The Business Year

Kurt Newman

UAE, ABU DHABI - Health & Education

The Healthy Generation

President & CEO, Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC)

Bio

Kurt Newman is CEO of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. He began as a surgeon at Children’s National Medical Center in 1984, and became the surgeon-in-chief and senior vice president for the Joseph E. Robert, Jr. Center for Surgical Care in 2003. He was instrumental in creating the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, serving as its acting vice president upon establishment in 2009. Dr. Newman is an expert in clinical resource management and has served as a consultant to several children’s hospitals in conjunction with the Child Health Corporation of America. He is the author or co-author of more than 70 publications. He is also chairman of the Surgery Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

How was the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation founded? The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation was created through a generous gift from the government of Abu […]

How was the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation founded?

The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation was created through a generous gift from the government of Abu Dhabi. This gift stemmed from a longtime relationship between Children’s National Medical Center and the United Arab Emirates. For more than a decade, the CNMC has treated children from the UAE with critical health conditions, and has worked to improve the health and wellbeing of children in Abu Dhabi through programs like the Pulse Oximetry Program, which screens newborn children for heart conditions. Through a connection between the late philanthropist Joseph E. Robert Jr., children’s authorities and the leaders of the UAE we discovered shared a vision of improving medical care for children around the world. Together, we created the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, named in honor of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

As a medical professional, how would you rate the technology developed by the Sheikh Zayed Institute?

Some of the most advanced innovation at the clinic involves the unique application of existing techniques and technologies, with a specific patient group—children—in mind. For instance, our pain team took standard physical therapy exercises, and translated them into a language kids today can relate to, such as video games. They made sure that the system not only engages the patient, but also tracks their progress and provides valuable data to the care providers. We are also very active in surgical device development for pediatric use, as demonstrated by our inaugural Pediatric Surgical Innovation Symposium held in May of 2013. We hosted over 237 participants including representatives from the US Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, members of Congress, and our friends from the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC.

What educational programs do you have on offer?

Children’s National Health System is known as a premier training center for pediatricians and pediatric specialties, and as such, we offer residencies, internships, and fellowships across all pediatric medical and research specialties. Students come to us from around the world to train and learn about the latest approaches to better care for children. The Sheikh Zayed Institute additionally offers a number of innovation-focused educational programs for high school, college, and medical students. Two of our featured programs are the Joseph E. Robert Jr. Fellowships and the Student Innovators summer program. The Robert Fellowship is a post-graduate research experience focused on biomedical innovation. During the fellowship, fellows partner with lead institute investigators to develop and translate innovative research concepts into pediatric surgical clinical practice, gaining hands-on experience in moving ideas from concept to practice. Meanwhile, the Student Innovator Summer program welcomes graduate, medical, undergraduate, and advanced high school students from across the globe into a rigorous research experience focused on introducing innovation management in a pediatric hospital to aspiring innovators. Both programs arose from the recognition that our vision for advancing child medicine involves equipping tomorrow’s leaders with the tools they require to innovate — whether in the United States, the UAE, or anywhere else around the world.

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