In the Year of Sustainability, Abu Dhabi-based Lebanese artist Pierre Abboud made a heart-shaped artwork with recyclable materials at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC).

The initiative came as part of the celebrations by the hospital for being designated by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi as a centre of excellence for paediatric cardiac surgery. To mark the occasion, the hospital held an evening of fun activities for children, parents, paediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons.

While Abboud, known for his recycled creativities, finished most of the 2.5m X 1.6m artwork, he left the bottom portion for the children to finish.

“Art is my passion. SKMC received this designation as the centre of excellence for paediatric cardiac surgery. The heart is a sign of love, passion, and affection. So, I made this heart dedicated to children. I wanted to bring a smile to their faces. So I let them make the base of the artwork. It was a beautiful experience. It was fun,” Abboud told Khaleej Times.

Abboud made the artwork with recyclable materials like paper, wood, cardboard, cans, stationery, and toys.

“The idea is to give hope and send a message that you can transform anything into a thing of beauty,” said Abboud, who has been in the UAE for 20 years.

SKMC is part of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) — a subsidiary of PureHealth, the largest healthcare platform in the Middle East.

Dr Benedict Raj Rajkumar, consultant paediatric, cardiac surgeon, said the DoH designation is a “big recognition”.

“We have highly skilled and experienced medical professionals. This is one of the best centres in the world. We work together to perform these delicate surgeries on newborns, premature babies at 600 to 700gms, and children with abnormal hearts.”

Centres of excellence are healthcare facilities that are designated by the DoH to provide specialised programmes in particular medical areas, in line with best practices and the highest quality standards. These centres stand out with their world-class infrastructure, highly skilled and internationally accredited workforce, multidisciplinary resources, cutting-edge technologies and latest healthcare innovations, and clinical and scientific research while delivering best-in-class healthcare to patients in the emirate and beyond.

“We provide comprehensive service that can be tailored according to the needs of every individual child. With exceptional expertise, and multidisciplinary resources we can provide the highest level of care, and deliver the best outcome for children born with heart disease,” Dr Rajkumar noted.

The DoH recognises a healthcare facility as a centre of excellence after evaluating six key indicators, including clinical outcomes, patient experience, patient safety and quality of medical services, levels of employee competency, and the facilities’ medical education, research strategies, and residency programmes. The DoH also assesses the accreditations to determine the healthcare facility’s eligibility to become a centre of excellence.

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