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Alumni News Kevin Storr September 24, 2014

EMSHA Class 1 graduationEMSHA Class 1 graduation, Dec. 2013The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s National Alumni Society has formally recognized the UAB Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Alumni Chapter. The first NAS chapter established in the Middle East includes 31 graduates of Saudi Arabia’s inaugural UAB Executive Master of Science in Health Administration. The chapter is open to any UAB graduate that lives in Saudi Arabia.

“I am proud to continue my connection to the UAB family as a member of the new UAB Alumni Chapter in Saudi Arabia,” said Raidah AlBaradie, MD, EMSHA, director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy program, King Fahd Specialist Hospital-Dammam. “I look forward to taking advantage of the opportunities for continued learning and extending the strong professional relationships that the EMSHA program helped me establish with my fellow graduates.”

The KSA Alumni Chapter has set three goals for their group in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia: promoting evidence based leadership practice for healthcare services; establishing a medium for developing innovative solutions, transforming healthcare services for progress throughout the health system; and creating a network where members stay connected with UAB.

EMSHA Class 1 graduation, Dec. 2013EMSHA Class 1 graduation, Dec. 2013“More than anything else, this elite group of healthcare executives value collaboration, creativity, integrity, respect, transparency and commitment - values that we at UAB share in our commitment to healthcare excellence,” said S. Robert Hernandez, DrPH, director of International Education for UAB’s Department of Health Services Administration. “We are thrilled to add the KSA Alumni Chapter to the UAB family, and we look forward to achieving great things together with them and their fellow UAB graduates for many years to come.”

The Saudi Arabia EMSHA program is a joint partnership between the UAB Department of Health Services Administration and King Fahad Specialist Hospital-Dammam. It was made possible when UAB and hospital officials signed an agreement in November 2011. The arrangement sends three UAB faculty members to teach in Saudi Arabia once each semester for an entire week. Twelve UAB faculty members make the trip to the Middle East during the two-year program.

"We have spent much time the past few years getting to know this class personally and learning about their diversity, their culture and their knowledge. While we have provided them with a world-class healthcare management education, they have provided us with incredible new insights," said UAB School of Health Professions Dean Harold P. Jones, Ph.D. "EMSHA Class 1 is the first step in building this healthcare-related collaboration and opening up countless interesting opportunities between our school and other potential UAB alumni around the world."

EMSHA Saudi LogoThe KSA Alumni Chapter mission is to advance healthcare through effective change and innovation in the Eastern province. Their vision is to be a globally leading forum for healthcare innovation and transformation.

Under the leadership of Dr. Khalid M. Al Shaibani, Chief Executive Officer, King Fahad Specialist Hospital-Dammam, the EMSHA program attracted some of the most renowned administrators in the country for their first cohort. The popularity of the program and the success of the administrators who graduated in 2013 have led to an overwhelming number of applicants for EMSHA Class 2.

The second cohort is scheduled to begin the program in January 2015 with an expected graduation date of 2017.

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