Cleveland Clinic takes part in SEHA’S development plans for their Emirati leaders

March 31, 2014 2:21 pm

In keeping with their continuous collaboration and long-term relationship, Cleveland Clinic and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) are working together to develop and empower Emirati healthcare executives through a one-year administrative fellowship program.

With the aim of advancing Emirati leadership within SEHA healthcare system in Abu Dhabi, two of SEHA’s team members attended the Administrative Fellowship Program at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus in Ohio, USA.

The year-long program, which has been offered by the Cleveland Clinic since 1977, is sponsored by Cleveland Clinic’s Executive Administration and jointly directed by the Department of Operations and Clinical Institute leadership. Throughout the program, Cleveland Clinic offers projects for fellows in a variety of operational, clinical, strategic growth and international arenas. The fellows gain career experience in leading-edge areas of management under the mentorship and guidance of the program directors and other executive and senior leaders from Cleveland Clinic.

Tailored upon their needs and areas of interest, Dr. Aref Al Shehhi and Mr. Ahmed Al Almehairbi were the first fellows attending the program from UAE and, specifically, from SEHA. After completing the program in USA, they returned to their home country, UAE, in September 2013. Upon their return, Dr. Al Shehhi was appointed as the Deputy CEO of Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), while Mr. Al Muhairbi was assigned as the Deputy CEO of Mafraq Hospital.

Mr. Saif Al Qubaisi, Group Managing Director of SEHA, said, “Our investment continues in our Emirati leaders, and this is evident with our collaboration with Cleveland Clinic and in specific their administrative fellowship program. In the near future, we look forward to enrolling more of our rising leaders, who will eventually hold senior leadership positions within our health system. Both administrative fellows, Dr. Al Shehhi and Mr. Al Muhairbi, had the opportunity to experience and improve a model of efficient high-quality healthcare that we at SEHA aim for. We continuously look to improve our patient experience, delivery of care and quality of healthcare services, to which our leaders are always dedicated.”

Robert Stall, Executive Director of International Operations at Cleveland Clinic, stated, “Cleveland Clinic is known for its strong, long-standing commitment to education. It makes us proud to cooperate with SEHA in developing the skills of their team members. During the year-long program, our fellows learned more about patient experience, leadership, quality, and patient safety. They also had the opportunity to attend hospital leadership rounds and participate in committees and regional hospital operations council meetings, in addition to participating in the hospital president and physician leaders shadowing and mentoring program. Cleveland Clinic leaders are committed to the growth and development of healthcare’s future leaders and are consistently willing to engage administrative fellows.”

The fellows operated in Cleveland Clinic’s clinical institutes, which are the first of its kind centered around organ systems. These institutes foster an environment that maximizes coordination, improves patient access to multiple disciplines, allows experts to act as a dynamic team, and results in optimal treatment for patients.

From his side, Dr. Aref Al Shehhi who has practiced as a rehabilitation medicine consultant for over a decade said, “Cleveland Clinic’s Administrative Fellowship Program allowed me to build a solid platform of leadership and project management skills. As a successful healthcare administrator, we must not only possess the knowledge of utilizing innovative management tools, but we must also develop interpersonal and behavioral skills. These skills, such as the ability to manage teams and to endure complexity and ambiguity, were the focus throughout the program. We were continuously encouraged to test the theories and principles learned in the courses and rotations through dynamic team-oriented projects.”

Mafraq’s Deputy CEO Mr. Ahmed Al Almehairbi added: “It was a great learning experience and as one of the first Emirati healthcare professionals to ever attend the program, I was honored to have had such a great opportunity. This is a great platform for the exchange of expertise, research and industry knowledge – one that has helped both institutions gain even greater insight into the workings of integrated health systems in two different countries. Observing the physician-administrator partnership and the learning of a competency model that identifies key characteristics for success in the field were some of the invaluable opportunities presented through the program.”


Farah Al Alami
Director of Communications & Public Relations- Middle East
Cleveland Clinic
+971 50 252 0770