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August 13, 2012

SKI’s Haj-Assaad inducted into President’s Circle

Lutfi Haj-Assaad with SickKids President and CEO Mary Jo Haddad
Lutfi Haj-Assaad with SickKids President and CEO Mary Jo Haddad.

By Daniella Vasilovsky

Lutfi Haj-Assaad spends his working year in Qatar. But during a recent trip back to Toronto, Haj-Assaad received a prestigious honour – an induction into the 2012 SickKids President’s Circle.

Haj-Assaad was recognized for his leadership in the development and successful implementation of a national project to improve the delivery of health care for children in Qatar through SickKids’ partnership with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). He was also honoured for his wonderful ambassadorship role for SickKids in the Middle East.

“It’s great to see the project teams in Doha and Toronto recognized for the excellent work they do,” Haj-Assaad says. “I am very grateful for those who nominated me.”

The facility SickKids is helping to create will be the first hospital in Qatar specializing in paediatric care. Located in Sidra Medical and Research Centre, a large, not-for-profit health-care complex in the heart of Doha, this project has been designed according to international best practice standards in paediatric care and will have a tremendous impact on health care in Qatar.

“I am extremely proud of Lutfi’s expertise and commitment to SickKids’ work in Qatar,” says Cathy Seguin, Vice-President, SickKids International. “His leadership, combined with the hard work and support of the project teams in Toronto and Qatar, are key contributions to the successful implementation of this national project.”

The scope of the project is very complex, encompassing every aspect of paediatric health care, from primary to tertiary services. As the Project Director, Haj-Assaad and his team are accountable for all aspects of the partnership between SickKids and HMC and are focused on developing world-class paediatric clinical programs and child health research.

“It’s my job to make certain we achieve our project milestones, live up to our commitments, and represent SickKids’ values and culture in Qatar,” says Haj-Assaad. “We aim to achieve this through knowledge and skill transfer.”

For Haj-Assaad, participating in international work and helping others has enabled him to grow both professionally and personally. “I have learned from my experience that to succeed in international work, I have to be flexible, adaptable, non-judgmental and very respectful of others’ cultures and beliefs,” says Haj-Assaad. “As leaders in child health we have a moral and ethical obligation to do whatever we can to ensure every child has access to good health care. I strive to do just that.”