The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the emirate, and the Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (HMFP), a not-for-profit physician corporation, announced collaboration in the fields of disaster medicine and disaster management. The memorandum of understanding builds on DoH’s ongoing efforts in the areas of emergency planning and management, including the ISTIJABA platform and the Abu Dhabi Pandemic Emergency Response Manual. Through this MoU and other efforts, the department seeks to build the capacity of the healthcare sector and upskill the medical workforce in the areas of disaster and emergency readiness.

The two entities have identified areas of mutual interest and collaboration, which includes academic and educational exchanges and rotations for medical practitioners, students and faculty. This will also entail cooperative programming in the areas of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. These exchanges and programming will advance DoH’s objectives in strengthening the research capacity and infrastructure for post-graduate medical education, including a potential programme to train clinician investigators. The MoU will also see the development of Abu Dhabi Centre of Disaster Medicine that will take the lead on enhancing the health sector’s readiness for potential disasters and emergencies.

The MoU was signed during DoH’s participation at Arab Health 2022 by H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of DoH and Kristen Beech Esq., HMFP Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, in the attendance of XX and XX, with Gregory Ciottone, MD, Director of the Division of Disaster Medicine at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School, who will serve as HMFP program lead.

H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: “Under the guidance of our wise leadership, Abu Dhabi continues to build the capacity of the healthcare sector, especially when it comes to disaster and emergency preparedness. As a result of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi’s foresight, forward thinking and continued investment in the healthcare sector and medical workforce, Abu Dhabi was able to spearhead a successful and robust response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Al Kaabi added: “The signing of this memorandum of understanding with HMFP, is part of our wider efforts to ensure that Abu Dhabi is prepared for any potential disasters and emergencies. Such agreements and collaboration ensure that the health and safety of our community continues to be safeguarded, now and in the future.”


“We are looking forward to working closely with the Department of Health to create the Abu Dhabi Center for Disaster Medicine with its pillars of education, training, research, and operations,” said Gregory Ciottone, MD, Director of the Division of Disaster Medicine at BIDMC. “This center will bridge that historic gap between academics and operations, thereby creating a robust emergency preparedness and response system, and enhancing regional disaster resiliency.”

Abu Dhabi doubled its research capabilities during this past year and developed several scientific and clinical and research that exceeded the number of projects conducted during the previous five years. DoH launched the “COVID-19 Research Registry” as a unified platform that supports scientific research and accelerates the pace of innovations and discoveries related to COVID-19. Till now, the registry has received 376 scientific papers where 325 papers have been approved and 46 papers have been published