Pacific Health Summit Launches in Seattle in 2005

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, The National Bureau of Asian Research, and GE Healthcare confirms lead sponsorship; APEC and The National Cancer Institute anchor long-term support for multi-year event

SEATTLE — Dec. 16, 2004 — The first-ever gathering of the best minds in science, policy, medical practice, research and public health from around the Pacific Rim, was announced today in Seattle by its founding organizations, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and The National Bureau of Asian Research. The Pacific Health Summit will be a series of annual meetings attended by leaders in healthcare, research, government and industry from countries surrounding the Pacific Rim. The Summit will create new paradigms in global healthcare policy and emphasize collaboration in meeting the challenges of global disease according to remarks made by keynote speakers William H. Gates, Sr. and George F. Russell, Jr.

The inaugural Summit will be held in Seattle this coming June and will be followed by similar meetings in 2006 and 2007, a summit in Beijing in conjunction with the 2008 Olympic Games, and beyond.

"The Pacific Health Summit will examine the issues facing global health care and develop realistic policy solutions that will impact how disease is detected and treated worldwide," said Dr. Lee Hartwell, Nobel Laureate and the director of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "Our goal is to launch a collaborative dialogue on healthcare policy that emphasizes international teamwork on research, technology and treatment."

The Summit is breaking new ground by convening thought-leaders from China, Japan, Korea, Canada, the United States and other Pacific Rim countries. It is supported by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum and sponsored by leading international organizations and companies including the National Cancer Institute. GE Healthcare is the lead sponsor for the Summit and other major multinational corporations including Intel and Coca-Cola are providing major multi-year sponsorships.

"These meetings will be collaborative sessions where representatives from each country can share knowledge on healthcare and work on new approaches to detecting and treating disease," said Michael Birt, Director of the Center for Health and Aging at The National Bureau of Asian Research and Executive Director of the Summit. "Attendees leaving the 2005 Seattle Summit will have a full understanding of healthcare issues facing Pacific Rim countries and return home ready to guide new healthcare policies."

The 2005 Summit will take place on June 8-11 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle. It will have the theme of "Science Innovation and the Future of Health: Building Partnerships to Transform Healthcare." Gates and Russell co-chair the Senior Advisory Committee and are joined on the committee by Christopher Elias, Gary Locke, Leonard Peters, Herman Sarkowsky and Frank Shrontz.

Hartwell co-chairs the Steering Committee along with Birt. The Steering Committee includes Alfred Berg, M.D., Leroy Hood, M.D., Gary Kaplan, M.D., Richard Klausner, M.D., David Lawrence M.D., and Scott Ramsey, M.D.

"We can no longer solve the threat of disease by working in regional or local silos," said Hartwell. "We must collaborate across borders and implement strategies across the globe. These Summits are the first steps in a joint education on how we can be stronger and work better."

The 2005 Summit is by invitation only. Seed funding was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Russell Family Foundation. Sponsorship for the multi-year summit is provided by GE Healthcare, Intel, Coca-Cola, the National Cancer Institute and Affymetrix. The Summit is closely linked with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) and coordinated with the United States Olympic Committee's "Pacific Rim Sports Summit: The Road to Beijing" — a major athletic and cultural festival directed by the Seattle Organizing Committee.

For more information about the Pacific Health Summit, please visit

Media Contacts
Dean Forbes
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
(206) 667-2896

Lilah Ostmann
(206) 268-2261

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of three Nobel laureates, is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical technology to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. Recognized internationally for its pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation, the center's four scientific divisions collaborate to form a unique environment for conducting basic and applied science. Fred Hutchinson, in collaboration with its clinical and research partners, UW Medicine and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest and is one of 40 nationwide. For more information, visit the center's website at