Monday, July 19, 2010

An "Oasis of Care": Dr. Finkel and Dr. Safdar Visit Tawam Hospital

I was fortunate to be able to join Dr. Julie Finkel and Dr. Nabile Safdar for a visit to Tawam Hospital in Al Ain, an hour and a half drive from the capital, near the border of Oman. The hospital, which opened in 1979, is called "an oasis of care" -- fitting, because Al Ain's greenery and seven oases have earned the city the name "the Garden City." Al Ain is also the birthplace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for whom the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children's National Medical Center is named.

We were pleased to be joined by a Children's National colleague we had not met before -- Issam Ramadan, who is the director of our Abu Dhabi office. It was helpful to have someone who speaks Arabic, but everyone at the hospital was warm and welcoming, and language was not a barrier.

We discussed the work at the Sheikh Zayed Institute and priority health needs in Abu Dhabi with about a dozen of the hospital's top physicians. One of them, Dr. Mohamed A. Hamdan, the head of pediatric cardiology, has been appointed to the Institute's Scientific Advisory Committee. Another, Dr. Fares Chedid, senior consultant neonatologist, has joined the Institute's Research Advisory Committee. We also took a tour of the hospital, including the pediatric units.

Dr. Aiman Al Rahmani, chairman of pediatrics at Tawan Hospital, talks with Dr. Safdar and Dr. Finkel:

Dr. Safdar and Dr. Finkel with Dr. Hamdan and Dr. Chedid: