At Cleveland Clinic, innovation lives on all campuses, earning the enterprise its status as an international industry leader. Even our locations halfway around the world, like Abu Dhabi, carry the same spirit you’ll find at 9500 Euclid Ave. Alongside the emphasis on innovation, issues like digital integration, healthcare disparities, and COVID-19 transcend borders. There are, however, some unique cultural and logistic factors that play a role in the operation of a hospital in the UAE. In two episodes of Health Amplified, Rakesh Suri, MD, DPhil, detailed the similarities and differences he’s seen in his five years as Chief of Staff, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
In his comparison, Dr. Suri highlighted three areas of concentration that are independent of location: improving patient access to the services they want, prefer, or need, increasing coordination of care, and ensuring superior experiences for patients and providers. Said Dr. Suri, “There are many challenges in healthcare globally, but these are the three enduring ones that everybody focuses on, whether it’s a system in Los Angeles, Rochester, Minnesota, Boston, London, or Shanghai.” Among the differences, Dr. Suri highlighted the presence of a comprehensive, government-funded health service in the UAE and a societal interest in doing what’s best. He cited both helped the country rapidly flatten its COVID-19 curve. At the time of our podcast recording in mid-January, the UAE had the second most highly vaccinated population on the planet, with two of the country’s nine million having received their doses. Dr. Suri felt this feat, among others, would “affirm the integrity of innovation and build a sense of confidence globally as to what can be done in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and the region.”
Dr. Suri’s insights further opened our eyes to the universal nature of healthcare and the innovation that comes with it. Leading a phenomenal caregiver team abroad, his thoughts hold lessons for health innovators in every corner of the world. Find below more detailed episode descriptions for conversation topics in each part of this series.
Innovation in the UAE: Part 1
In part one of this two-part series, Drs. Morris & Saklecha sit down with Dr. Rakesh Suri to talk about Innovation at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Listen in as the doctors discuss opening an outpost halfway around the world, hiring the right talent to wear the Cleveland Clinic name, and scaling innovation in the United Arab Emirates. Listen | Watch
Innovation in the UAE: Part 2
Jump back into part two of our conversation with Dr. Rakesh Suri, CEO, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. The doctors dive into digital innovation, how caregivers in Abu Dhabi helped us in Cleveland during the pandemic, and how CCAD is working to tackle healthcare disparities in their corner of the world. Listen | Watch
Dr. Suri earned his medical degree with honors from the University of Toronto and a doctorate at Magdalen College, Oxford, UK, as a Rhodes Scholar. He trained in general surgery and performed a cardiovascular surgery fellowship at the University of Toronto. He completed a thoracic surgical residency at Mayo College of Medicine.
Dr. Suri was appointed to Cleveland Clinic staff in 2015 and named Chief of Staff, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi that same year. He helped lead the recruitment of more than 400 world-class physicians, participated in the opening and initiation of clinical services throughout the hospital, and led the medical staff to deliver a suite of complex and innovative services with safety and quality outcomes that are competitive among leading academic medical centers globally.
Shortly after our conversation with Dr. Suri, Cleveland Clinic announced his promotion to President of International Operations, bringing the physician leader back to Ohio in late March. In his new role, Dr. Suri will lead Cleveland Clinic’s overall international strategy and advance business development opportunities. In addition, he will be responsible for Global Patient Services and oversee operations for Cleveland Clinic Canada. The role of President of International Operations will help the organization operate as One Cleveland Clinic in the United States and abroad. It will also focus caregivers on providing world-class care to patients no matter their location.