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  Sheikh Zayed Institute at Children’s National Medical Center Celebrates Two Years of Innovation in the Field of Pediatric Care
November 3, 2011

Abu Dhabi: The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Medical Center, on the Sheikh Zayed Campus for Advanced Pediatric Medicine in Washington, DC, recently marked the second anniversary since its founding.

Among the two-year highlights: the Institute opened a state of the art research home located on the top floor of Children’s National; appointed Peter Kim, MD, PhD, as the new Vice President, associate surgeon-in-chief and co-lead of the Institute’s Systems Biology Initiative; and recruited world leaders in bioengineering, pediatric surgical robotics, biomedical imaging, and genetic medicine research, who join the now 60-member team of faculty, scientists, physicians, and bioengineers in expediting the promise of pediatric surgical innovation.

Commenting on the Institute’s anniversary, Dr. Kim said, “Since its inception, the Institute has built incredible collaborations between engineers and doctors that promise to dramatically impact pediatric surgery. Our collaborations - both within Children’s National and with institutions around the world - are already starting to benefit children.”

The Sheikh Zayed Institute was created as a global model for health care innovation in pediatrics, which aims to build an ecosystem where care, education, and research work simultaneously together. The Institute is the first pediatric institution in the world to implement this model of innovation. Research undertaken is already leading to medical breakthroughs in four critical areas: pain management for children with long term pain, immunology, research and development of better pediatric devices, and understanding the genetic footprint of diseases.

Sheikh Zayed Institute doctors also work side by side with other clinical experts from Children’s National to translate research findings into areas of care that have a global impact. The Institute and Children’s National have partnered with the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi to begin discussions of how other regions of the world might start to address shared, global health concerns that Children’s National has experience addressing within the communities of DC, including pediatric asthma, congenital heart disease, obesity, developmental disabilities, and diabetes.

“Illness and disease know no boundaries or borders”, said H.E Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States. “Medical advances require cooperation, partnership, resources, and determination. This new institute has brought together the best minds in the field of pediatric surgery, pain management, and medical research all with a singular focus to initiate breakthroughs and find solutions.”

Moving forward, Children’s National Medical Center and the Sheikh Zayed Institute will continue to build the research and development portfolio to enhance how children are cared for around the world. Research is underway to investigate non-invasive surgical approaches, including a high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), as well as advances in surgical robotics. Another recent development includes the ongoing development of the first ever objective measure of pediatric pain.

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About Children’s National Medical Center
Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, has been serving children since 1870. Home to Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S.News& World Report and the Leapfrog Group. With 283 beds, more than 1,330 nurses, 550 physicians, and seven regional outpatient centers, Children’s National is the only exclusive provider of acute pediatric services in the Washington metropolitan area. Children’s National has been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet® designated hospital, the highest level of recognition for nursing excellence that a medical center can achieve.

Each year, Children’s National provides care for children from more than 20 countries around the world, including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Additionally, Children’s state of the art telemedicine technology allows doctors in Washington, DC, to share information with more than 100 partnership sites in 14 countries, including Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar. In the past year, faculty have traveled to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, India, Germany, Canada, and many other countries to collaborate with local doctors in the treatment of children and exchange best practices and new ideas.

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About the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation
The creation of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation was made possible by a $150 million (AED 355 million) gift from the government of Abu Dhabi, representing a shared vision to significantly and measurably advance medical innovation to create healthier and safer surgical outcomes for children worldwide. The government of Abu Dhabi made the gift in honor of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the United Arab Emirates and the country’s president from 1971 until his death in 2004.

Launched in September 2009, the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Medical Center is redefining what is possible in surgery through innovative, integrated research. The Institute’s physician-scientists apply their expertise in their specialized fields to pursue the common goal to make pediatric surgery more precise, less invasive, and pain-free. By combining research and clinical work in this area, the Institute is developing knowledge, tools, and procedures that will benefit children in the Washington region, across the country, and around the world.