Board of Trustees Chairman Philip S. Khoury, Trustee Randa El-Sayed Haffar, President Fadlo R. Khuri, and VP/Dean Raymond Sawaya were among the attendees at the dedication ceremony for the Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Hemodialysis Unit at the American University of Beirut Medical Center on June 9, 2023. The gift to fund the renovation and expansion of the hemodialysis care unit came from the Elmer and Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Foundation, which also established the Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Needy Patient Endowed Fund to support the medical treatment of patients with kidney disease and/or kidney failure and the Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Kidney Research and Support Fund to support research and other activities related to kidney disease.
Dr. Ali Abu-Alfa, professor of medicine and head of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, explained that the gift from the foundation had enabled the university to renovate and expand the hemodialysis unit in 2019. “Today we have a state-of-the-art 23 station hemodialysis unit, with the highest standard dialysis water system, and a comfortable and safe environment for our patients," he said. Abu-Alfa went on to speak about the impact of the gift on dialysis patients who were among those at highest risk during the global pandemic. In his remarks, he lauded the heroic efforts of the nursing staff at the American University of Beirut Medical Center who provided exceptional care throughout the pandemic.
VP/Dean Sawaya highlighted the importance of the vision and leadership of Dr. Abu-Alfa. He also spoke passionately about the “vital line that philanthropy provides," pointing to the Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Hemodialysis Unit at the American University of Beirut Medical Center as a powerful example. Sawaya went on to thank Trustee El-Sayed Haffar, “a phenomenal steward" of the many gifts that AUBMC has received from the Mamdouha El-Sayed family and from the Elmer and Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Foundation over the years.
President Khuri, who described himself as “the son of a nephrologist" (the late Dr. Raja N. Khuri), spoke about the importance of having “world-class facilities," noting that AUBMC already has “world-class people… I would put our faculty up against any Faculty of Medicine in the world," he said. “The quality of excellence is stellar." Khuri went on to describe the Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Hemodialysis Unit at the AUB Medical Center as a “world-class facility." Khuri encouraged “any philanthropist in the world to invest in these faculty, in this facility."
In his remarks, Chairman Khoury, speaking on behalf of the AUB Board of Trustees, lauded the late Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst, “a distinguished alumna (BA '47), AUB International Advisory Council member, and an exceptionally good friend of our university whose generosity is evident throughout the AUB university and especially at this medical center." Khoury also spoke about the extreme gratitude of the AUB Board of Trustees to alumna and trustee Randa El-Sayed Haffar. “The philanthropy of the El-Sayed family and foundation is extraordinary by any measure in this university," Khoury said. “They are among the two or three greatest donors in the modern history of this university."
Trustee Randa El-Sayed Haffar (BA '90) spoke about the “incredible legacy" of the late Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst “who never forgot her roots. She was a visionary, a woman of compassion, whose boundless generosity knew no bounds. Through her philanthropy, she touched the lives of countless individuals, students, and patients leaving an indelible mark on their hearts," she said.
El-Sayed Haffar also spoke about how she had been touched by hearing the stories of dialysis patients at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. “The hemodialysis unit we celebrate today is a testament to our collective commitment to stand by them, to offer a glimmer of hope amidst their struggles, and to provide them with the highest quality of care that they truly deserve," she said. She concluded her remarks by describing the seven nephrologists at AUBMC as the “finest nephrologists on the planet" but, she continued, “the real stars are the nurses and medical professionals who walk these halls with compassion in their hearts and expertise in their hands… Nurses are our angels on earth."
In her concluding remarks, El-Sayed Haffar described the AUB Medical Center as “a haven of hope." She said that the Elmer and Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Foundation was honored to stand by the American University of Beirut Medical Center in its “noble endeavor" to “provide the best possible care to those in need."
At the conclusion of the ceremony, attendees toured the Mamdouha El-Sayed Bobst Hemodialysis Unit.