General Surgery, Digestive Disease Institute
Matthew Kroh, MD, is Chief of the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Kroh spent 14 years at Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.
He has served as the Section Head of Surgical Endoscopy in the Department of General Surgery, the Program Director for the Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery and Flexible Surgical Endoscopy Fellowship, the Clerkship Director for Surgery in the Lerner College of Medicine, and the Surgical Director of both the Advanced Endoscopy Center and the Esophageal Center. He has also held the position of Director of the Center for Advanced Skills Training in the Cleveland Clinic Simulation Center.
After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Boston College and a master's degree from Boston University, Dr. Kroh received his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University. He completed his General Surgery residency at Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, where he also underwent fellowship training in Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery and Flexible Surgical Endoscopy.
Dr. Kroh is committed to clinical excellence and patient-centered care, with a particular focus on surgical and endoscopic innovation. He is licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio and board-certified by the American Board of Surgery. His specialty interests include advanced laparoscopic surgery, bariatric surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, surgical endoscopy, endoluminal procedures, and robotic surgery.
Dr. Kroh is also a Consultant to Medtronic, Cook Medical, Teleflex & Levita.
Gastroenterology ＆ Hepatology, Digestive Disease Institute
Sigurbjorn Birgisson, MD, is Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Birgisson was the Director of the Center for Swallowing and Esophageal disorders at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio.
Dr. Birgisson received his medical degree and master's degree in Medical and Biomedical Ethics from the University of Iceland. He began his career in Iceland in 1990 with a one-year internship. He then completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Gastroenterology at Metro Health Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, US.
In 1999, he became a full-time Consultant Gastroenterologist at the National University of Iceland. He established and directed a Gastrointestinal physiology laboratory at the hospital. In 2005, he was appointed as a Director of the Endoscopy Unit at the National University Hospital Iceland. He also served for one year as a Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at the same establishment.
General Surgery, Digestive Disease Institute
Chief Executive Officer
Chair of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Cardiac Surgery, Heart ＆ Vascular Institute
Rakesh M. Suri, MD, is Chief Executive Officer and Chair of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In his role, Dr. Suri oversees the hospital’s overall strategy and effective operation as the first-ever US multispecialty hospital to be replicated outside of North America with more than 5,000 caregivers.
In his previous role as Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Chief of Staff, Dr. Suri spearheaded the recruitment of more than 400 physicians and led the medical staff to deliver a suite of complex and innovative services with safety and quality outcomes that are competitive among leading academic medical centers globally.
In his secondary role, Dr. Suri recruited and led the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgical team, and was involved in the creation of the Robotic and Transcatheter Cardiac Programs at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. He holds extensive clinical expertise in robotic and minimally invasive cardiac surgery, mitral valve repair and transcatheter valve therapies.
He has completed more than 6,000 surgical procedures in his career and helped to make Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi home to the most sophisticated group of robotic cardiac surgeons in the world.
Aydamir Alrakawi, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Alrakawi was a Gastroenterologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic, Manchester, New Hampshire, US.
Dr. Alrakawi received his medical degree from Damascus University, Damascus, Syria, 1990. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Fairview Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Hospital, Ohio, US.
After completing his residency, Dr. Alrakawi practiced as a Primary Care Physician in Mississippi until 1996. He then went on to complete a fellowship in Gastroenterology at Washington University in St. Louis and another fellowship in Biliary Endoscopy (ERCP).
Gastroenterology ＆ Hepatology, Digestive Disease Institute
Dr. Cristobal Moreno, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Insititute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Moreno was a Consultant Gastroenterologist at Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the last 3 years, where he developed the Bariatric Endoscopy Unit. He also established the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Monographic Clinic.
Dr. Moreno received his medical degree from the University of Malaga, Spain. He completed his fellowship in Costa del Sol Hospital, Marbella and is certified by the Spanish Ministry of Education in Medicine and Gastroenterology disease.
He resides in Abu Dhabi with his family. He enjoys outdoor sports and meeting outside with friends.
Dr. Carlos M. Abril Vega, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Vega was Chief of the Colorectal Section at the University Clinic Hospital of Valladolid in Spain.
Dr. Vega earned his PhD from the Experimental Surgery Laboratory at the School of Medicine, Valladolid in 1998. He then worked in acute care surgery for two years and moved to the Hospital El Bierzo (Ponferrada) as a Staff General Surgeon.
He then returned to the University Clinic Hospital of Valladolid as Staff General Surgeon and became Associate Professor of the Surgery Department within the School of Medicine at the University of Valladolid in 2006.
Dr. Vega received his medical degree at the University of Valladolid School of Medicine, Valladolid, Spain and the University of Madrid between 1986 and 1992. He completed his residency in General Surgery at the University Clinic Hospital of Valladolid.
Dr. Abdullah Shatnawei, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Shatnawei was a Staff Physician in the Center for Human Nutrition and Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, DDSI at Cleveland Clinic. He was also appointed as Medical Director at the Center of Gut Rehabilitation and Transplant.
Dr. Shatnawei received his medical degree from Jordan University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor of Surgery and Medicine in 2000. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine in 2002-2005 at Fairview hospital, Cleveland Clinic Health System, Cleveland, Ohio. He also completed a Clinical Nutrition fellowship at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio in 2007 and a fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 2012.
Dr. Shatnawei resides in Abu Dhabi with his family. His hobbies include playing soccer and reading.
Pascale Anglade, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. She brings experience, as well as a compassionate and thorough approach to the practice of medicine.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Anglade was the Lead Consultant in the Department of Gastroenterology/Hepatology and the Director of Endoscopy at King’s College Hospital Clinics, Abu Dhabi.
Dr. Anglade earned her undergraduate degree with great distinction from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She then received her medical doctorate from Dartmouth Medical School, New Hampshire, US. She completed her resideny in Internal Medicine at New York Presbyterian/Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, serving as Assistant Chief Resident in her senior year. She then completed three more years of subspecialty training in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.
She has been practicing medicine for the past 16 years and has been working as a Gastroenterology Consultant since 2006. Dr. Anglade recently obtained with distinction (top 10% GPA) an executive Master in Business Administration (MBA) from INSEAD, the number 1 ranked business school worldwide.
Gynecology, Surgical Subspecialties Institute
M. Jean Uy-Kroh, MD, is Chief, Office of Professional Staff Affairs and a Staff Physician in the Surgical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. She specializes in Advanced Laparoscopic Gynecological Procedures and Endometriosis Surgery. She is also an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Uy-Kroh spent 10 years at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, where she served as a Consultant in the divisions of Benign Gynecology and Minimally Invasive Surgery. Additionally, she established and served as the Director of the interdisciplinary Chronic Pelvic Pain Program in the Women’s Health Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Uy-Kroh also taught and supervised medical students and residents, and served as a facilitator for patient centered healthcare communication courses.
Dr. Uy-Kroh received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and graduated with highest departmental honors. She earned her medical degree from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, US. She completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Cleveland Clinic-MetroHealth Medical Center Program. She is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She has also published peer-reviewed articles Dr. Uy-Kroh has been invited as a speaker on a number of women’s health issues, authored surgical videos and several book chapters on Benign Gynecology and Gynecologic Surgery. She is the co-editor of the textbook Operative Techniques in Gynecologic Surgery (Wolters Kluwer, 2017).
Dr. Uy-Kroh serves on the editorial board and is a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. Additionally, she has been elected to leadership positions and education committees for the AAGL and the International Pelvic Pain Society. She serves as a course director for gynecology symposiums and remains active in clinical research. She is passionate about improving women’s health care and quality of living through research, education and surgical innovation.
Hepatobiliary Surgery ＆ Transplant, Digestive Disease Institute
Dr. Antonio D. Pinna, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Pinna was a Professor of Surgery and Transplantation at the University of Bologna, Italy.
Dr. Pinna received his medical degree from La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy. He completed his residency at La Sapienza Roma Policlinico Hospital. He did a fellowship in Transplantation in the Testarzl Transplant Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. Dr. Pinna then became an Assistant Professor at both the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Miami.
Dr. Pinna resides in Abu Dhabi with his family. He enjoys his work, running along the Corniche and visiting the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi.
Osama Yousef, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Yousef was an Assistant Professor of Medicine and the Associate Programe Director for the Gastroenterology Fellowship Program at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He was also the Site Program Director at the Truman Medical Center.
Dr. Yousef received his medical degree from the University of Jordan. He then completed his Internal Medicine residency and Gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, USA.
Dr. Yousef resides in Abu Dhabi with his wife, where he enjoys playing football and swimming.
Gastroenterology ＆ Hepatology, Digestive Disease Institute
Shiva Kumar, MD, is the Chief of Gastroenterology & Hepatology in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Kumar served as Medical Director of Liver Transplantation and Primary Liver Physician at two liver transplant centers in the US for more than eight years. He was also Director of Hepatology sub-specialty fellowship training at Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans, Louisiana, US. He also served as Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, US.
Dr. Kumar graduated from the University of Kerala Medical School, India and completed his residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at Our Lady of Mercy University Medical Center, New York, US. He then pursued sub-specialty fellowship training in Gastroenterology & Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, US. He completed additional clinical and research training in Hepatology at the Liver Unit of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, US. He also received a master's degree in Healthcare Management from the University of Texas, Dallas, Jindal School of Management in Richardson, Texas, US.
He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology & Transplant Hepatology. His primary areas of clinical and research interests include general-transplant hepatology and liver and hepatobiliary endoscopy.
He is a fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) American College of Physicians (ACP), American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), American Association for the study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). He has served on many committees of national scientific societies, including practice parameters and patient care committees of ACG and public and member outreach, as well as international committees of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).
Dr. Kumar has numerous publications and has delivered presentations at national and international scientific meetings, with a primary focus on liver disease and transplantation. He has also served as a primary site investigator in numerous clinical trials including those of newer therapeutic agents in Hepatitis C.
Gastroenterology, Digestive Disease Institute
Jose Such, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Such was Chief of the Liver Unit and Medical Director of Liver Transplantation at the University General Hospital in Alicante, Spain. During that time he was a member of Research and Ethic Committees, the Principal Investigator of the local laboratory of the Spanish Network for Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology, a Research Institute lead by the Ministry of Health, Spain, and Professor of Medicine with Tenure at Miguel Hernandez University in Alicante.
Dr. Such has spent most of his career working in all aspects of hepatology. His research group developed and patented a new method to detect bacterial genomic fragments in blood and ascitic fluid in 2002. This technique was developed to be applied in patients with cirrhosis and ascites, and his group showed for first time in the world the presence of those fragments in 35 percent of patients with ascites. Subsequent investigations demonstrated the harmful effects of the presence of bacterial DNA in blood. Since then, bacterial DNA detection has been carried out in other diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, acute pancreatitis, obesity, HIV patients, and others, and researchers from all around the world have spent time in his lab to learn these techniques.
Dr. Such completed his fellowship in Hospital de la Sta. Creu I St. Pau in Barcelona and is certified by the Spanish Ministry of Education in Medicine and Gastroenterology. He spent one year at the Loma Linda University in California as Research Scholar working on pathogenesis of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis.
Dr. Ammar Kheir, MBBS, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Kheir was a Consultant Gastroenterologist and Therapeutic Colonoscopist at Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee. He was also a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Dr. Kheir received his medical degree from the University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan. He completed his foundation medical training at James Cook University Hospital, UK. Following that, he completed Basic Physician Training at John Hunter Hospital and the University of Newcastle, Australia. He then completed his Core Gastroenterology and Hepatology Training at the Central Coast and Northern Sydney hospitals. After that, he completed an advanced Therapeutic Colonoscopy fellowship at Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. He also completed an advanced Endoscopic Training at Kyushu University Hospital, Japan.
Dr. Kheir has a particular interest and expertise in image-enhanced endoscopy, high-quality colonoscopy, bowel cancer screening in adults, inflammatory bowel disease, management of colonic polyposis, advanced endoscopic resection techniques, Barrett’s esophagus and screening for early gastric cancer. He presented at international meetings, was published in peer reviewed journals and authored endoscopy textbook chapters.
Yasir M. Akmal, MBBCh, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Akmal was a General and Oncologic Surgeon at Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles, California. He served as the Associate Program Director of the General Surgery Residency, helped pioneer regional robotic colorectal surgery and launched the Robotic Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery Program. He was also awarded the Residency Teaching Award and the Departmental Merit Award.
His areas of expertise include minimally invasive and robotic surgery, complex upper and lower gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery for benign and malignant disease, colorectal cancer, soft tissue tumors, breast, thyroid and parathyroid surgery, and surgery for peritoneal malignancies with intraoperative administration of chemotherapy. Dr. Akmal pursued his bachelor degree in Exercise Science at the University of Southern California and received his medical degree from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He completed an internship in Surgery at the University of Southern California and completed his General Surgical training at Geisinger Medical Center, Pennsylvania. He then went on to complete a fellowship in Surgical Oncology at City of Hope National Medical Center, California.
Dr. Akmal resides in Abu Dhabi with his wife and three children. He is an avid sportsman and video-gamer.
Associate Staff Physician
General Surgery, Digestive Disease Institute
Dr. Ahmad Matalkah, MD, is an Associate Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to Joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Matalkah was a Surgical Oncology fellow in the Department of Surgery at the King Hussein Cancer Center, Amman, Jordan. In this role, he provided patient care in areas of advanced malignant upper gastrointestinal and colorectal diseases.
Dr. Matalkah lives in Abu Dhabi with his wife and daughter. He enjoys spending time with family and playing sports.
Amer AlKhatib, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Al Khatib worked as an interventional gastroenterologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma, US.
Dr. AlKhatib earned his medical degree from the University of Jordan in Amman before pursuing medical training in the US. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas in Houston and practiced medicine in Spokane, Washington. He later joined the University of Utah’s liver transplant team in 2007. He completed his gastroenterology fellowship from University of Utah. He was the first physician to join and finish Advanced Endoscopy fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, US.
Dr. AlKhatib has published more than 40 papers, many of which are in elite international medical journals, including the American Journal of Medicine. He is passionate about medicine and his professional interests include pancreatic and biliary disorders. He is skilled in many routine and advanced endoscopic procedures and has taught medical students, residents and fellows for more than a decade. He had affiliation with Washington State University and Oklahoma State University as adjunct assistant professor.
Bret Alan Cardwell, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Cardwell held a number of roles at Mayo Clinic Health Systems, Minnesota, US, including General Surgeon, Acute Care Surgeon, and a number of leadership roles. Dr. Cardwell takes pride in ensuring each of his patients is treated with the utmost care and respect.
Dr. Cardwell first trained as a veterinarian due to his family’s long history of involvement in agriculture in the US. Realizing he had a talent and passion for surgery, he continued his education to become a physician and surgeon at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Hennepin County Medical Center, the largest Level 1 trauma center in Minnesota.
Dr. Cardwell is married with two children and two grandchildren, and lives in Abu Dhabi with his wife of 36 years. He enjoys cycling, reading, movies, shooting sports, travel and experiencing new and interesting cuisines.
Hematology ＆ Oncology, Medical Subspecialties Institute
Elie B. Choufani, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Medical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Choufani practiced in several US-based hospitals as a Hematology and Oncology consultant physician. Dr. Choufani has 15 years experience treating patients with cancer and blood disorders. He also has experience in autologous bone marrow transplantation for blood cancers.
Dr. Choufani graduated from Saint Joseph University, Faculty of Medicine in Beirut, Lebanon, and went on to complete his residency training in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at Boston University Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, US.
Dr. Choufani current resides in Abu Dhabi with his wife and three children.
Cardiology, Heart ＆ Vascular Institute
Dr. Hani Sabbour, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Heart and Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Sabbour graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Basic Medical Sciences and another in Medicine and Surgery from Kuwait University Faculty of Medicine in 1994 with first class honors. He was also twice-awarded His Highness the Emirs Gold Medal for academic excellence in both degrees.
He subsequently went on to train in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease at SUNY Stony Brook in New York and was elected both Resident and Fellow of the Year several times. He then completed his training in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and was appointed Clinical Instructor in Cardiology at Harvard Medical School in 2001, as well as at SUNY Stony Brook.
Dr. Sabbour has six American Board Certifications and is currently certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Cardiac Electrophysiology, Advanced Heart failure and Transplant Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine, Echocardiography and Nuclear Cardiology. He has always been heavily involved in teaching and has been a part of the teaching faculty at Brown University since 2006. He was promoted to Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine in 2013.
Dr. Sabbour has been active in research and is currently an active PI in two international multi-center trials in the field of pacing and ICDs and has had several publications in the field. He was also appointed as the Internal Medicine Residency Program Director at Al Ain Hospital, as well as Arab Board Cardiology Fellowship Site Co-Director. He had been practicing in Rhode Island for 11 years and then moved to the UAE in 2013 to be a Consultant Cardiologist at SEHA (SKMC, Mafraq, Al Ain Hospital and Tawam) Hospitals. Following that, Dr. Sabbour has been a caregiver at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi since 2016.
His main clinical interests and expertise are in the management of Arrhythmias & Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation, Advanced CHF and Pulmonary Hypertension and Adult Congenital Heart Disease, as well as familial hyperlipidemia and complex lipid disorders. He is a co-principal investigator in the Gulf Familial Hyperlipidemia Registry and co-author on the Middle East Dyslipidemia Guidelines, as well as the Gulf ICD Registry and Practical Guidance on Anticoagulation for Atrial Fibrillation in the Middle East.
Homero Rivas, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS is a Professor of Surgery, and Associate Dean of Innovation and the Future at the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dubai, UAE. Formerly he was Associate Professor and the Director of Innovative Surgery at Stanford University. As a digestive and bariatric surgeon, he has 18 years of experience. After his training in general surgery at the University of North Dakota, he completed two one-year fellowships in Minimally Invasive Surgery at the University of Louisville and also at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, Spain. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery. He is a pioneer and leader in numerous state-of-the art innovative techniques of minimal access surgery including: scarless surgery; natural orifice surgery; Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM) for achalasia, robotic surgery, and more. He has been involved in minimal access surgery both nationally in the US and internationally in nearly all continents, as a surgeon-in-training, a practicing surgeon and also as teacher of other expert surgeons. Dr. Rivas Co-Chairs the International Committee for the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and he has been inducted as Honorary Fellow for both, the Brazilian College of Surgeons and the Brazilian College of Digestive Surgery.
Dr. Rivas has been involved in Digital Health for many years and has founded and advised many Digital Health startups. As a thought leader in Digital Health, he often collaborates with entrepreneurs and innovators from the Silicon Valley and now in the Middle East. He is also a Co-Founder and Director of the 8-Lab (Emergent Innovations in Global Health Lab). He is strong proponent of novel technologies in healthcare such as wearables, augmented and virtual reality, telemedicine, 3D printing, drones, artificial intelligence engines, etc. He teaches does some research on those subjects and also on implementing design thinking in medical education. He is the author of multiple peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. He is the Co-Editor of a book called “Digital Health, Scaling Healthcare to the World”. He holds an MBA from the Cox School of Business at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.
Endocrinology, Medical Subspecialties Institute
Hussein Saadi, MD, is the Institute Chair of the Medical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, where he oversees nine medical subspecialties including dermatology, endocrinology, hematology and oncology, hospital medicine, infectious disease, general internal medicine, nephrology and rheumatology.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Saadi was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, and Consultant Endocrinologist at Tawam Hospital in Abu Dhabi. He is a former member of the Cleveland Clinic Departments of General Internal Medicine and Endocrinology staff in the US.
Dr. Saadi is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Endocrinology. Dr. Saadi is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University. His specialty interests include diabetes mellitus, vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis and general endocrinology.
With a medical degree from the American University of Beirut, Dr. Saadi trained in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, in the US.
He enjoys reading, traveling, walking and soccer.
Javed Raza, MBBS, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Raza was a Consultant General and Upper Gastrointestinal and Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgeon at the Royal Derby Hospital, UK. In 2010, he became the Clinical Lead for Foregut Surgery and Regional Bariatric Surgery Unit at the Royal Derby Hospital.
Through his bariatric surgery work, he appeared on Regional (BBC) and National TV (Channel 4) in UK. His national TV appearance was a documentary about gastric bypass surgery, including a video of the actual surgery. He has participated in many live TV discussions and has served as the anchor for a three hour fund raiser in UK.
Dr. Raza has been a technical advisor to National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) in UK for bariatric surgery since 2010, and was also involved with formulating national guidelines for provision of bariatric surgery in the UK.
Dr. Raza is also is the Vice Chairman of Midland Doctors Association in the UK, a charitable organization that delivered emergency health care following an earthquake in Pakistan in 2005. Since then, the organization has constructed and is managing an 80-bed state of the art charitable health facility in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan.
He has extensive experience in development of bariatric services and has led the development of three bariatric surgery units in UK. He has also helped to support the development of laparoscopic surgery in Egypt and Pakistan. His special areas of interest are bariatric surgery, foregut cancer surgery and emergency laparoscopic surgery.
He has presented outcomes of his bariatric and advanced laparoscopic work at many international conferences and has chaired and moderated the sessions on multiple occasions. He has also served as director for advanced laparoscopic courses, including live transmission of his own laparoscopic surgery cases.
Dr. Raza resides in Abu Dhabi. He enjoys poetry and Sufi music.
Associate Professor of Surgery, FACS, Diakonissen & Wehrle Private Clinic, Austria, Chief Medical Officer, Johnson & Johnson (Middle East).
Dr. Karl Miller is a specialist in obesity treatment and weight loss surgery. He has worked as an associate professor of surgery at the University of Innsbruck, Austria and was president of the 20th World Congress of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) in 2015. He was also chief medical officer at Johnson & Johnson Middle East and a consultant surgeon and head of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgical Unit, Diakonissen & Wehrle Private Clinic, Salzburg Austria. Dr. Miller is currently working in Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Academic Medical Centre, Dubai Healthcare City.
Endocrinology, Medical Subspecialties Institute
Dr. Maguy Chiha is a Staff Physician specialized in Endocrinology at the Medical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Chiha worked at Mount Sinai Hospital, Chicago where she headed the division of endocrinology. She was the physician champion of the Diabetes Center for Excellence.
Dr. Chiha was actively involved in medical education with students, residents and fellows when she was the Assistant Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program.
Dr. Chiha received her medical degree from the American University of Beirut in 2005, after which she pursued a residency in internal medicine at Henry Ford Hospital and served as a Chief Medical Resident. She then completed her endocrinology fellowship at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois.
Mohammad Al-Haddad, MBBS, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. He specializes in the treatment of pancreatic disease and advanced endoscopic procedures.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Al-Haddad worked as Associate Professor of Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he also directed the advanced endoscopy fellowship program in endosonography. Dr. Al-Haddad also served the Medical Director of the Indiana University Pancreas Cyst and Pancreas Cancer Prevention Program, a unique multidisciplinary program dedicated to managing thousands of patients with premalignant and malignant pancreatic conditions.
He was directly involved in the training of physicians in the field of gastroenterology in general and endoscopy in particular. He has authored and co-authored more than 100 papers in peer reviewed medical literature, 10 book chapters, and presented over 120 abstracts in national and international conferences.
Dr. Al-Haddad is an active member of the three main gastrointestinal societies in the US, including the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the American College of Gastroenterology, and has served on multiple committees and is regularly invited to speak and moderate at annual scientific meetings.
Dr. Al-Haddad received his medical degree from the University of Jordan Faculty of Medicine in Amman, Jordan. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, US. He completed his fellowship in Gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, US.
Mohammad Alam, FRACP, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Alam was a Consultant Gastroenterologist at Burjeel Hospital and Mafraq Hospital, both in Abu Dhabi.
Dr. Alam received his medical degree from Kolkata University, India. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at Liverpool Hospital, New South Wales, Australia. He also completed his Gastroenterology and Hepatology fellowship at Westmead Hospital, New South Wales, Australia.
Naveed Ahmed, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. He brings more than 25 years of experience in providing high-quality care to patients.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Ahmed held several roles at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS, US, including Staff Surgeon and Consultant in General Surgery, Trauma & Critical Care Surgery, and Endocrine & Hepatobiliary Surgery. Before that, he served at Cleveland Clinic’s Huron Hospital in East Cleveland, Ohio, US, as Co-Director then Director of Surgical Intensive Care where he helped establish the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. He also served as: Director, Division of Trauma Services; Chief, Division of General Surgery; and Vice-Chair, Department of Surgery.
Dr. Ahmed earned his medical degree at Allama Iqbal Medical Collage of Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan. He followed with his Surgical Residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Hospital and Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center in New York, New York, US, from 1993 until 1998. He also completed his Fellowship in Surgical Intensive Care there in 1997.
In 2000, he completed his Surgical Residency at Cleveland Clinic’s Huron Hospital, where he continued to work as a Staff Surgeon and on the teaching staff until 2009.
Dr. Ahmed is a Diplomate with the American Board of General Surgery and the American Board of Surgical Intensive Care, and completed the American Society of Transplant Surgeons Fellowship Program with Cleveland Clinic in 2009 for Kidney and Liver Transplant Surgery.
Dr. Ahmed has been mentoring and teaching medical students and surgical, ENT, and anesthesia residents since 2000, and has received multiple teaching accolades and awards. He has participated in multiple studies to improve quality of care for patients, as well as quality of life and training of medical students and surgeons. He has published numerous studies, presented multiple journals and lectured globally.
Dr. Ahmed now lives in Abu Dhabi with his wife and two children.
Executive Health, Medical Subspecialties Institute
Nicole Sirotin, MD, is Chair of Preventive Medicine in the Medical Subspecialties Institute and leads the Executive Health Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Dr. Sirotin is among the first medical professionals globally to be certified as Diplomates of the ABLM/American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine. Lifestyle Medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, tobacco cessation, and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat, and reverse chronic disease.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Sirotin was Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Sirotin also served as Medical Director of the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights and conducted research as co-PI of a study on food insecurity in northern Uganda with Cornell University.
Prior to Weill Cornell, Dr. Sirotin was Associate Program Director of the Primary Care/Social Medicine Residency Program Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center. She also co-directed the Global Health course and was an Attending Physician in the Bronx Human Rights Center.
Dr. Sirotin earned her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School and completed her residency in Primary Care/General Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, with a Health Equities Area of Distinction. After residency, Dr. Sirotin completed a research fellowship in Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego.
Dr. Sirotin’s greatest accomplishments have always been the positive changes she has helped her patients realize, whether they were UAE nationals struggling with diabetes and obesity, New Yorkers with heart disease, or refugees seeking asylum in the US.
Primary Care - Family Medicine, Medical Subspecialties Institute
Rahat Ghazanfar , MD, is a Staff Physician in the General Medicine Department in the Medical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Ghazanfar worked as a Family Medicine Consultant at Intercare Health Center and Kings College Clinic in Abu Dhabi. Her personal mission is to help shape Primary Care and Family Medical care in the UAE. In addition, Dr. Ghazanfar aspires to have a role in shaping a cost effective but world class Community Care for the population of Abu Dhabi.
Prior to her 3 years in Abu Dhabi, Dr. Ghazanfar worked as a Family medicine consultant in Taplow, UK where she was lead clinician for Walk-In services and the Urgent care center. She has a special interest in Obesity and Weight Management.
Dr. Ghazanfar completed her Family Medicine Training at Oxford Deanery, UK after earning her medical degree from Sindh Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan.
Dr. Ghazanfar currently resides in Abu Dhabi with her husband and 2 children. She enjoys baking, swimming, walking and travelling.
Sahar Hindi, MD is a Staff Physician in the Endocrinology department of the Medical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. She is dual American Board Certified in Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism in addition to Internal Medicine.
Prior to joining the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Hindi served as Assistant Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. At UTSW, Dr. Hindi was actively involved in medical education and teaching of medical students, residents, and fellows.
Dr. Hindi received her undergraduate degree with distinction from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., graduating Summa Cum Laude. She went on to earn her medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine, where she received the Dean's Distinguished Healthcare Scholar Award and was accepted into a highly competitive internship at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. She then completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was active in global health.
Dr. Hindi subsequently completed her fellowship in Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). At UCSF, Dr. Hindi received advanced training in clinical research and conducted in-depth research in diabetes mellitus, with a focus on pancreatic beta-cell function in pregnancy, as well as in metabolic bone diseases. She has subsequently published articles in peer-reviewed medical journals and presented at major international medical conferences. Dr. Hindi was also among a small number of fellows selected from the US and Canada to attend a competitive preceptorship for advanced training in Metabolic Bone Disease at Columbia University in New York City.
Dr. Hindi is passionate about global health and the delivery of high-quality, patient-centered care. She has broad experience in general endocrinology with a special interest in the management of diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, metabolic bone disease, and women's health.
Colorectal Surgery, Digestive Disease Institute
Shafik Sidani, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Sidani completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship in Gastrointestinal Physiology at Yale University, US. He completed his training in General Surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital and Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, US.
Subsequently, he completed a fellowship in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, US. He also served as Chief of Colon and Rectal Surgery at the Virginia Hospital Center, Arlington, VA, US.
He specializes in the minimally invasive surgical treatment of colorectal cancer using laparoscopic and robotic techniques. Dr. Sidani established the colorectal surgery Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program at Virginia Hospital Center. He is an active member of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, and has authored numerous publications and book chapters.
Dr. Sidani lives in Abu Dhabi with his wife and three children. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and staying active by playing soccer and tennis.
Professor of Surgery, Oncology Institute Chair, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Dr. Stephen R. Grobmyer completed his fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 2004. Formerly, the Edward M.Copeland III Chair in Surgical Oncology at University of Florida; in 2012 he became Section Head of Surgical Oncology and Director of the Breast Center at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. He was the Lula Zapis Endowed Chair and Professor of Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of CaseWestern Reserve University, and co-leader of the Cleveland Clinic ComprehensiveBreast Cancer Program. In 2019, Dr. Grobmyer became the Oncology Institute Chair, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.
Dr. Grobmyer has be enelected to Best Doctors in America every year consecutively since 2007. Nationally, he has served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Education Committee, and he was formerly as Scientific Program Committee Chair for the Society of Surgical Oncology. He has served on the Breast Cancer Advisory Committee for the American Board of Surgery and serves on the Editorial Board of The European Journal of Surgical Oncology, The Annals of Surgical Oncology, and The Breast Journal. He is an active member of the Southern Surgical Association, Society of Surgical Oncology, American College of Surgeons, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and American Society of Breast Surgeons. He has given over 100 invited lectures nationally andinternationally.
Dr. Grobmyer’s innovative research focuses on developing new approaches to prevent, diagnoseand treat breast cancer. He has published over 150 peer reviewed manuscripts, 16 book chapters and edited a textbook on innovative cancer therapies. He is currently the editor for the Breast Cancer Section for Society of Surgical Oncology’s Complex General Surgical Oncology. He has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including: The Lester Dragstedt Physician Scientist Award, The Society of Surgical Oncology Clinical Investigator Award, and The American College of Surgeons Japan Travelling Fellowship.
Associate Staff Physician
Colorectal Surgery, Digestive Disease Institute
Lameese Tabaja, MD, is an Associate Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Tabaja completed her sub-specialty in Colorectal Surgery at Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium, which also houses the European Cancer Center. In this role, she was involved in the management of complex colorectal and anal disorders, both benign or malignant. She also led enhanced recovery protocols and Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) to accelerate patients’ recovery.
Dr. Tabaja earned her sub-specialty degree in Colorectal Surgery from the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels. She also received an Advanced Laparoscopic Training Certificate from the University of Strasbourg in France.
Her clinical expertise is in colorectal and anal surgery. She is devoted to evidence-based practice and alongside her clinical expertise. Dr. Tabaja has special interest in complex anal disorder management and has been involved in research activities, as well as presented in multiple conferences on the subject.
Female Pelvic Floor Diseases, Minimally Invasive Surgery
Associate Fellow of American College of Surgeons (ACS)
I am a General Surgeon working in Dubai Healthcare City, with particular interest in Colorectal Surgery, Proctology and Pelvic Floor Diseases, focusing on Minimally Invasive Techniques such as STARR (Stapled TransAnal Rectal Resection), VAAFT (Video Assisted Anal Fistula Treatment) and EPSiT (Endoscopic Pilonidal Sinus Treatment).
I graduated from Medical School at ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome, Italy. I also trained in the USA, with a clinical clerkship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, Boston. I completed my residency in General Surgery at ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome, Italy. I won different national and international prizes for my research activity, publishing many papers and writing a book chapter.
I have been focusing my clinical activity on the latest Minimally Invasive Techniques for treating haemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, anal fistula and pilonidal sinus. These new approaches allow patients to experience less pain and very quick return to daily activities. I also take care of rectal bleeding, acute and chronic rectal pain, anal itching, anal fissure and anal stenosis. I perform all other general surgery procedures including: inguinal hernia, breast surgery, thyroid surgery, laparoscopic cholecystectomy and laparoscopic ventral hernia repair.
I have also good experience in Biofeedback and Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation, especially concerning after delivery incontinence and pelvic dyssynergia.In addition, I perform anoscopy, rectoscopy, 3D Endoanal Ultrasound and Rectal Manometry.
I have a patient-centered approach, very respectful and compassionate, with a special interest in clinical research and teaching.
I am an Associate Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Zaher Koutoubi, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Koutoubi was a Consultant in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Tawam Hospital, Al Ain for nine years, between 2005 and 2014. He also served as the Chairman of the Clinical Peer Review Committee between 2008 and 2014 in the same institute. Before his time serving at Tawam Hospital, he also served as Chief of Gastroenterology & Hepatology Division, Director of Outpatient Department and Chairman of Patients Relation Committee at Kingdom Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between 2001 and 2005.
He earned his medical degree at Cluj-Napoca University School of Medicine, Romania. He undertook his Internal Medicine Residency training at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, US. He carried out his Gastroenterology Fellowship at Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, where he also served as Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Dr. Koutoubi has been American Board Certified in Gastroenterology since 2000, and was re-certified in 2010. He is also American board-certified in Internal Medicine.
Dr. Koutoubi is interested in all aspects of gastroenterology, hepatology, liver transplantation and endoscopy, with special interests in the field of hepatology and inflammatory bowel disease. He is also very active in research and has been involved with many projects focused on Hepatitis B and C and gastrointestinal bleeding. He has presented his research findings at international gastroenterology meetings and conferences.
Dr. Koutoubi currently serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, including the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM) and Gastroenterology & Hepatology Open Access.