St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will invest $11.5 billion over the next six years to accelerate research, grow its staff and boost capacity, the organization announced Tuesday.
The Memphis, Tenn.-based hospital will expand patient care and research related to pediatric cancer, blood disorders, neurological diseases and infectious diseases. It plans to add 1,400 jobs, extend its global outreach and spend $1.9 billion on new construction and renovations.
While about 80% of around 16,000 pediatric patients diagnosed with cancer every year in the U.S. survive, only 20% of the 400,000 diagnosed across the globe survive, St. Jude CEO Dr. James Downing said. Part of that stems from the inconsistent and low-quality global drug supply chain, he said, adding that the hospital is working with the United Nations and World Health Organization to bolster that infrastructure.
"We want to change the outlook for children with cancer across the globe," Downing told Modern Healthcare. "Our goal is to build a self-sustaining network that will help patients get excellent cancer care irrespective of where they live."
St. Jude is also working with seven international regions to develop their respective training protocol and capacity to treat catastrophic pediatric diseases, he said.
St. Jude will hire nearly 70 new faculty members, plus supporting laboratory staff, to work in basic, translational and clinical research across 22 departments. It earmarked more than $3.7 billion to expedite testing of new therapies, expand clinical trials and grow immunotherapy, $1.1 billion for work in nonmalignant, infectious and neurological diseases, $470 million to expand global access to pediatric care, and $250 million for new technology like a cryo-electron tomography center.
The $1.3 billion in new construction and renovations will include a family housing facility, a quality of life space with patient family services from school to tech support as well as new outpatient, clinical office and administrative buildings and parking garages.
St. Jude is creating a new center for pediatric infectious disease research, which stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will help them better understand the epidemiology of emerging viruses, antibiotic resistance, sepsis and other diseases, Downing said.
"Hopefully it will put the world in a better position to handle future pandemics," he said, noting a need to improve public health measures, communication strategies, contact tracing, vaccine distribution as well as form cohesive policy.
St. Jude reported $504.5 million revenue over expenses on total revenue and donations of $2.21 billion in 2020, down from $757.5 million revenue over expenses on total revenue and donations of $2.33 billion in 2019. Philanthropic contributions increased by about 4% from 2019 to 2020.