UPMC Whitfield Hospital and WIT Partnership

WIT has engaged extensively over the past year with UPMC Whitfield Hospital, the largest private hospital in the South East. This engagement followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between WIT and UPMC to collaborate on research, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, student job opportunities and other areas, all focused on enhancing innovation and economic growth in the region.

WIT Students now have the opportunity to visit UPMC Whitfield, where they are learning about the application of cutting-edge medical and patient engagement technologies, as well as the wide range of careers available in healthcare in the South East. WIT students from the BSc. (Hons) in Applied Computing and BSc. (Hons) in Health Sciences and nursing programmes also have the chance to obtain work experience either at UPMC Whitfield or another of UPMC’s international facilities.

UPMC Whitfield and WIT staff are partnering on research activities across healthcare, ICT and the life sciences, including partnering on H2020 proposals with WIT’s TSSG (Telecommunications and Software Systems Group) and the School of Health Sciences. Such has been the growth in collaborative activity over the last year that WIT and UPMC are currently exploring the possibility of a dedicated scientific officer to coordinate this activity.

David Beirne, CEO at UPMC Whitfield, said: “We’re delighted with this exciting partnership, which is greatly benefiting students, staff and patients alike. We are working with WIT to bring our real-world medical knowledge to the classroom – and are welcoming students to our facility to demonstrate this expertise in action, while giving them insight into potential future careers. This partnership enhances the reputation of Waterford and the wider South East region.”

As part of the engagement with UPMC, a delegation from the WIT’s research and innovation community recently travelled to the city of Pittsburgh, USA to strengthen the local partnership with UPMC Whitfield and to develop new research, innovation and technology links.  The Vice President of Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies and WIT’s Industry Engagement Manager were invited to visit UPMC headquarters and the University of Pittsburgh as part of a number of planned engagements between the two organisations and to formally mark their recent joint Horizon 2020 research funding successes. The WIT delegation was hosted in the UPMC Hillman Cancer Pavilion by Scott Stevens the Chief Information Officer and Vice President at UPMC and by Dr Robert L. Ferris, Director of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, the Hillman Professor of Oncology and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research at the Tumor Microenvironment Center.  A number of meetings were also hosted by at the UPMC Enterprises in the Bakery Square area of Pittsburgh and the Center for Connected Medicine in UPMC Corporate Headquarters.