On the transformation of the “University Medical Center” Corporate Fund into the Academic Medical Center.
According to the strategic goal of the
Nazarbayev University, UMC is
part of the Nazarbayev University Integrated Academic Health System (NU
Medicine), the purpose of which is to promote healthcare in Kazakhstan
through the integration of clinical, educational and research activities.
In fulfillment of UMC’s Strategic and Operational Plans for 2019-2023,
and guided by the recommendations of its strategic partner, the University of
Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), the transformation of UMC into an Academic
Medical Center is underway.
The creation of the Academic Medical Center is intended to make UMC a
center of excellence, developing a patient-centered system of care with synergy
between research, education, and clinical activities.
The National Research Center for Maternal and Child Health and the
Republican Diagnostic Center are combined into a single UMC clinical base,
including an inpatient and outpatient departments.
Since January 1, 2021, all clinical units of UMC are based on the principles of the Clinical Academic
Department, combining inpatient and outpatient care by profile Clinical
academic departments function on the basis of the trinity, performing both
innovative clinical tasks, educational programs, and implementing scientific
The mechanism of “dual
appointment” of employees of UMC, Nazarbayev University and its
subsidiaries (both at the level of management, and in clinical, educational and
scientific activities) is also applied to intensify the processes of
integration. For example, NUSOM associate professors are involved in leading
positions in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, clinical laboratory
diagnostics and pathology.
In total, UMC has established and operates 7 clinical academic
1) Department of Pediatrics; director – Dimitri Poddighe (Associate
Professor of NUSOM);
2) Department of Women’s Health; director – Bapayeva G.B., doctor of
medical sciences, doctor of the highest category in the specialty
“Obstetrics and Gynecology” (UMC specialist);
3) Department of Laboratory Medicine, Pathology and Genetics; director –
Matthew Tanko (Associate Professor of NUSOM);
4) Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care; director – Ibrayev
T.Y., doctor of the highest category in the specialty “Anesthesiology and
5) Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine; director – Dautov T.B.,
doctor of medical sciences, doctor of the highest category in the specialty
6) Department of Internal Medicine; director – Nabiyev A. N., candidate
of medical sciences, doctor of the highest qualification category in the
specialty “Public health”;
7) Department of Surgery; Director – Djenalayev D.B., doctor of medical
sciences, doctor of the highest category in the specialty “Pediatric
The CADs are designed to ensure the integration processes of clinical,
educational and scientific activities in the CAD. The structural functional
unit in the CAD is the divisions – “programs”, created in the areas
of clinical activity of the CAD. The program manager will ensure the
implementation of measures aimed at integrating the clinic, education and
Accordingly, UMC staff are involved in the clinical education of NUSOM
medical students and collaborative clinical and scientific research.
UMC is a platform for conducting joint research projects and clinical
trials with NUSOM and NU. By consolidating clinical trial capabilities, a joint
NUSOM / UMC unit has been established, and a website under the umbrella of the
Virtual Center for Translational Research has been created.
The UMC nursing service has been centralized, with nursing staff from
physician-run departments allocated to an independent service. Processes have
been initiated to transfer to the Nursing Service the functions of managing the
clinical base of the UMC, as well as the physician functions to the nurses.
On the basis of NUSOM, various capacity-building programs for UMC
nursing staff are regularly implemented. For example, a 5-month Professional
Development Program (PDP) has been offered since 2016 and an accelerated 2-year
Bachelor of Applied Nursing program for UMC nurses since 2017.
UMC is a unique platform for the development of scientific
and educational potential of Kazakhstan. Thus, UMC trains students of NUSOM, residents of NUSOM
programs (3 specialties), as well as national residency programs (11
In addition, educational programs of advanced training for specialists
of regional medical organizations, including nurses, are implemented, in which
more than 1,000 specialists are trained annually. Master classes are held involving leading
specialists from foreign universities and clinics.
In general, the
creation of an integrated academic health care system at Nazarbayev University
will contribute to
training of highly specialized competitive
health care personnel through the introduction of advanced educational
clinical activity based on international standards of quality and patient
development of research
potential in health care.
In the future, the transfer of the acquired experience to other medical organizations of the country will significantly improve the quality of training of medical personnel and increase the competitiveness of medicine in Kazakhstan at the international level.
UMC collaboration with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Since 2018, the “Nazarbayev University” Autonomous organization of
education (hereinafter referred to as the University), together with University
of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), began cooperation on the transformation of
“University Medical Center” Corporate Fund (UMC) into the Academic Medical
UPMC is one of the leading Academic Medical Centers in the USA and its
development experience will certainly be very useful for creating such a center
at the University based on UMC.
In the United States, as the competitiveness of the national and global
economies increases, the emphasis in the field of healthcare is shifting more
and more towards public health and economically viable treatment. These changes
have led to the transformation of the healthcare model from a fragmented into a
systemic, aimed at a coordinated, value-oriented model.
The Academic Medical Center (AMC) is a solution for all components of the
value system in the field of healthcare, namely: high quality, positive
treatment results, reduced costs and improved access to medical care. AMC is
characterized as an institution that performs the threefold task of training,
research and medical work. AMC includes one or several academic clinics and a
school of medicine and is a center for training medical students and medical
training for residents, undergraduates, and doctoral students. In addition, in
order to improve medical care, AMC receives patients from the hospital system
for conducting scientific and / or commercial studies in humans in compliance
with the strictest international ethical rules.
At AMC, the scope of services where the patient can receive various
directions within the hospital throughout the course of treatment is expanding.
Moreover, representatives of numerous multidisciplinary groups, taking into
account the results of the most relevant studies, thereby reducing the
discrepancies in the clinical practice of various medical institutions and
individual doctors, as well as developing treatment algorithms based on data
analysis and the achievements of evidence-based medicine, make decisions. Due
to the fact that medical education and training are an integral part of AMC
services, a culture of continuous education and research is being formed, which
creates a favorable atmosphere for innovation and progress.
The advantages of the AMC model are also convincing from the point of
view of the healthcare system. Resources that are more powerful provide the
opportunity for diversified development and elimination of the risk associated
with dependence on a small number of services offered. The larger scale of the
system will help to reduce costs in the procurement of supplies, technologies
and services of suppliers. AMC provides an opportunity to solve many of the
existing health problems in advance.
In 2018, specialists from the University, UMC and UPMC worked on a new
UMC Strategic plan for the period 2019-2023, a draft for roadmap
implementation, discussed the creation of clinical academic departments,
preparation of residency programs in basic clinical specialties (therapy,
surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics), improving the activities of
the nursing service.
In 2019 UPMC has collaborates with the University
and UMC in improving and strengthening the corporate governance system,
including the development and updating of corporate governance policies, in the
implementation of a new organizational structure for UMC, which centralizes
certain functions to optimize cost reduction and increase efficiency. With the
support of UPMC, quality improvement and standardization of the UMC personnel
management function are planned. UPMC will also develop a financial strategy
for UMC, which will allow it to become a financially sustainable organization.
In 2020, due
to the epidemiological situation in the country and in the world regarding the
coronavirus COVID-19 and the measures taken by the Government of the Republic
of Kazakhstan to contain the spread of infection, cooperation with UPMC was
carried out in an online format.
for the development of UMC Clinical Academic Departments continued. UPMC has
identified mentors with qualifications corresponding to the directors of the
Clinical Academic Departments of Pediatrics and Women’s Health. Virtual forums
were held between UPMC topic experts and UMC colleagues;
• an assessment was made of UMC’s readiness for
co-management and co-branding. UPMC developed a vision for future co-management
with UMC based on UMC’s self-assessment and identified initial recommendations
and priorities for co-management and co-branding.
Cooperation with UPMC in order to transform UMC into an academic medical center, close to the best world standards, will continue after the lifting of all restrictive measures.