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CU delegation builds partnerships in Saudi Arabia

May 2014


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The six-person Colorado delegation to Saudi Arabia included:

  • Richard Schulick, MD, Chair of the Department of Surgery, CU School of Medicine
  • Joan Bothner, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Children's Hospital Colorado
  • Barish Edil, MD, Director of the Minimally Invasive Pancreas Program, CU School of Medicine
  • Sarah Kabat, Director of International and Executive Health Services, University of Colorado Hospital
  • Tatyana Popkova, Director of Cross-enterprise Collaboration for Surgical Programs, UCH
  • Peggy Warner, Senior Vice President, Children's Hospital Colorado

In May 2014, a delegation of representatives from University of Colorado Hospital, Children's Hospital Colorado, and the CU School of Medicine traveled to Saudi Arabia to establish partnerships with several hospitals in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. (See the sidebar to the right for the list of those who made the trip, including our Department Chair, Dr. Richard Schulick; pancreas surgeon Barish Edil, MD; and Tatyana Popkova, Director of Cross-enterprise Collaboration for Surgical Programs.)

The CU delegation was hosted by Zuhair Fayez, a Saudi businessman with deep connections to the University of Colorado. Fayez and several members of his family have earned CU degrees, and both Fayez and one of his sons were successfully treated for life-threatening conditions at University of Colorado Hospital during their time in the U.S.

Fayez arranged for the CU representatives to meet with leaders at four different Riyadh hospitals, all of which have state-of-the-art facilities but need more personnel, training, and expertise that UCH and Children's Hospital Colorado could help them build.

According to Sarah Kabat, Director of International and Executive Health Services for UCH, "[The trip] had no strict agenda. We went there to listen and explore and create relationships." By the end of the trip, the Department of Surgery had established plans to offer resident and fellowship training to Saudi doctors, and the Department is also developing plans to send its own faculty members to Saudi Arabia for extended periods of time in the future.

For more details, read the full story in UCHealth Insider.