ISMETT Governance Change Marks Milestone in Italy

By: Wendy Zellner and Simona Abbro

ISMETT Governance Change Marks Milestone in ItalyIn a change that is expected to accelerate the translation of medical research into better patient care, UPMC-managed ISMETT now counts the Ri.MED Foundation as part of its governance structure. The foundation joins UPMC Italy and Civico Hospital as ISMETT shareholders, meaning closer coordination between Ri.MED’s research agenda and the highly specialized care provided at one of Italy’s leading transplant hospitals.

Established in 2006 by the Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministers, the Ri.MED Foundation is an international partnership among the Italian government, the Region of Sicily, the Italian National Research Council, the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. Based in Palermo, Sicily, the foundation aims to promote, support and conduct biomedical research, with an emphasis on translating those discoveries into improved patient outcomes and a growing biomedical industry for the region.

With funding from the Italian government, Ri.MED is leading the construction of the Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center in Carini, Sicily, where about 600 researchers are expected to work when the facility opens in 2021. Construction is likely to begin at the end of this year.

“The integration established with the new agreement sets out an ambitious project not just for southern Italy but for the entire country,” said Laura Raimondo, managing director of UPMC Italy. “Working together, ISMETT and Ri.MED aim to become a key pillar of Italian and European research.”

“The ISMETT-Ri.MED integration is an important milestone in the progression of relations between UPMC and the governments of Sicily and Italy,” added Dr. Bruno Gridelli, executive vice president of UPMC International and vice president of the Ri.MED Foundation. “It further strengthens UPMC’s ability to reproduce its model of innovation and excellence in health care delivery and research, tailoring it to the Italian environment.”

The first Italian hospital specifically dedicated to organ transplantation and high specialty therapies, ISMETT treats more than 30,000 patients a year with severe organ disease. In 2014, the Ministry of Health designated ISMETT as a government-approved research hospital, or Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS). The acknowledgement rewards ISMETT for its excellence in research, training, quality of care and management of health services.