For nearly five decades, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has partnered with Johns Hopkins Medicine to improve global healthcare and to save the lives of millions of people around the world.
This UAE-US partnership began as early as the 1970s, when Johns Hopkins graciously volunteered to provide specialized care to Emirati citizens in the United States (US). Among these patients includes the UAE’s very own Founding Father, first President and former Ruler of Abu Dhabi, H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
In return, the UAE has provided consistent funding and support, starting with the hospital’s 10-year partnership with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA). Signed in 2006, the agreement detailed several upcoming projects, as well as Johns Hopkins’ oversight of Tawam Hospital, one of the largest and most advanced hospitals in the Emirates. The global arm of Hopkin’s soon went on to manage the Corniche and Al Rahba Hospitals in Abu Dhabi.
One year later, UAE President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, gave a substantial donation to help fund heart research, a Ugana-based AIDS research program, and a major construction project to expand the Maryland-based campus.
In recognition of his generosity, Johns Hopkins unveiled plans for the world-renowned Sheikh Zayed Cardiovascular and Critical Care Tower. The new facility was ultimately named in honor of his beloved father, Sheikh Zayed, and the UAE’s longtime contributions to the organization.
Officially opened in 2012, the tower is now home to the Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute and features state-of-the-art technology that guarantee access to the most advanced treatments available today.
In addition, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health signed a long-term agreement with the Healthy Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD). This 10-year partnership was historically focused on creating new research and educational health programs in the UAE.
Fast forward to 2018, Johns Hopkins and the UAE Embassy came together to announce yet another philanthropic donation to build the Sheikh Khalifa Stroke Institute. The UAE gift is thought to be the largest stroke-specific donation in global history. This time, the institute was named Sheikh Khalifa himself, with the goal of becoming one of the most advanced stroke centers worldwide.
During the announcement, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba stated, “This new institute will not only generate better outcomes for stroke patients in the UAE and the US, but will also strengthen opportunities for collaboration between UAE and US scientists and researchers…We are grateful to Johns Hopkins for their continued leadership in patient-centered medicine and are proud of our longstanding partnership.”
This project is particularly close to the hearts of Emiratis due to the region’s Founder suffering from a stroke back in 2014. Following the incident, Johns Hopkins doctors played a vital role in monitoring and rehabilitating Sheikh Zayed back to health.
So far, the Sheikh Khalifa Stroke Institute has successfully expanded Johns Hopkins’ leadership in stroke research, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. It now operates two centres-of-excellence in Baltimore, Maryland and Abu Dhabi in order to reach patients and families in both the US, the UAE and beyond.
Building on this partnership, Ambassador Al Otaiba stepped forward to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with six prestigious US hospitals including Johns Hopkins Medicine. On behalf of the UAE government and the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi, the MOU affirmed the UAE’s bright future with each and every hospital and guaranteed quality medical care for patients traveling all the way from the Emirates.
Speaking to the agreement, Ambassador Al Otaiba released the following statement, “These institutions provide ‘best in class’ care and treatment for patients. Through partnerships and continued collaboration with leading US hospitals, we will not only improve access to treatment for Emirati citizens, but also help the UAE enhance its own health care infrastructure.”