Saudi Presentations 10 webSeven multi-disciplinary teams in the UAB School of Health Professions’ Master of Science in Health Administration – International Track program based in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, presented big ideas to improve health care in the Kingdom. One of those teams created a proposal to establish a Saudi equivalent of the United States’ National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The students, Dr. Yasser Ad-Dab’bagh, Ms. Zainab AlShankity, Dr. Sameera Al Afghani, Dr. Riyad Al Mousa and Dr. Eman Alsulmi, created the proposal as part of their Synthesis Project. The capstone of the MSHA – International Track program in Saudi Arabia is a research driven-team project aimed at solving some of the country’s pressing medical issues. The project integrates skills and competencies gained throughout the two years of coursework in the MSHA – International Track program. In this case, the issue is funding research for medical discoveries that can save lives.

Dr. Bob Hernandez, Senior Associate Chair for Global Health in the Department of Health Services Administration emphasized the importance of applying the knowledge gained through the MSHA – International Track program and highlighted the impact students can make when they leverage their positions as leaders to improve healthcare.

“These executive students recognized the need for medical research to be conducted within Saudi Arabia and developed a detailed plan to be presented to the Ministry of Health.  We applaud their bold initiative to improve health care for Saudi citizens.” 

Another major proposal from a team of executive students was an innovative way to reduce cardiac mortality during Hajj season. The annual pilgrimage to Mecca is the largest gathering of humans on the planet and each year there are an estimated 700 – 1,000 cardiac episodes.

Saudi Presentations 07 webThe UAB MSHA – International Track student team, consisting of Dr. Khalid Al Faraidy, Dr. Adnan Alsarawi, Dr. Talal Al-Harbi, Dr. Abdulhadi Almutairi, Dr. Salih Alsallouk, proposed the creation of a mobile state-of-the-art medical center that would be set up only for Hajj season.

In all, seven teams of MSHA – International Track students made their Synthesis Project presentations remotely to UAB faculty at the campus in Birmingham, Alabama. This second cohort, made up of 34 students, completed the program in fall 2016.

This is the second cohort of healthcare executives from the King Fahad Specialist Hospital-Dammam to go through the UAB MSHA – International Track program in Saudi Arabia. The first cohort graduated in December 2013.

As part of the partnership, the Department of Health Services Administration sends three faculty members to Saudi Arabia once each semester to teach for a week. During the two-year period of learning, 12 UAB faculty members made the trip overseas.