UPMC has started construction on its cancer center in Croatia.

UPMC heading to Croatia with opening of new cancer center

January 05, 2024
by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is expanding its European footprint by opening a new cancer center in Croatia.

The Pennsylvania-based healthcare provider, which oversees 80 centers in the U.S. and five in Europe, held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction on the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at Zabok General Hospital, approximately 25 miles from the Croatian capital of Zagreb and near Slovenia. Local and country officials from Croatia and the United States joined UPMC at the ceremony, which included the burying of a time capsule at the site.

"The UPMC Hillman Cancer Center will bring comprehensive cancer care to the people of Croatia and its neighboring countries, providing advanced radiation oncology, medical oncology and PET-CT diagnostics. This addition will bring an entirely new level of access for the region to top-quality cancer diagnostics and treatment," UPMC spokesperson Lisa Lombardo told HCB News.

In its centers of excellence, UPMC also provides advanced, evidence-based treatments and conducts clinical trials in areas such as immunology, drug discovery, and stereotactic radiosurgery.

The project, which was first announced in 2022, has been in the works for approximately five years, with UPMC working alongside Dr. Dragan Primorac, founder and chairman of St. Catherine Specialty Hospital, the largest private hospital in Croatia and a Europan Center of Excellence; the Croatian Health Ministry; and other relevant parties to determine how it can best improve cancer prevention for Croats.

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center also provides care in Ireland (UPMC Ireland). In early 2023, it acquired its fourth hospital there, the Sports Surgery Clinic, in Dublin, which operates alongside UPMC Whitfield in Waterford, UPMC Kildare in Clane, UPMC Aut Even in Kilkenny, and sports medicine, cancer, and outreach facilities across the country.

At UPMC Italy it operates IRCCS ISMETT – UPMC in Palermo, UPMC Salvator Mundi International Hospital and UPMC Hillman Cancer Center San Pietro FBF in Rome; and UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Villa Maria in Mirabella Eclano, which together provide clinical services to people in the Lazio, Campania, and Sicily regions.

Additionally, through its partners, UPMC has expanded its presence into China, with the Wanda UPMC Chengdu Hospital in Sichuan, the Xiangya International Medical Center in Changsha, and a partnership with laboratory company KingMed Diagnostics; and in Kazakhstan, where it is helping Nazarbayev University turn its affiliated University Medical Center into the country’s first fully-integrated academic medical center.

The Croatian UPMC site is scheduled to open in 2025.