is a reflection of this approach. Together, we aim to bridge not just the shortage of healthcare professionals in India, but also redefine health science education standards."

Specifics of the operational affiliation agreement between BCM and Max Healthcare will be determined over the next several months.

Dr. Pervez Ahmed, managing director of Max Healthcare, is enthusiastic about the potential of the partnership.

"Through this partnership we aim to develop, implement and enhance international class services in the areas of medical, nursing and other related streams of education, clinical practice and research that address the Indian healthcare needs. We value Baylor's expertise in faculty development, models of integrated curriculum, pedagogical methods and use of technology in education."

Expanding BCM global platform

Dr. Navneet Kathuria, who serves as the interim director of BCM's Center for Globalization, is overseeing the College's effort to expand its global platform. His discussions with Max Healthcare about possible collaborations began more than four years ago, while he was on faculty at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Kathuria joined the BCM leadership team in the fall as chief performance improvement officer and is working with both a board of trustees and a faculty committee focused on globalization. Candidates for director of the new Center currently are being interviewed.

"Baylor College of Medicine has a tradition of being a leader in global medicine," Kathuria said. "Our existing programs serve as a platform to transform the globalization of academic medicine for the 21st Century at BCM."

The Center serves as an umbrella for all of the College's international programs. BCM is recognized for its global efforts, which include providing care to children with HIV/AIDS and training health care workers in Africa, helping the University of Botswana establish a medical school, and increasing physician capacity in the Rio Grande Valley through a program with The University of Texas – Pan American. BCM has academic partnerships in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe and research programs in 33 countries.