For nearly 50 years, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has worked with Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC to advance pediatric healthcare in the US and around the world.
This partnership stems from Children’s National’s long history of treating Emirati patients who require specialized pediatric care. In honor of the hospital’s dedicated service, the UAE generously funded the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation in 2009. This transformative gift was made possible by the Abu Dhabi government in honor of the UAE’s founder and first president, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Today, the Sheikh Zayed Institute enables physicians and scientists to come together to advance four key clinical areas: pediatric pain and anesthesia, immunology, bioengineering, and system biology.
As a philanthropist and long-time advocate for children’s health, UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba played a major role in establishing the state-of-the-art Sheikh Zayed Institute. While attending the facility’s official opening in Washington, DC, he stated, “Everyone gathered here today is playing an important role to turn the vision for this institute into reality: to make surgery more precise, less invasive and pain-free for children.”
The Al Otaiba’s Personal Journey with Children’s National
Ambassador Al Otaiba and his wife, Abeer Al Otaiba, share a special connection with Children’s National after going through their own personal experience at the hospital. Eager to give back, they volunteered to co-chair the annual Children’s Ball with Bret and Amy Baier in 2014. This charity event raised a record-breaking $10.7 million and marked the most successful nonprofit fundraiser held in the history of Washington, DC.
In 2015, Children’s National awarded the Al Otaibas the second annual Joseph. E Robert, Jr. Prize in Philanthropy. During the award ceremony, Dr. Kurt Newman, the president and CEO of Children’s National, stated, “Few people have impacted our organization over the past decade as much as this special couple. To all of us at Children’s National, they are true friends, generous donors, influential partners, and ambassadors (literally). They have done so much to help children in Washington and throughout the world, and their impact just continues to grow.”
The Ambassador and his wife also partnered with Children’s National to help jumpstart the first pediatric drive-up/walk-up COVID-19 test site in Washington, DC. Launched in March, 2020, this drive-up service now provides safe testing for children and young adults in the local area.
Listen to Ambassador Al Otaiba discuss the COVID-19 pandemic with the CEOs of Children’s National Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic on Podbridge:
UAE Commits to Continued Partnership with Children’s National
In 2019, the UAE announced a gift to support the creation of the new Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus. This campus will help support groundbreaking pediatric research that will ultimately improve and save the lives of children around the world.
Learn more about the UAE’s partnership with Children’s National Medical Center