Posted on May 25, 2015

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), on behalf of the Academic Health System (AHS) partners, has organized a one-day conference to showcase partnership developments and highlight career opportunities within the academic health network in Qatar. Leaders from the eight AHS member organizations discussed the power of the AHS partnership in delivering better quality care through collaboration and collective knowledge sharing, and highlighted the importance of translational research in its contribution to the future of healthcare in the country.

Speakers at the symposium included HMC Chief of Scientific, Faculty, and Academic Affairs, Prof. Edward Hillhouse; Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar Dean, Dr. Javaid Sheikh; Qatar Biomedical Research Institute Executive Director Dr. Hilal Lashuel; HMC’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Mike Richmond; Dean and CEO of the University of Calgary in Qatar, Dr. Kim Critchley; Sidra Medical and Research Center Chief Research Officer, Dr. Francesco Marincola; and HMC’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Director of Medical Education, Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal.

Speaking about the event, HMC Managing Director Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari commended progress made by the AHS partners since the partnership’s inception in late 2011. “The AHS began by establishing a strong foundation, developing the building blocks to enable the highest quality clinical care, innovative research, and excellence in education. We have now moved to the next stage of our development, and are implementing this new approach, changing the way we work, learn, teach and innovate,” Al Kuwari said. 

“We are providing our workforce with the opportunity and space to engage in inquiry and pursue intellectual curiosity, to develop innovative ideas that will help us meet the challenges we face as healthcare providers, and are working closely with our partners to develop healthcare professionals that are grounded in working and learning inter-professionally, and delivering patient- and family-centered care,” she added. In his address at the event, Prof. Hillhouse commented that clinical and translational research is a vital component of academic health in Qatar, and much progress had been made in its application at HMC.

“We’ve established a healthcare model within the Academic Health System framework that sees us now capable of delivering that bench to bedside ideal, where research discoveries made in the laboratory can be accelerated into practice, and used effectively to help with patients’ recovery from illness,” Prof. Hillhouse said. “Our interim research facilities are home to a number of significant research studies, and when open, the under-construction Hamad Bin Khalifa Translational Research Institute will provide a central focal point for health and scientific research for HMC and its AHS partners,” Hillhouse added.

A morning session on careers in academic health highlighted opportunities for clinical professionals across various domains, including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and the allied health professions, as well as in scientific research. The session also highlighted existing and new research facilities under development, and mechanisms to access research grants and other funding opportunities.

During the afternoon, the symposium was split into three concurrent sessions that focused on highlighting the AHS in action. The sessions featured an address on the development of the Institute of Metabolic Diseases, a talk on the alignment of initiatives with the National Mental Health Strategy, and a showcase on examples of the impact and outcome of the Neurosciences Institute, and its direct impact on care for patients with neurological conditions.