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New Surgery Institute at Children's National Medical Center Aims to Improve Surgery and Eliminate Pain
Date:9/16/2009

ams" onclick="linkClick( this.href );" target="_blank" title="Pam King Sams">Pam King Sams, executive vice president for development at Children's National, commented on the historic nature of the gift. "Just as gifts from visionary philanthropists like Bill and Melinda Gates and Michael Bloomberg have fueled monumental advances in medicine and public health, this historic gift from the Government of Abu Dhabi will fuel incredible advances in pediatric surgery."

Philanthropist Joseph E. Robert, Jr. spoke as both a parent of a Children's National patient and as a longtime supporter. Robert helped fund the existing surgical center at Children's National (the Joseph E. Robert Center for Surgical Care) and is the founder and chairman of Fight For Children, a Washington-based organization that has supported the medical center's research and care.

Robert's son Joe III underwent a nine-and-a-half-hour-long surgery at Children's National 10 years ago (and went on to serve in the Marines). Robert said, "He was released a week later, but it was traumatic not just for him, but also for his mother and me. The institute is going to dramatically reduce the trauma that children and their parents are going to have to experience. It's going to change all that fear and anxiety and improve children's lives before, during, and after surgery."

The gift was made 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 the Sheikh Zayed Campus for Advanced Pediatric Medicine at Children's National Medical Center.

Children's National is also working toward a partnership with Al Qudra Holdings to build and operate a pediatric hospital in Abu Dhabi.

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