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  Doctors from Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation Travel to Abu Dhabi to Report on Progress in Surgery Research
July 28, 2010

Meetings Explore Further Partnerships to Advance Pediatric Health Care in United Arab Emirates through Clinical Care and Education

Dr. Ali Al Ali, director of health regulation at the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD); James W. Lintott, chairman of the board at Children's National Medical Center; His Excellency Zaid Al Siksek, CEO of HAAD; and Dr. Kurt Newman, surgeon-in-chief and senior vice president at the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children's National.

Dr. Ali Al Ali, director of health regulation at the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD); James W. Lintott, chairman of the board at Children's National Medial Center; His Excellency Zaid Al Siksek, CEO of HAAD; and Dr. Kurt Newman, surgeon-in-chief and senior vice president at the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children's National.

Washington, DC – James W. Lintott, chairman of the board at Children’s National Medical Center, and five doctors from the from the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation traveled to Abu Dhabi July 18-22 to report on the Institute’s progress and explore opportunities to extend the relationship through clinical care, education, and public-private partnerships. The Sheikh Zayed Institute at Children’s National was created in September 2009 through a gift of $150 million from the Government of Abu Dhabi.

“The doctors and government officials we met with showed a true desire to improve the health of children and families throughout the United Arab Emirates,” said Dr. Kurt Newman, surgeon-in-chief and senior vice president for the Sheikh Zayed Institute. “The goal of the Institute is to develop knowledge, tools, and procedures that can make surgery more precise, less invasive, and pain-free. That’s a vision we all can embrace, and we are confident that research at the Sheikh Zayed Institute will benefit children in both our countries and around the world.”

On the final day of the visit, Dr. Newman and Pam King Sams, executive vice president for development and chief operating officer for the Children’s Hospital Foundation, had the honor of having an audience with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. They expressed their gratitude for the historic gift, presented gifts from patients at Children’s National, described the impact the gift is already making, and reported on discussions about extending the partnership between Abu Dhabi and Children’s National.

Throughout the week, the doctors discussed health issues with officials and doctors at the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Tawam Hospital, and other organizations. The trip also included the inaugural meeting of the Executive Oversight Committee, which includes members from both Abu Dhabi and Washington, D.C. The meeting was held by videoconference, linking officials in both locations.

Lintott said the trip demonstrated the shared values of officials, doctors, and families in the United States and the United Arab Emirates. “The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation was created to benefit children worldwide, with no geographic boundaries. Our meetings helped solidify our partnership, and we look forward to extending it even further.”

Members of the delegation from Children’s National included:

  • Dr. Kurt Newman, Surgeon-in-Chief and Senior Vice President, Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation and the Joseph E. Robert Jr. Center for Surgical Care
  • Dr. Julia Finkel, Principal Investigator, Pain Medicine, Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation
  • Dr. Zena Quezado, Principal Investigator, Pain Medicine, Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation
  • Dr. Raymond Sze, Principal Investigator, Bioengineering, Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation
  • Dr. Nabile Safdar, Principal Investigator, Bioengineering, Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation
  • Pam King Sams, Executive Vice President for Development and Chief Operating Officer, Children’s Hospital Foundation
  • Miriam Markowitz, Corporate Vice President, Strategic Planning and Business Development
Progress since the launch of the Institute includes:
  • Recruitment of world-class surgeons and researchers in the areas of pain medicine, bioengineering, immunology, and systems biology.
  • Completion of a facilities plan for 20,000 square feet of innovative research space, with an expected completion date of spring 2011.
  • Launch of an international search for a vice president to oversee the Institute.
“Over the past year, it’s been exciting to see the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation go from a concept to reality,” Dr. Newman said. “We are hiring some of the world’s leading scientists and are creating innovative facilities designed to support collaboration. We are on our way to making discoveries that will directly improve surgery for children worldwide.”

For more information:

Contact Mark Miller, 301-565-8500, mrmiller@childrensnational.org

About Children's National Medical Center
Children’s National Medical Center, located in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children for 140 years. Home to Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is consistently ranked among the best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. Children’s National is a Magnet® designated hospital, the highest level of recognition for nursing excellence that a medical center can achieve. For more information, visit www.ChildrensNational.org.

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