Jill Bauer, MA
Recently, I was asked to represent Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota at the four-day Arab Health Exhibition & Congress in Dubai. The invitation came from Children’s leadership and Minnesota International Medicine (MIM).
As Children’s neonatal outreach nurse for the past nine years, my role has been to network with hospital leaders and educators in our region to strengthen relationships and offer our resources, services and expertise to promote best-care practices. My role in Dubai was similar, but on a larger, international scale.
After about 20 hours of air and ground travel, I arrived in Dubai late evening Jan. 24. During the taxi ride to my hotel, my first glimpses of the city were futuristic buildings that towered to the sky and gave me impressions at times of being thrown into a sort of sci-fi movie.
Known as a “wonder of the modern world,” Dubai is full of luxury and wealth but continues to have areas where traditional souks and desserts remain; these reminded me of its Arabian heritage. Although still primarily a Muslim city, it has become a multicultural, globalized business hub with many people speaking English and obvious signs of western culture everywhere.
On the first morning, our group — including representatives from MIM, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Regions Hospital, North Memorial Health Care and Noran Neurological Clinic — got up early to go to the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Upon arrival at the convention center, we definitely were not alone. More than 100,000 attendees and vendors joined us from 151 countries. It took some time to reach our booth, which was positioned in the midst of 322 U.S. vendors, including Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic and Boston Children’s Hospital, in an area the size of two football fields known as the “U.S. Pavilion.” That gave some perspective about the size of the remaining convention area that housed the additional 150 countries.
Throughout the convention, I spoke to vendors and attendees from all over the world about MIM and Children’s services and expertise. Our group’s work created various types of relationships, including one formed with a hospital in Abu Dhabi. Networking with their group resulted in a visit to their hospital on the final day of the convention. During the visit, I was asked to do an initial assessment of their nursery and make recommendations for advancing their level of care. After an interview with the CEO, chief nursing officer and nursery manager, as well as a quick nursery tour, I was able to summarize some initial recommendations for the types of resources needed to achieve their goal. MIM will use this summary to create a service proposal for them.
I am honored to have been invited to attend the convention. I have a sense of pride and passion about representing Children’s within our region and in international settings like Arab Health. Experiences like these emphasize to me how blessed we are to possess the level of expertise and technology at Children’s that allows us the ability to offer such a high standard of cutting-edge, quality, safe care to our patients each day.
Similar to outreach in our region, international gatherings like Arab Health offer opportunities to network with the goal of improving care internationally. This leaves me with hope that one day all will have access to the quality of care that we give to our patients and families daily.
Jill Bauer, MA, is neonatal outreach nurse at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.