LAUMC-RH Receives USAID ASHA Funding to Elevate Patient Safety in Healthcare

The LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital (LAUMC-RH), in collaboration with the LAU Health Foundation (LAUHF) and LAU, held an inauguration event for its new state-of-the-art intensive care units and associated medication dispensing stations. The grant, which was made possible through funding from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA), aims at improving patient safety in line with U.S. standards and practices, while enhancing the hospital’s staff efficiency, surgical outcomes, and cost effectiveness.

The inauguration event was attended by Ambassador Dorothy Shea, USAID Mission Director Julie Southfield, LAU President Michel Mawad, Mr. Sami Rizk, CEO of LAU Medical Center- Rizk Hospital, and LAU Medical Center faculty and staff. Attendees participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Intensive Care Unit and a guided tour of the newly-equipped medication dispensing systems, capturing the essence of progress and commitment to patient well-being.

This USAID/ASHA $750,000 grant was used to set up a state-of-the-art pharmacy system that ensures the safe, efficient, and error-free dispensing of hospital patient medicines. Mr. Sami Rizk, CEO of LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital took the floor to emphasize patient safety as a paramount objective, highlighting the pivotal role of the new ICUs and medication dispensing systems. He mentioned: “The medication dispensing system will enable us to streamline medication dispensing, reduce errors, and significantly improve patient outcomes, modeling the American Joint Commission International (JCI) standards and best practices related to patient safety.”

Dr. Mawad welcomed attendees with a speech underlining the significance of patient safety as a cornerstone for JCI accreditation and optimal patient care. He emphasized that USAID/ASHA’s continuous support is pivotal in fostering a center of medical excellence and innovation, reinforcing the institution’s commitment to its patients and community and declared: “Need I emphasize yet again the depth of our indebtedness to the American people, the American Government, USAID, ASHA, and The U.S. Beirut Embassy for years of support in thick and thin. This is what made us what we are today. No words of gratitude can fully convey the way we feel.”

In her remarks, Ambassador Shea stated, “This inauguration solidifies the long-term partnership between the United States and the Lebanese American University and its Health Foundation, which is firmly based on a mutual commitment to improve education, maintain access to high-quality healthcare services, and advance the well-being of Lebanese citizens. During the last decade, USAID’s ASHA contribution to the LAU Health Foundation and the LAU Medical Center reached a total of $5.7 million, which enabled the hospital to provide improved services in maternity, emergency medicine, critical and intensive care, and operating and surgical capacity among others.

The event provided a platform to highlight the successful collaboration between USAID/ASHA and LAUMC-RH, and its partners over the years in pursuit of enhancing healthcare and patient safety. This collaboration has resulted in initiatives like the Hybrid Operating Room, maternity ward enhancements, and the pharmacy project, which were instrumental in driving the hospital’s transformation and embody the commitment to excellence.


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