• 8/8/2011
    Doha, August 8, 2011: In the presence of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, regional and international healthcare leaders and experts gathered in Doha tonight to mark a formal commitment by HMC, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) and their partners to bringing the very best of international health care practices to Qatar through the establishment of an Academic Health System.

    During a partnership signing ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton, HMC and its partners – WCMC-Q, University of Calgary Qatar (UCQ), Primary Health Care (PHC), Qatar University (QU), Sidra Medical and Research Center and College of the North Atlantic -Qatar (CNAQ) – pledged their commitment to further developing high quality patient care and a healthy population through academic excellence and pioneering research.

    Academic Health Systems (AHS) are partnerships between leading learning and research institutions and healthcare providers. They are recognized internationally as a model for pioneering research and medical discoveries and for making them available to patients. They are synonymous around the world with academic excellence and delivery of the highest quality patient care. The AHS launched tonight in Qatar is the first of its kind in the region.

    “We have together developed a strategy which will transform HMC and its partners into an academic health system capable of delivering the highest quality of care for our patients,” HMC Managing Director Hanan al Kuwari PhD said today. “As all of the academic and healthcare providers will be brought together into a single partnership working towards a shared vision and strategic plan, educational programs will also be aligned with workforce and training needs.

    “Guided and advised by an international advisory board comprising world experts in their fields, the initiative will also enable the development of world class research in specific areas, by building critical mass and facilitating the sharing of expertise and equipment. This is all working toward one end – providing the highest quality care for our patients.

    ”The AHS we develop here in Qatar will be one that specifically targets and addresses the nation’s unique healthcare needs and challenges and we will assess progress against key performance indicators .”

    A joint steering committee co-chaired by Dr. Hanan and Dr Javiad Sheikh, Dean of WCMC-Q and with membership from UCQ, QU, CNAQ, Sidra, PHC and HMC has been meeting regularly to develop a common vision, mission and guiding principles. The plans build joint infrastructures in clinical care, research, education, community engagement, human resources development and information systems.

    “The introduction of an AHS should make it attractive for our medical graduates to come back to Qatar to join us in creating new knowledge, using it for improving the healthcare and wellbeing of our citizens, and disseminating that knowledge to future generations of students,” Dr. Sheikh said. “The AHS will provide unique opportunities for inter-professional education and contribute significantly to building a skilled biomedical workforce for Qatar. This should also accelerate our pace for discoveries and developing novel therapeutic strategies.”

    Keynote speaker at tonight’s launch was healthcare leader and expert in developing and implementing Academic Health Systems, Dr. Victor Dzau, Chancellor of Health Affairs at Duke University and President and CEO of Duke University Medical Center in the United States.

    Dr. Dzau said Academic Medicine will “encourage innovation, a drive for new knowledge, research that generates evidence for clinical care and environments that produce breakthroughs in care”.

    “Even though your AHS is in many ways a physical entity literally based in Qatar; functionally, there are no boundaries. In today’s world where medicine is becoming increasingly complex on a daily basis, AHSs must form local and global partnerships in order to continuously evolve and uphold the academic medicine missions. Partnerships provide fresh perspectives, profound expertise, and new opportunities,” Dr. Dzau said.