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Abu Dhabi Gives $150M to DC-based Children's National Medical Center

Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media, September 22, 2009

Children's National Medical Center announced last week it has received a $150 million gift from the Government of Abu Dhabi for the construction of the new Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation.

The Institute will focus on pain medicine, immunology, bioengineering, and personalized medicine. The goal of the new facility is to make surgery more precise, less painful, and less invasive, said Children's National representatives.

Abu Dhabi presented the gift in honor of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the United Arab Emirates and president from 1971 until his death in 2004. In addition to creating the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, the medical center will also name its primary campus in downtown Washington, DC, the Sheikh Zayed Campus for Advanced Pediatric Medicine at Children's National Medical Center.

In a statement, Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, chairman of the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi, said the people of Abu Dhabi were honored to support Children's National Medical Center's goal to improve children's lives.

"We share a commitment to alleviating suffering and curing disease for children throughout the world," Al Mazrouei said in a statement. "We look forward to outcomes of the center's work in the years ahead, and the positive impact on healthcare delivery for children."

UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousel Al Otaiba added that because illness and disease know no borders, any medical advances require cooperation and partnerships to fully develop resources that will improve medical care.

"This new institute will bring together the best minds in the field of pediatric surgery, pain management, and medical research—all with a singular focus to initiate breakthroughs and find solutions," Al Otaiba said.

The donation will enable Children's National to hire more than 100 surgeons, researchers, and other staff members over the next few years, said hospital officials. The gift will dedicate $60 million to research and programs, $40 million to improving research facilities, $25 million for a surgical institute endowment, and $25 million for other needs at the center, according to a Washington Post article announcing the gift. The hospital will add $100-120 million of its own money for doctors' salaries, new operating theaters and other expenses.

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