Sidra Medical and Research Center is proud to congratulate Prof. Ziyad M. Hijazi, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Director of Sidra’s Cardiovascular Center of Excellence, on receiving the Visionary Award from The Children’s Heart Foundation at their Red Tie Ball in Chicago, U.S. The distinguished award is given to an individual who has shown extraordinary foresight and leadership toward improving the quality of life and care for children with congenital heart defects.
The Children’s Heart Foundation is dedicated to funding research to advance the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects (CHDs). It is the only organization that was created to exclusively fund congenital heart defect research. Each year over one million babies are born worldwide with a congenital heart defect. 100,000 of them will not live to see their first birthday and thousands more die before they reach adulthood1. There are more than 40 different types of congenital heart defects and little is known about the cause of most of them. There is no known prevention or cure for any of them.
According to the Children’s Heart Foundation, more than 50 per cent of all children born with congenital heart defect will require at least one invasive surgery in their lifetime3. Prof. Hijazi is internationally known for his pioneering use of new technologies in the hope of eliminating the need for open heart surgeries in children and adults with congenital heart defects. Over the past two decades, Prof. Hijazi has led groundbreaking clinical trials and numerous collaborations with his peers, including the Pediatric Interventional Cardiology Symposium where he was the first to perform and broadcast live cardiac catheterization procedures. Prof. Hijazi’s work with medical device companies has also helped to bring non-invasive surgical devices, such as the collapsible heart valve, to both pediatric and adult patients, making it possible for them to avoid open-heart surgery.
At the awards ceremony in Chicago, Prof. Hijazi thanked members of the Children’s Heart Foundation and fellow physicians and scientists working towards improving children’s health around the globe, “I know through both my work in Qatar and my collaborations with people from around the world, that the greatest asset we have in treating congenital heart defects is the hard work, skills and commitment of researchers and healthcare professionals across the globe. However equal credence must be given to those who support us and enable us to carry out this vital work and help us raise awareness. I am honored to receive this award on behalf of my peers and my colleagues.”
Sidra’s Member of the Office of the CEO and Executive Vice Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Abdulla Al Kaabi remarked that Prof. Hijazi’s skills and leadership have been unparalleled in building an excellent team of clinicians at Sidra. “We are proud to have Prof. Hijazi lead our pediatrics team and put his tremendous experience behind making Sidra the premier children’s facility in the region,” said Dr. Al Kaabi. “His award accentuates Sidra’s commitment to providing world-class patient-centric care and offering the latest proven techniques to pediatric patients.”
Sidra is bringing the world’s leading healthcare professionals to contribute their skills to building Qatar’s healthcare infrastructure through patient care, biomedical research and medical education. As Division Chief for Pediatrics at Sidra, Prof. Hijazi drives the strategic direction of the Department of Pediatrics and integrates research and education priorities into a program of excellent clinical service delivery.