Organizing and Scientific Program Committee

Ali Al Obaidli, MD, FRCP, ABIM, CPE, FACP
Group Chief Academic Affairs Officer
SEHA, Abu Dhabi, UAE


Medical Certifications /Qualification

  • Medical School Graduation
    The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) Certified 1997
  • American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Certified - 2002
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada- Internal Medicine FRCP(C) Certified – 2003
  • American Board of Nephrology Certified - 2004
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada- Nephrology FRCP(C) Certified – 2004
  • United Network for Organ Sharing(UNOS)/ American Society of Transplantation (AST) Certified - 2005
  • American Hypertension Specialist Examination. Certified 2015

Health Administration Certifications/Qualifications

  • America Board of Medical Management-(CPE) American College of Physician Executives- Certified 2005
  • American Board of Quality Assurace and Utilization Review Physicians (ABQAURP) CHCQM-Certified 2006
  • Patient Safety Certificate Program Examination- Harvard / Boston. USA- certified 2007
  • The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health MPH certified May 2011
  • The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Doctor of Public Health-DrPH course work completed 2013 dissertation pending

External Committee memberships

  • Chairman, National Transplant Committee- Federal MOH
  • Board member National Rehabilitation Center- Abu Dhabi
  • Parent's Council Membership- Al Worood Academy- Abu Dhabi

Prizes/ Awards

  • Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum's Award for Academic Excellence 2003
  • Harvard Medical School Dubai Center (HMSDC) Tamayoz Award- 2007.
  • Abu Dhabi Medical Distinction Award 2011

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Prathibha Varkey, MD, MPH, MBA, MHPE
CEO and President, Clinical Enterprise, Seton Healthcare Family,
Austin, TX, USA; President, ACMQ


Dr. Varkey serves as the President of the American College of Medical Quality, and is a member of their Board of Trustees. She is adjunct Professor of Medicine and adjunct Professor of Preventive Medicine at Mayo Clinic. She has previously served as the Associate Chair of the Department of Medicine (640 faculty) at Mayo Clinic Rochester, the Medical Director of Ask Mayo Clinic (national nurse triage line with 1.5 million covered lives), the Vice Chair for the Outpatient Practice Committee for Mayo Clinic Rochester, the Program Director for the Preventive Medicine Fellowship and Director of the Quality Improvement Curriculum at Mayo Medical School, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education and Mayo School of Continuing Medical Education.

She is the Editor of two books: Medical Quality Management, and Preventive medicine and Public Health. She is a recipient of the 2010 ACGME Parker Palmer “Courage to teach” award, the 2009 American College of Medical Quality Service Award, the 2009 American College of Preventive Medicine Rising Star Award, the 2009 Minnesota Medical Association Physician leadership in quality award and the 2004 American Medical Association Foundation leadership award. Dr Varkey is a Deputy Section Editor of BMC Medical education and a member of the editorial board of the Am J of Med Quality.

Dr Varkey has a MBBS (MD equivalent) from the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India, MPH (Masters of Public Health) from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA and MHPE (Masters of Health Professions Education) from University of Illinois, Chicago. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency at the Hospital of St Raphael, New Haven, CT and Preventive Medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at Carlson School of Management, University of MN.

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Bernadette Kelly, BSc, MPH, CPHQ
Corporate Clinical Quality Manager
SEHA, Abu Dhabi, UAE


Bernadette Kelly BSc, MPH, CPHQ has 20 years of experience in the area of healthcare quality. She is currently working as Corporate Clinical Quality Manager SEHA (Abu Dhabi Health Services Company). She has more than 10 years of experience as a Clinical Audit Manager of a major NHS Trust in Scotland, UK. She has also worked in the United Arab Emirates for 10 years in healthcare quality within the government sector. She has published in medical journals both in the UK and the UAE. She earned her Bachelor degree and her Master of Public Health degree from Glasgow University in Scotland, United Kingdom. She is CPHQ certified by the American National Association for Healthcare Quality.

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Zahra S. Baalawi, BSc, MSc, EdD
Corporate Clinical Education Manager
SEHA, Abu Dhabi, UAE


Zahra received her first degree in Medical Laboratory Technology in 1991, from the University of Missouri Kansas City, and did her medical laboratory training at the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, one of the biggest health centers in Missouri (USA). Zahra worked at the Military hospital as a laboratory technologist upon her return to the UAE, and after five years as a senior technologist, Zahra went to the UK to pursue a Masters degree in Medical and Molecular Microbiology at the University of Manchester in the UK.

pZahra decided to pursue a full time role in higher education at the Higher Colleges of Technologist, as a health sciences faculty, where she developed the country’s first medical laboratory program. In 2003, she was offered a scholarship to pursue a doctorate in higher education at the University of Leicester in UK. Her research interests are in faculty development and continuous professional development and lifelong learning, Zahra has presented in a number of conferences in the UK including the Society for Research into Higher Education. A few years later Zahra returned to the HCT to take over the post of Health Sciences Chair. She joined Harvard Medical School Dubai Center (HMSDC) as the Director of education, and later on she took the position of Executive Director of Academic Development at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Academic Medical center in DHCC. In May of 2013, she joined SEHA as the manager of medical education, handling a number of medical education projects including facilitation for the external scholarship program

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Samer Ellahham, MD, EFQM, FACP, FACC, FAHA
Chief Quality Officer
SKMC, Abu Dhabi, UAE


Dr. Ellahham has served as Chief Quality Officer for SKMC since 2009. In his role, Dr. Ellahham has led the development of a quality and safety program that has been highly successful and visible and has been recognized internationally by a number of awards.

As Chief Quality Officer, Dr. Ellahham has a focus on ensuring that that implementation of this best practices leads to breakthrough improvements in clinical quality and patient safety.

Dr. Ellahham is a recognized leader in quality, safety, and the use of robust performance improvement in improving healthcare delivery. He serves on a number of US and international committees and advisory bodies.

Dr. Ellahham is Middle East Representative of the JCI Standards Subcommittee and Member on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. He is reviewer of HCAC Cardiac Quality and Safety Standards.

Dr. Ellahham has been a champion of the use of Lean, Six Sigma and Change Management to improve healthcare quality. He is Lean Six Sigma Black Belted. He was the Leader of the First Pilot International Robust Process Improvement (RPI) project by the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare and several other similar successful performance improvement projects at SKMC.

Dr. Ellahham is certified as EFQM 2013 Model assessor and is leading EFQM Excellence Model at SKMC with great success including winning the prestigious Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award in 2014 and Dubai Quality Award in 2015.

Dr. Ellahham is the Executive SKMC sponsor of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) the leading US validated, risk-adjusted, outcomes-based program to measure and improve the quality of surgical care. SKMC is the first multispecialty ACS NSQIP center outside the US.

Dr. Ellahham led the publication of, first in the region, annual SKMC outcome books since 2011. He is a strong believer in transparency in health care and external reporting.

Dr. Ellahham is a Board-certified internist, cardiologist and vascular medicine senior consultant and continues to care for patients. He received his undergraduate degree in biology and his M.D. from the American University of Beirut.

He did his fellowship in Cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) in USA. After completing his fellowship, Dr. Ellahham worked in Washington DC in several clinical and leadership positions before moving to UAE in 1988.

He is currently Cleveland Clinic Staff and on the Executive Team of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Dr. Ellahham is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, and American Heart Association.

He serves on the editorial board of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, Open Access Journal of Clinical Trials, Hypertension Today Journal, and Focus on Hypertension Journal.

Dr. Ellahham is an avid researcher; his research includes Lean six sigma and change management, safety, clinical data, outcomes research, computational statistic data visualization, and agent-based simulation and heart failure.

He received several research awards including the DuPont Pharmaceuticals Research Award, ACCP 58th Annual Scientific Assembly, Young Investigator Award; the Alfred Soffer Research Award, ACCP 58th Annual Scientific Assembly, Finalist; the First Young Investigator Award 12th, Annual Meeting of the Mediterranean Association of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, and the American Heart Association Get with the Guidelines Award. Dr. Ellahham is on the editorial board of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. He is also a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals, including Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, the Journal of American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine, Chest, Circulation, Clinical Cardiology, Chest, Lancet ,Diabetes Care, Archives of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, European Journal of Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure Journal, Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, the Journal of Transplant Coordination, the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and the Southern Medical Journal.

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James Vrac, CAE


James has 25 years' association management experience with a variety of U.S.-based professional medical associations. His previous experience also includes 8 years' service as executive director of an international trade network of accountancy firms operating in 86 countries with headquarters in London. James is a member of, and is certified by the American Society of Association Executives.

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Valerie Brown, CPS
CME Coordinator, Community Health Network,
Indianapolis, IN USA


Valerie K. Brown, CPS, CME Coordinator for Community Health Network, Indianapolis, Indiana has over 30 years of experience in the area of continuing medical education accreditation. As CME Coordinator works in concert with the Directors of Medical Education (DME) and CME Program and Education Committee to assist in the planning, implementation, evaluation, monitoring and data tracking of CME activities. In addition to her Network responsibilities for accrediting over 1000 hours of CME annually, she serves on the Commission on Medical Education for the Indiana State Medical Association as a commission member and as a site surveyor for the State.

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Conference Secretariat


MCI Middle East
United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 311 6300
Fax: +971 4 311 6301
Email : ggsd@mci-group.com

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