The Charles Nathanson Memorial Award for Cross-Border Region Building

Dr. Nicholas Holmes, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Rady Children’s Hospital

Until recently many children with cancer from Baja California went untreated. Through a unique partnership between Rady Children’s Hospital’s International Outreach Program and the Mexico Secretary of Health, a pediatric oncology unit was established at Hospital General-Tijuana, the largest public hospital in northwestern Mexico.    

The program brings best-practice strategies for the treatment of childhood cancers to children across the U.S.-Mexico border by mentoring, addressing infrastructure needs, and training clinicians to provide standardized care. 

The program has dramatically improved clinical outcomes, raising the overall 5-year survival rate from 10% when the program started in 2008 to 62%.  The program has also helped in reducing infection-related mortality from 27% to 2%. Over 700 children have benefited through binational exchanges of resources and expertise.