Twenty-five years ago a seed of an idea was born – to create in China a healthcare platform that would combine best practices from around the world, to provide truly patient centered care. Twenty years ago the first United Family Hospital began serving patients in Beijing, with a passion born of the hope to make an impact, not only on the patients we serve directly, but to also have some influence on the thinking around healthcare reform in the most populous country in the world.
This August United Family celebrated our 20th year of operations. At our Anniversary Gala we were able to look back at 20 years of caring for patients, by keeping them healthy through appropriate screening and prevention, curing illness and alleviating suffering. We also proudly reviewed how our innovative practices attracted the attention of policy makers, and reflected on ways in which we continue to see concepts promoted by United Family echoed in today’s reforms.
In these 20 years we have built a business that has brought rewards not only to our patients but also to our staff, now totaling 2700, as well as to our investors. As employers, we were ranked number one by Ding Xiang Yuan and Mckenzie as the “Best Employer” in the Private Healthcare Category. Our brand has been granted numerous awards for its value.
There are those who say that we have not only created a business – but also gave a start to an industry. We are happy that others have seen our success and are endeavoring to emulate the high-quality care and service that has become synonymous with United Family. Although this could also be seen as competition, our commitment to our core values as expressed in our culture of Innovation, Caring, Accountability, Respect, and Pursuit of Excellence; continues to secure our industry leadership position. Our continued commitment to safety and quality was once again memorialized this year by our sixth JCI reaccreditation.
2017 has been not only a year of reflection, but also a year of continued innovation and building toward the future. In 2017 we opened new clinics in Shanghai and Nanjing. We developed new service lines in all of our hospitals and introduced innovative surgeries. For example, we added Scarless Thyroidectomy to our da Vinci Robotic surgeries which already include Urological, Gynecological, and Hepatic, Colorectal, and Thoracic procedures – all of which minimize bleeding and greatly shorten recovery time for our patients.
We have further added to our concept of complete life cycle care by expanding our Postpartum Rehabilitation (PPR) program from Beijing to Qingdao, with plans to start PPR services in Shanghai and Guangzhou in 2018. We have also signed an agreement to work with the China Maternal Child Health Association to set the standards for PPR in China, as a professional and scientific approach to the traditional concept of Yuezi.
During this year we also made great progress on the building of four new United Family Hospitals located in Guangzhou, Shanghai Pudong and Puxi, and Beijing, all of which will open in 2018.
Our foundation – the United Foundation for China’s Health, continued to serve our communities’ less fortunate patients, including orphans, migrant families and homeless people, with the same quality and passion afforded to our paying patients. Our Wheels for Life mobile clinic, in addition to continuing to carry this care to our partner Welfare Homes in the vicinity of Beijing – this summer embarked on a new program of Cancer Screening and Prevention when we drove 5000 km to Ningxia where we screened 1274 women for Cervical and Breast Cancer. The innovation in this program allowed us to immediately perform curative procedures on women who screened positively for HPV related disease.
The work of our foundation was recognized by Amcham and Britcham with its 2017 CSR Award. This work will now enter a new phase of development thanks to recognition given by the Civil Affairs Ministry which has invited us to register as a foundation with official status in China.
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to every person in our team, from doctors to nurses, to front line and back office staff, and to our corporate team, as well. Our service to our patients and to society is possible through your daily efforts. Our success would not be possible as a simple product of our collective labor – but is only possible because we have not forgotten the passion of our founding. It is through this passion that we will continue to be the standard setting, industry thought leaders for high end healthcare in China.
With this, I wish you and your families a peaceful, happy, and healthy 2018 and continued fulfillment from your commitment to our great endeavor.