Sheikh Mohamed renames Al Ain hospital to honour founding doctors

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince was born at Oasis Hospital, which was founded by Dr Pat and Marian Kennedy in 1960

Dr Pat Kennedy treating a woman at the original hospital compound, circa 1961. This handout photograph is an archival image of the Oasis hospital Al Ain in the 1960s. 

Courtesy of Brooks Glett/Oasis Hospital
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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed ordered the oldest hospital in Abu Dhabi to be renamed in honour of the US couple who founded it in the 1960s.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces called for Oasis Hospital, in Al Ain, to be renamed Kanad Hospital – after Dr Pat and Marian Kennedy.

The Kennedys founded the hospital in 1960, after UAE Founding Father Sheikh Zayed invited them to set up a modern healthcare facility for newborns and infants. It was established, prior to the formation of the UAE, in response to the very high maternal and infant mortality rates in Al Ain at the time.

Since the hospital opened its doors, more than 120,000 babies have been born there – including Sheikh Mohamed in March, 1961.

In 2015, the hospital was expanded and a new building, funded by the ruling family, was opened. Before then, babies that were very sick had to be sent to another hospital.

Dr Pat and Marian Kennedy worked in Al Ain until 1975. They came to the UAE with their daughters, Nancy and Kathleen, who returned to Al Ain for the opening of the new building four years ago.

“My parents would be amazed to see how big and modern this hospital is and that women still come here to give birth,” Kathleen, 66, said at the time.

Abdullah Al Hamed, chairman of the Department of Health, said the government appreciated such contributions to the country’s development.

Alex Jankuloski, chief executive of Kanad Hospital, said hospital staff were aware of the achievements and sacrifices made by those who have served 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 Al Ain community."