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Corniche Hospital welcomes new chief operating officer

Corniche Hospital welcomes new chief operating officer

Bassam Sayad

Bassam Sayad

Abu Dhabi, UAE (June 21, 2011) – Corniche Hospital has appointed Bassam Sayad, M.B.A., M.T. (ASCP), to be its new chief operating officer. Mr. Sayad has more than 20 years of health care leadership experience, including service as managing director of Middle East and North Africa activities at Johns Hopkins Medicine International in Baltimore, USA.

While at Hopkins, Sayad spent nearly a decade in operations and management positions, including manager and director of operations in the clinical laboratory, customer service manager, and technical and operations consultant for international projects in the UAE and Malaysia. He also served as a faculty associate at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, contributing to the education of future health care leaders in the areas of health care and hospital management and strategy development.

The 235-bed Corniche Hospital, located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, UAE, is a Joint Commission International-accredited health care facility, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine International. As the leading maternity hospital in the Emirates, Corniche handles more than 12,000 births and cares for 216,000 outpatient visits a year.

“We are honored to have Mr. Sayad as part of our team. During his previous role in Johns Hopkins Medicine International in Baltimore, he demonstrated sound and consistent leadership, a strong work ethic and excellent interpersonal skills,” says Ron Lavater, chief executive officer of Corniche Hospital. “His experience in policy and program development will be especially valuable to our Women’s Health Center and supporting service operations. We are privileged to have him as part of our team on the ground in Abu Dhabi and look forward to strengthening our relationship with Johns Hopkins through this appointment.” 

Sayad has worked with health care executives from the UAE, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Turkey, and other nations and has been closely involved with Corniche Hospital since the signing of the Johns Hopkins management agreement with SEHA, including direct support of the hospital’s most recent accreditation by Joint Commission International. 

“Bassam has been part of the Johns Hopkins team for nearly two decades,” says Steven Thompson, chief executive officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine International. “In his new position, Bassam will contribute to the knowledge-sharing process between Baltimore and Abu Dhabi and to raising the standards of health care in the UAE and the region.”

Sayad has a bachelor of science in clinical laboratory science from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a masters in business administration from Loyola University of Maryland.

Corniche is the third hospital in the Emirate under management by Johns Hopkins Medicine International, based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Tawam Hospital, a 477-bed tertiary care facility in Al Ain, and Al Rahba Hospital, a 135-bed community facility just outside Abu Dhabi City, also are managed by Johns Hopkins, and both facilities are accredited by Joint Commission International.

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Corniche Hospital uses new technology to ensure safety of newborns

Corniche Hospital uses new technology to ensure safety of newborns

290Abu Dhabi - June 14, 2011 – Corniche Hospital has introduced the innovative “Hugs and Kisses” infant-tagging system to ensure the safety of babies born at the largest maternity hospital in the UAE. Corniche is the first medical center to introduce the new infant-protection system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. 

The Hugs and Kisses Infant tagging system consists of a bracelet that is slipped onto an infant’s ankle as soon as he or she is born, while a corresponding tag is placed on the mother’s wrist. Embedded technology assures that newborns are not moved from designated areas without prior authorization. In addition, each time a baby is brought to his mother, the match is confirmed by an electronic signal. Mismatched tags trigger an alarm to alert staff members.

“At Corniche Hospital, patient safety is our top priority and a vital part of our mission,” said Ronald Lavater, chief executive officer of Corniche Hospital. “The tagging system is used in some of the best maternity hospitals in the United States and Europe.  We are proud to be the first medical center to bring it to mothers and babies of Abu Dhabi. Our hospital is dedicated to providing exceptional healthcare services to the residents of the UAE and the region. The new tagging system is in line with international best practice, and is yet another step in our commitment to patient-centered care.”

Beginning on May 1, all babies born after 8 a.m. at Corniche Hospital received a “Hugs” security tag and their mothers got a “Kisses” tag at the time of delivery. The first baby to be tagged at the hospital was Mustafa Said Ahmed. He was given a “Hugs” tag that would have sounded an alarm if he had been moved out of the designated area, or if someone had tried removing his band without authorization. His mother, Amal Farah, was given the “Kisses” tag that ensured that Mustafa and his mother could be united without any possibility of error.

“The new tag technology makes me feel more secure in the knowledge that my baby is safe and I am impressed with Corniche Hospital’s constant improvement in service,” the new mom said.

The “Hugs and Kisses” infant-tagging system project is led by George Yacoub, Chief Information Officer at Corniche hospital and Sultan Al Mansoori, project leader and IT manager at Corniche Hospital.

Corniche Hospital is part of the SEHA Healthsystem and it is managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine International in Baltimore, USA.

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Internationally-recognized physician joins Corniche Hospital management team

Internationally-recognized physician joins Corniche Hospital management team

222Abu Dhabi, May 3rd, 2011: In a move to further transform and position itself as a major center for research, clinical care and education in the UAE and the region, Corniche Hospital has appointed a world-renowned physician Maggie Blott, M.D., FRCOG, as Chief Academic Officer and Senior Consultant.

Dr. Blott has spent most of her distinguished career in the United Kingdom, where she served as a consultant in obstetrics and maternal medicine, as director of the labour ward, and as honorary senior lecturer at the Institute for Women’s Health and University College London Hospitals. There, she, helped to train new generations of obstetricians and gynaecologists. She recently completed a three-year term as vice-president for education at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) where she was responsible for curriculum design and implementation and many other aspects of post-graduate medical education and training.

The largest maternity hospital in the Emirates providing facilities for more than 9,000 births and 200,000 outpatient visits a year, Corniche Hospital is owned and operated by SEHA and managed by Baltimore, US-based Johns Hopkins Medicine International.

“We are honored to welcome Dr. Maggie Blott to our team,” said Ronald Lavater, chief executive officer of Corniche Hospital. “Education has always been at the forefront of the Johns Hopkins philosophy, and we look forward to having Dr. Blott lead our efforts to train the next generation of UAE-national obstetricians and gynecologists. At the same time, her appointment furthers Corniche Hospital’s vision of promoting excellence in medical research and training. Her experience in research and academia along with her enthusiasm and passion for her job will be a tremendous asset to our hospital and its patients.”

Dr. Blott served as a consultant in the UK for fifteen years. Dr. Blott’s expertise and passion for work demonstrates Corniche Hospital’s commitment to providing world-class medical care to the UAE residents and beyond.

“I am privileged to be part of the dynamic, enthusiastic and highly-skilled team at Corniche Hospital,” said Dr. Blott. “The implementation of a comprehensive and structured training programme will enhance the hospital’s vision to provide world-class medical care to the community and the region. I look forward to working with the medical, midwifery and nursing colleagues to further develop high-quality services for the mothers and newborns of Abu Dhabi and to contributing to positioning Corniche Hospital as a world-class center of medical care and training.”

Dr. Blott graduated from Newcastle University in 1982 and completed her post-graduate training in London, UK.

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Corniche Hospital launches landmark obstetrics and gynecology training program

Corniche Hospital launches landmark obstetrics and gynecology training program

Program’s success will increase the number of well-trained and qualified Emirati doctors specializing in obstetrics and gynecology

Dr Blott and Lee

Dr Blott and Lee

Abu Dhabi, March 29, 2011: Continuing on its path to becoming a teaching institute as well as the region’s premiere maternity hospital, Corniche Hospital, in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine International, has introduced an obstetrics and gynecology residency program to train UAE-National medical doctors.  Corniche Hospital is part of the SEHA Healthsystem and it is managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine International in Baltimore, USA.

The launching the new five-year training program is based on international best practices for postgraduate medical education.   The residency program’s success will add to an increase in the number of well-trained and qualified Emirati doctors specializing in obstetrics and gynecology and address the long-term health care needs in the UAE.

“Education is at the heart of the Johns Hopkins philosophy and is now firmly implanted in the mission for Corniche Hospital to become a premier teaching facility,” said Ron Lavater, chief executive officer of Corniche Hospital.  “Since assuming leadership of the hospital, we have worked with SEHA, our owners, and The Health Authority (HAAD), our government partners, to develop a strategy to improve healthcare in Abu Dhabi and increase the number of Emirati doctors.  The launch of the obstetrics and gynecology residency program is one of the significant steps forward in our vision to transform Corniche Hospital into a center of education, research, and leading clinical care in the UAE and a significant event in the 32-year history of this institution.”

The obstetrics and gynecology residency is the third clinical educational program established by the Johns Hopkins leadership team since it was invited by SEHA in 2008 to manage the hospital. In 2010, the hospital announced the inauguration of specialized training for obstetric medicine and was the first hospital recognized by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to provide this training through an advanced training skills module (ATSM). And earlier this year, Corniche Hospital was the first Abu Dhabi hospital to commence a program leading to a bachelor’s degree in applied science in midwifery in affiliation with Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT). 

The new postgraduate training program for doctors in obstetrics and gynecology will be led by two internationally-recognized physicians: Judy Lee, MD, chief medical officer and assistant professor from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Maggie Blott, MD, chief education officer and former vice president for the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gyneacology (RCOG) in the United Kingdom.  Drs. Lee and Blott, along with senior medical staff are committed to providing the medical residents with real life experiences during which students will acquire the fundamental skills of patient assessment and management, undertake a whole range of emergency and elective procedures, and manage a range of complex obstetric and gynecological disorders on both normal and high-risk patients.

“We are committed to offering a robust, high-quality program that is based on international standards to educate Emirati doctors to become highly-skilled obstetricians and gynecologists,” says Dr. Lee. “Our resident doctors will be trained in a collegial, patient-centered, evidence based healthcare environment and will have the opportunity to spend time in the USA and UK to enhance their training experience.  This program will produce high-caliber OBGYNs who will make a significant impact on their population’s health.”

Corniche has announced that it will host its first two residents this year, and will continue to accept more applicants until ten spots are filled over the course of the five-year program.    Corniche Hospital will participate in HAAD’s TANSEEQ residency matching application system.  TANSEEQ is a comprehensive process addressing all components of medical residency application including allocation of training posts to facilities, the residency application process, the applicant and program ranking system, and finally, the distribution of applicants to training programs and facilities across Abu Dhabi.

Currently there are very few Emirati doctors training in obstetrics and gynecology in the UAE and introduction of this high-quality, well-structured program by Corniche Hospital will attract more doctors into the specialty.

Interested candidates can find out more information on the residency program by emailing

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Corniche Hospital holds ‘2nd update in Gynaecology’ conference to discuss common women disorders

Corniche Hospital holds ‘2nd update in Gynaecology’ conference to discuss common women disorders

Conference speakers encourage dialogue about Pelvic Floor Disorders

Dr. Denise Howard

Dr. Denise Howard

Abu Dhabi – March 26th, 2011: The Corniche Hospital, a SEHA Healthsystem facility in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine International, held today (March 26th) a conference titled ‘2nd update in Gynaecology’ through featuring internationally renowned experts in this field lectured the audience about different topics specific to Urogyneacology. Throughout the day, the speakers discussed various topics including ‘Female Urinary Disorders’, ‘Colorectal Disorders’, ‘Pelvic Organ Prolapse’ and ‘Epidemiology’.

More than 140 Doctors and nurses from over 8 different facilities were present at the conference that kicked off at 9:00 am with the opening remarks from Dr. Denise Howard M.D., M.P.H., FACOG, and Consultant Urogynecology at Corniche Hospital. Speaking to audience coming from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, Dr. Howard discussed Pelvic Floor Disorders (PFD), including its three types: Urinary, Prolapse and Defecatory Disorders. Dr. Howard also discussed the predisposing factors such as pregnancy and vaginal delivery, congenital and genetic factors, aging, menopause and obesity.

“Approximately one out of three women is suffers from Pelvic Floor Disorders including UI, prolapse and fecal disorders,” said Dr. Howard. “The statistics for the Arab population is still unconfirmed but we expect it to match that of UK and USA or even higher as women in Arab region tend to have more children in comparison to other countries in the world. This conference aims to highlight these problems, educate providers on the presenting symptoms and the availability of treatment, as well as encourage a discussion of this problem so that women feel comfortable seeking care. We advice women to do the pelvic floor muscle exercises or seek help from the obstetrician/gynocologists to learn the right methods.”

Speaking at the conference were Dr. Massimo Cristaldi, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, SKMC – Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Sandra Culbertson, Associate Professor, Gynaecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery – Vice Chairman, Clinical Affairs University of Chicago, USA, and Dr. Halina Zyczynski, Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Director of Division of Urogynaecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA.

All the experts agreed that there needs to be more discussion on the topic between providers and patients, patients and their families, friends, and loved ones.  They encouraged all the clinicians attending the conference to directly ask their female patients if they were experiencing any symptoms related to pelvic floor disorders.  The experts encouraged doctors to talk directly with their patients about specific symptoms that they might be experiencing but are too embarrassed to voluntarily discuss.  

The conference concluded at 5:30 pm with closing remarks from Dr. Judy Lee, Chief Medical Officer at Corniche Hospital and the certification distribution.

In 2010, Corniche Hospital announced the opening of a dedicated Urogynaecology clinic to address issues such as serious conditions of the pelvis and lower abdomen. The clinic is dedicated to the treatment of patients with pelvic floor disorders such as urinary or fecal incontinence and prolapse (bulging) of the vagina, bladder or uterus. It also provides complete diagnostic evaluation and comprehensive, integrated care, ranging from physical therapy and diet, and aesthetic gynaecological services to surgery for disorders affecting the female pelvic floor.

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Corniche Hospital NICU holds ‘graduate’ reunion

Corniche Hospital NICU holds ‘graduate’ reunion

Celebrates the life of children who had to struggle through their first months

280Abu Dhabi – March 10th, 2010: The Corniche Hospital a SEHA Healthsystem facility in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine International recently held its 6th Annual NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Graduates Reunion in the Abu Dhabi City Golf Club Garden. The reunion was a celebration of life, and of the difficult cases that had passed through the hospital’s ICU.

More than 80 children were brought by their parents yesterday for what has become an annual tradition: a reunion of “miracle” babies born in the special unit of the hospital. The unit treats babies born prematurely, which means any time before 37 weeks. Miracle babies are those born before 28 weeks - and whose survival is less than guaranteed.
The event has been organized every year for the past six years by the unit’s staff to celebrate those who had to struggle and fight the first few months of their lives.

“This is one of the special events I personally look forward to every year, said Ronald Lavater, CEO for Corniche Hospital. “At this year’s NICU Graduates’ Reunion, it was wonderful to see hospital staff and parents catch up, reminisce, and share stories. It was a wonderful afternoon and reminded me of why I consider myself fortunate to be leading Corniche Hospital.”
Dr. Adel Shubbar, Consultant Neonatologist at the Corniche Hospital said “:Six years ago members of Nursing, Medical staff and myself thought about the idea of arranging a reunion with the children and parents of the graduates of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, who were below 1,200 grams and 28 weeks gestation. This year’s reunion was a very rewarding and emotional experience especially when we see the good health of the children and the joy in their parent’s eyes.”

While the causes of premature births are not always entirely clear, it is believed that some cases may be due to the underlying illnesses in the mother. Some mothers have high blood pressure, or diabetes, or develop complications during pregnancy, and these may all be contributing factors. On the other hand, some mothers are perfectly healthy and have a normal pregnancy, and yet still deliver prematurely.

Last year the Corniche Hospital had 8,222 deliveries and admitted 1,061 babies to its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 577 babies were preterm with 208 babies having extremely Low Birth Weight. The Corniche hospital sees over 10,000 babies born in the premises each year. Around 10 percent are preterm, and then occupy one of 50 cots at the NICU until they are stable. The Corniche Hospital NICU is the largest neonatal care centre in the UAE.

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Corniche Hospital launches pre-pregnancy health awareness campaign at ‘The Bride Show - Abu Dhabi’

215Abu Dhabi -UAE, February 2nd, 2011: Corniche Hospital is launching their emirate-wide pre-pregnancy health awareness campaign at ‘The Bride Show Abu Dhabi’ to target young women who will soon start their own families.

Doctors from the hospital are advising that it is never too early to start preparing for your pregnancy and are reaching out to brides-to-be and young women to encourage them to maintain a healthy lifestyle and begin taking pre-natal vitamins, including folic acid, three months before an anticipated pregnancy in an attempt to reduce the prevalence of spina bifida among newborns.

Doctor Judy Lee, chief medical officer of Corniche Hospital, platinum sponsors of ‘The Bride Show Abu Dhabi’ said: “Newlyweds are often keen to start a family soon after they have celebrated their marriage and our goal is to educate them on how to prepare their bodies for pregnancy.  Another goal is to reduce the risks to the mother and her unborn baby if she has a personal or family history of medical conditions”.

“We recommend that brides-to-be begin taking pre-natal vitamins in the months leading up to their wedding and after so that their bodies are ready for pregnancy when the time comes.

“In addition, unlike in other countries, many foods in the UAE are not fortified with folic acid and therefore it is important for women intending to become pregnant to ensure that they receive their recommended intake of folic acid from other sources.”

A team of female doctors, dieticians and health experts from Corniche Hospital will be available at The Bride Show Abu Dhabi from 2 to 5 February at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, offering advice and giving away a free three month’s supply of pre-natal vitamins suitable for all women.

Women visiting the exhibition stand at the show will also have the opportunity to register for one of the free evening classes at the Women’s Health Centre in Abu Dhabi which aims to educate women about preparing for their pregnancy.

There will be a private area where women can speak about more personal health-related issues with a doctor and receive free blood pressure, weight, body fat, and diabetes checks.

‘The Bride Show Abu Dhabi’ and ‘The Bride Show Dubai’, the Middle East’s most opulent, glamorous and sparkling bridal and fashion extravaganzas, has long promoted the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, particularly when embarking upon a new marriage and family.

In 2008, the event launched the Go Red for Women campaign to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease, the biggest single killer of women and in 2010, the London Breast Clinic introduced BCtect®, an innovative blood test for early detection of breast cancer.  Tackling mental health issues, the show offers marriage guidance counsellors who are on hand to discuss the many questions women have about relationships.

For more information on the Corniche Hospital’s Pre-Pregnancy Care campaign contact the Women’s Health Centre on 02 697 5888.

The Bride Show Abu Dhabi runs from 2 to 5 February 2011 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, 2:30pm to 10:30pm, entry is 10dhs.  More information can be found at or

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