Abu Dhabi: The Oasis Hospital in Al Ain has been renamed Kanad Hospital in appreciation of the efforts of Dr Pat and Marian Kennedy, the hospital’s founders, who started providing healthcare for infants in the city of Al Ain in the 1960s.
The renaming done under the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, coincides with the UAE’s values of tolerance and coexistence.
The hospital’s new branding was launched by Shaikh Hazza Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Undersecretary in the Ruler’s Representative’s Office in Al Ain, as part of a ceremony organised in the presence of Dr Mugheer Khamis Al-Khaili, Chairman of Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi, Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of Department of Health, Abdullah Mohammed Al Nuaimi, Acting Executive Director of the National Tolerance Programme and the family of Dr Kennedy.
The attendees toured the Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Majlis, which is a prominent landmark in the city of Al Ain, located directly near the hospital entrance. The Majlis includes an exhibition of rare photos that highlight the history of Al Ain and the stages of the development the city has undergone in various sectors, especially health care.
Kanad Hospital has a special place within the Al Ain community as it was the first healthcare centre of its kind in Abu Dhabi. The hospital, which is preparing to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2020, has witnessed six decades of the city, the birth of tens of thousands of its children and important stages of history and evolution of healthcare and wellbeing in the emirate. The hospital now offers world-class medical services in all areas of healthcare, thanks to the continuous support of the wise leadership.
Since its establishment, the hospital has gone through several developmental stages with the support of the wise leadership, most notably in 2015 with the opening of the new building equipped with the latest medical equipment and facilities.
In the hospital, pediatricians see approximately 9,000 children per month in the outpatient section. Dr Pat and Marian Kennedy worked in Al Ain until 1975.
Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of Department of Health, underscored that the UAE’s wise leadership is carrying forward the ethos that was espoused by the founding father the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his legacy. Since the birth of the union, the late Sheikh Zayed prioritised the provision of a robust healthcare system that would serve the UAE’s community and ensure their well-being.
He pointed out that naming the hospital after Dr Pat and Marian Kennedy is in line with the leadership’s keenness to honour and appreciate such important people whose valuable efforts continue to serve the healthcare sector and contribute to its progress until this day.
Alex Jankulowski, CEO of Kanad Hospital, said the generation currently working in the hospital is fully aware of the achievements and sacrifices made by those who have served the Al Ain community over the past six decades.
“Their accomplishments interest and motivate us daily to preserve their legacy and keep pace with the bright future of the Al Ain community, which is supported and cared for by the wise leadership, to whom we owe our gratitude, and we thank the Abu Dhabi government for choosing to honour the Kennedy family” he added.
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi was born here
The story goes that in 1960, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan invited the Kennedys to set up a facility to provide healthcare services for newborns and infants, given that the newborns at the time were susceptible to disease. This year, the hospital celebrated the birth of 120,000 children since its foundation. It has also witnessed the birth of many members of the royal family in Abu Dhabi during the years following its establishment, among them Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed.
Tribute to Dr Marian Kennedy
Dr Marian Kennedy, who together with her husband, Dr. Pat Kennedy, opened the Oasis Hospital in Al-Ain in the early 1960s, has passed away.
According to her daughter, Nancy Kennedy, "Kennedy died peacefully" back home in Carmichael, California, on Thursday, July 17 at the age of 84. The deceased is survived by four children.
Dr Marian was one of the recipients of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Awards, presented by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The Kennedys' life and work in Abu Dhabi were easily the highlight of their lives, and all four of their children also have very warm memories of their years growing up in Al Ain. "My parents loved the desert and the people they grew to know in Al Ain, and were loved in return," said her daughter, Nancy Kennedy, in a tribute to her late mother.
Born in Orland, California to Ernest and Margaret Chace, Dr. Marian (Miriam) Kennedy, a mother of four with a great sense of adventure, love for God and commitment to medical mission work, graduated from Orland High School in 1941, then UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Biochemistry 1945 and an M.A. in Physiology in 1946. Her love of science, enthusiasm for learning, and passionate commitment to community service combined to motivate her to attend medical school in Philadelphia, where she met and married a fellow medical student, Pat Kennedy.
Their work took them to Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan before they settled in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi (then part of the Trucial States of Oman) and established the first hospital in Al Ain. Their efforts at the Oasis Hospital significantly contributed to the reduction of mortality rates, particularly among infants, and raised the birth rates. At least 4,000 babies were born while the Kennedys worked at the Oasis Hospital. In 1975 Drs. Marian and Pat moved to a private practice in Ripon, California.
Upon retirement they settled in Garden Valley, California. In 2005, Marian received one of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Awards, presented by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was born at the Oasis Hospital. - with inputs from WAM
- with inputs from wam