Monday, August 30, 2010

"Taking the Pain Out of Surgery," The National (UAE)

The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation was prominently featured in the weekly magazine of The National newspaper in the United Arab Emirates. Reporter Sophie Roell spent a lot of time at our hospital and shared her firsthand perspectives on the Institute and the doctors who are working to advance surgery. "No parent wants to see a child in pain – of any kind, ever," Roell writes in her article, "Taking the Pain Out of Surgery." "Harder still is the idea that a child or tiny baby should have to go through surgery, or even multiple surgeries, as a result of an illness or accident."

The article reports on progress made since the Institute was announced in September 2009. Dr. Kurt Newman, senior vice president at the Joseph E. Robert Jr. Center for Surgical Care and the Institute, said, "The vision is with children and their families – how to change radically the outcomes and results of surgery for children....What this institute proposes to do is work backward. If a child were having surgery, what would you like that to look like? What would the optimum outcome be?"

The article describes the innovative equipment and facilities that will enable researchers to discover breakthroughts that will make surgery more precise, less invasive, and pain-free. And those researchers represent some of the brightest minds in pediatric science. "We were stunned how quickly we heard from amazingly talented people,” said Deborah Brown, executive director of the institute. "They heard about the gift and they wanted to come. Within a day – on the day of the announcement -- we had calls from people saying they wanted to come.”

The historic gift of $150 million is enabling Children's National to tackle medical issues that are often underfunded. "The problems that children have are fewer in number, and the diseases are frequently rarer,” said Dr. Newman. "There are not as many doctors working on them, and the work may not be as profitable....It’s a huge deal, a huge bonus, to apply this amount of resources to what could be viewed as a very narrow area of focus. It gives us the opportunity to have a big impact."

And the discoveries made in Washington, D.C., will benefit children around the world, the article says. "Whether it’s new medicines to eliminate pain, or new ways to do surgery, we want to bring the things we learn to Abu Dhabi and elsewhere around the world," Dr. Newman said."

Read the article.