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  • Date: May-05-2019

With a tangible sense of pride and joy and under the high patronage of His Excellency the President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Aoun, the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), staff, and friends celebrated laying the cornerstone of the New Medical Center Expansion (NMCE), the last milestone of the AUBMC 2020 Vision. Held at Issam Fares Lecture Hall, the groundbreaking ceremony was attended by a host of high caliber officials, ministers, members of the Lebanese Parliament, trustees, distinguished guests, AUB and AUBMC leaders and supporters.

The New Medical Center Expansion, AUBMC’s largest project to date, is a major milestone in its strategic commitment to transforming the healthcare scene in Lebanon and the Middle East and reinforcing its position as a leading academic medical center. NMCE represents a revolutionary step towards the realization of the 2020 Vision, aligning with AUBMC’s mission of improving the health of the community in Lebanon and the region.

For Dr. Philip Khoury, Chairman of AUB’s Board of Trustees, this was indeed a historic moment that “embodies hope and the possibility of a better future.” On behalf of AUB’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Khoury thanked President Aoun for hosting “our wonderful university in Lebanon for so long.” He said, “At the heart of both AUBMC 2020 Vision and our Boldly AUB Capital Campaign is building a state-of-the-art new hospital such that the people of Lebanon and the Arab world can receive care that is the equal of the best care one can receive at any of the top medical centers in the world.”

In his speech, President of the American University of Beirut, Dr. Fadlo Khuri, emphasized the importance of this groundbreaking ceremony which “witnesses the laying of new stones for a new future, not only for AUB but for Lebanon as well.” He added, “Despite the economic and political struggles, AUB and its medical school have existed to bring hope, in the forms of education, empowerment, emancipation, and healing to the people of Lebanon and the region.”

According to the Executive Vice President for Medicine and Global Strategy, Raja N. Khuri Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Mohamed H. Sayegh, the groundbreaking ceremony was an opportunity to pledge and promise the people of Lebanon to resiliently thrive to maintain the country’s position as a pioneer in healthcare on the world map. “Today’s groundbreaking ceremony marks, once again, AUBMC’s dedication to taking healthcare delivery to unprecedented levels of excellence. The 30th of May 2019 is a day that will affirm AUBMC’s commitment to healthcare, education, and research for many years to come. “It will also strengthen its position as a prominent global partner on treating, nurturing, and enriching particularly the lives of the people of Lebanon and the region,” Dr. Sayegh said.

In his speech, President Aoun stressed the substantial need to consecrate and highlight Lebanon’s distinguished and eminent message as a hub for hospitalization, tourism, openness, modernity, culture and science. He also highlighted the importance of raising the standards of the health sector in Lebanon, in a way that delivers best medical and hospitalization services to citizens. “We aspire to develop the health sector in Lebanon and ensure that the citizen is well cared for, without being concerned about the cost or deprived of the ability to receive treatment, no matter what type and duration. I congratulate the President of the American University of Beirut and all the concerned officials at the Medical Center for embracing this new project and for aspiring for a better future.”

At the end of the ceremony, President Aoun awarded Dr. Fadlo Khuri the National Cedar Medal, rank of officer wishing him and AUB success and further progress.

Prior to the round of speeches, His High Excellency, ministers, members of parliament, trustees, and distinguished guests laid the ceremonial first brick to symbolize laying the foundation of the New Medical Center Expansion.

The latest NMCE is designed as a 12-story building above ground and 10 underground levels. It will be constructed in place of the current surface parking, extending from Maamari Street all the way towards Clemenceau Street, and connecting to the existing Medical Center buildings through bridges and tunnels and to AUB campus through the Medical Gate. Upon completion, NMCE will include additional 135-bed expansion distributed over a pediatric pavilion and a cancer treatment center, with operation rooms and intensive care units, an emergency department, support functions, and parking.​

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