The Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL) is the result of a tripartite agreement between the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH) in Memphis, Tennessee, USA; the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), and the CCCL foundation.
Danny Thomas never lost touch with his Lebanese roots. In fact, twice, in 1962 and 1974, he made trips to Lebanon. In his autobiography “Make Room for Danny” he describes his first trip to Lebanon.
"We drove those fifty miles up into the breathtaking mountains. I choked up when we finally got to Becheri. There were ten thousand people - probably the entire population of the village - crowded into the square in front of St. Saba's Church. There were signs everywhere, both in Arabic and English: "Becheri Welcomes Her Son.”
I was taken on a tour of the village, which was made up of stone houses hundreds of years old. I saw the houses where my mother and father had been born. Looking at the rocky slopes, I could see how tough life must have been for them. Wherever we went, cousins came up to me, identifying themselves as either Keyrouz (my father's family) or Touck (my mother's). Their warmth was overwhelming. But I guess it's the same when any immigrant's child returns to the old country."
Danny Thomas had the dream to build a cancer treatment center in Lebanon. But he could not do it due to the war in Lebanon. Danny's family and St. Jude/AlSAC carried on with his dream.
On April 19, 2000 a tripartite agreement was reached between St. Jude, AUBMC, and CCCL with the objective of cooperating for the establishing of an in-patient/out-patient unit for the treatment of cancer in Children (Clinic). The Clinic would be the exclusive provider of pediatric oncology care and treatment at AUB and the establishment of the clinic would be in accordance with the applicable policies, rules and regulations of AUB.
On April 19, 2000, a Tripartite Agreement was entered into among three Partners: The American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), The Children Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL) and St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A (SJCRH), for an in-patient / out-patient unit for the treatment of children with cancer.
The general bases of the cooperation are:
- AUBMC shall have primary responsibility for the medical operations of the clinic.
- AUBMC shall appoint with the concurrence of St. Jude the Medical; Director for the Clinic.
- AUBMC will provide physician and non-physician personnel necessary to staff the Clinic and all personnel will be the employees of AUBMC.
- The budget for the clinic will be established by AUB annually in advance with the concurrence of CCCL and St.Jude.
- The affairs of the Clinic will be directed by the Medical Director who will have the ultimate responsibility for daily activities of the Clinic including accepting patients, selecting staff, purchasing equipment and budget preparation.
- AUBMC will be reimbursed for the direct cost of the operation of the Clinic. AUBMC will neither subsidize the Clinic nor receive reimbursement in excess of its cost.
- The by-laws of CCCL are that its purpose is to raise money to support the work of St.Jude in Lebanon.
- In conjunction with St. Jude, CCCL must approve all budgets of the clinic.
- CCCL will provide all funds necessary for the operation of the clinic.
- Will provide funding to be administered by CCCL in support of the Clinic research activities, with such amount to be negotiated annually with CCCL.
- St. Jude shall provide medical training and education to the Clinic staff as well as fundraising training to CCCL
- St. Jude shall assist the clinic in developing treatment protocols specific to the needs of its patients and shall provide on-going medical education, consultation and advice.
In April 2002, CCCL opened its doors with the objective of treating 50 children per year. Today, we treat approximately 70 patients a year and we touch all children with cancer in Lebanon through initial diagnosis, supervising the treatment of some patients in other institutions or full treatment of some in CCCL.
The Tripartite Agreement has now become a Quadripartite Agreement, as the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC) the funding arm of St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital has joined in.
This new agreement was signed on Monday September 12, 2011, for a renewed step towards excellence in providing services to the community in Lebanon and the region. The new quadripartite agreement lies within the CCCL’s vision which is to provide access to free treatment and care to all children with cancer in Lebanon and the region, without any discrimination. CCCL covers all costs of care beyond those reimbursable by third party payments, and total costs when no insurance is available.
St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital (SJCRH) and the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) will closely monitor the medical operations at the CCCL, promoting the medical facilities to the highest standards, aligned to those of AUBMC and St. Jude’s. The Children Cancer Center of Lebanon Foundation shall develop a fundraising strategy, to ensure the attainment of additional funds, responding to the ever increasing cost of treatment and number of patients.
From a yearly budget of 2.5 million USD in 2002 to a budget of 12 million USD in 2011, the partners are closely following the development of the center and their collaboration and involvement is giving the Center’s staff the will and determination to give their best and elevate CCCL to even higher standards.
AUBMC and CCCL are focusing on the values necessary to fulfill their vision of maintaining CCCL as a state of art center for cancer treatment and a reference hub for Lebanon and the region.