Children's hospital gets $150 million

Sept. 16, 2009 at 10:34 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- The government of Abu Dhabi is donating $150 million to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, hospital officials announced Wednesday.

The gift, to be paid over five years, will enable the institution to hire more than 100 surgeons, researchers and staff members, the Washington Post reports.

It was arranged by Joseph E. Robert Jr., 57, a prominent Washington philanthropist with ties to Children's and personal connections to members of Abu Dhabi's royal family.

CEO Edwin K. Zechman Jr. says the gift will facilitate dramatic changes in a facility that performs 15,000 pediatric surgeries each year.

Doctors at what will be called the Sheik Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation will collaborate across disciplines to improve surgery for children.

"Pediatric surgery could look 100 percent different in five to 10 years," Zechman said.

Children's is also working toward a partnership to build and operate a pediatric hospital in Abu Dhabi.

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