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Major University Donor Approaches HMS-Affiliated Hospital About China Expansion

By Matthew Q. Clarida, Crimson Staff Writer

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is in preliminary discussions with China-based Evergrande Real Estate Group, a major donor to the University, about a potential hospital project in China, a spokesperson for Brigham and Women’s said Tuesday night.

However the spokesperson, Erin McDonough, emphasized that no deal has been struck and that the hospital’s board is simply considering a proposal made by Evergrande. On Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported a statement apparently made by Evergrande which said the project was moving forward, but The Crimson was unable to verify the statement and could not reach Evergrande before press time.

“Brigham and Women's Hospital has a long-standing commitment to global health,” McDonough wrote in an email. “This component of our mission…has resulted in Evergrande's request to explore the possibility of collaborating to develop a similar hospital model in China. We are honored by Evergrande's request and are discussing it with our board.”

In November, Evergrande made a large gift to the University to fund three new research centers, including one focusing on immunology. The donation was accepted at an event in Cambridge in early December attended by University President Drew G. Faust, Provost Alan M. Garber ’76, Evergrande officials, and Elizabeth G. Nabel, president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Still, the donation does not appear to be tied to any University activity in China. Despite its status as a Harvard-affiliated hospital, Brigham and Women’s has its own board of trustees and usually acts independently of the University, a point emphasized by Gina Vild, a spokesperson for Harvard Medical School.

Harvard Medical School and its affiliated hospitals are independently governed,” Vild wrote in an emailed statement on Tuesday night. “As a result, we would not be involved in any discussions between Brigham and Women's Hospital and Evergrande.”

—Staff writer Matthew Q. Clarida can be reached at matthew.clarida@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattClarida.

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