Dr. Mounes Kalaawi

CEO of Clemenceau Medical Center, Chairman and CEO of Clemenceau Medicine International

Dr. Mounes Kalaawi

“We provide an exceptional experience for comprehensive medical care”

Clemenceau Medical Center (CMC) affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine International, is a state-of-the-art ultra-modern medical center located in the heart of Beirut that provides quality healthcare services within a supportive and compassionate environment. Shedding light on the main developments and accomplishments achieved by CMC in 2019, Dr. Mounes Kalaawi, CEO of Clemenceau Medical Center, Chairman and CEO of Clemenceau Medicine International, conducted an interview with Arab Hospital Magazine during which he explained the vision for 2020.

In light of the hospital’s developments and achievements, what is the new standard of excellence in medicine that CMC offers? Would you tell us about your vision for 2020? What are the main centers of excellence within the hospital? What business strategy are you adopting?

Since its inception to date, Clemenceau Medical Center (CMC) strives to improve the patient’s quality of life by providing the highest levels of care. CMC has introduced a new concept of excellence in health care focused on the patient’s comfort and improving his/her hospital experience by providing advanced treatments by world class physicians within a healing hospital environment and hotelier services.

Moreover, integrated patient-centered care is the foundation upon which CMC was envisioned. We focus on value and treating patients as members with the main goal of keeping them healthy. Within this model of care, multidisciplinary teams bring together the expertise and skills of different professionals to asses, plan and manage care jointly. By providing a holistic approach to care, it enables CMC to deliver comprehensive, continuous & seamless care services across different settings. This includes enhancing patient safety, reducing medical errors, reducing patient recovery time, and providing minimally-invasive alternatives.

At CMC, progressive development comes hand in hand with new technologies. And here history has shown that CMC has a long list of firsts, from being the first to introduce Robotic Surgery to Lebanon to maturing our centers of excellence; such as expanding our Heart Center to include an interventional unit with 2 cardiac catherization labs as well as expanding the Cancer Center to include Radiation, Surgical, and Medical Oncological services. In addition, to expanding our radiology department to include an interventional radiology unit that diagnoses and treats a wide variety of diseases in a minimally invasive manner.  We ensure that the newest technologies are available and used by world-renowned physicians from all specialties, and fully supported by a strong team of nurses, technicians, and administratives as we substantially believe in team work. 

In addition to adopting new technologies on a medical level, we are always looking to advance our service-related technological capabilities. For instance, we continually seek new solutions that automate daily duties of physicians and clinicians in order to give them more time to practice medicine and focus on patients.  By being early adopters of technologies like the Electronic Health records and Hospital Information Systems, we can improve connectivity and engagement amongst health partakers, health systems, health plans, and patients and families. 

Finally, we believe that knowledge and continuous education of our doctors and staff play a vital role in improving our services. Therefore, we actively hold conferences, workshops and training in cooperation with local hospitals and Johns Hopkins Medicine International as transfer of know-how and knowledge are the key to sustainability. 

What is the latest news at the level of global awards?

We, at CMC, take pride in the achievements we have attained, which have earned us numerous regional and international awards and certifications. 

This year, CMC was awarded the Language of Caring Award at the annual Johns Hopkins Partner’s Forum at Baltimore.

The hospital was also ranked the number one hospital for medical travelers by MTQUA in 2019.

In addition CMC was awarded the Excellence in Patient Service and Care Award for the 4th consecutive year at the IMTJ Medical Travel Summit held in Berlin. Also CMC was shortlisted for Best Quality Initiative, Best use of Technology in Medical Travel, International Cancer Center of the Year, and International Eye Clinic of the Year.

We would like to talk about CMC’s newly installed fully automated laboratory. What is its importance? And to what extent will it provide advanced efficiency in dealing with laboratory samples?

Following its mission of providing its patients’ excellence and safety in care, CMC has invested in a total laboratory automation system that provides the power and flexibility to meet the needs of the laboratory, both today and in the future. Combined with informatics and lean principles, the fully automated lab at CMC maximizes efficiency by providing consistent, predictable sample management and helps improve patient care by minimizing opportunities for error.

In an effort to reduce overall laboratory costs and improve overall laboratory efficiencies, CMC has established and implemented a centralized Core Laboratory that includes the main modalities and supported by comprehensive laboratory IT solutions to perform the laboratory testing throughout the system in a timely and cost-effective fashion for the ultimate goal of enhancing patient services and safety. 

“We, at CMC, take pride in the achievements we have attained, which have earned us numerous regional and international awards and certifications.”

What about the new EP Lab technology?

The electrophysiology (EP) lab has become highly specialized over the past years, leading to the subspecialty emerging as one of the fastest growing within the cardiovascular service line. At CMC Heart Center, we introduced the most advanced EP technologies developed for diagnostic and interventional procedures, including catheter ablation, electrophysiology studies, cardiac device implantations, 3D mapping, device implantation for rhythm management, and transcatheter therapy of structural heart disease. By pairing this technology with specialized electrophysiologists and technicians, we are able to provide to our patients high quality cardiovascular care, improve clinical outcomes, reduce procedural time, and provide safe and minimally invasive solutions. 

The expansion of the Radiology department is one of the most important expansions you made in 2019. What are the latest developments in medical imaging technology? What about specialists/ proficiency in the diagnosis and treatment, especially with the use of catheters and microneedles?

CMC has expanded its radiology department to focus more on interventional radiology by providing the latest advances in imaging technology and specialists to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions using small catheters and needles. With this technology, CMC provides a range of services, including: Biopsy, Uterine fibroid treatment, hemorrhoid treatment, Kidney and liver cancer treatment, and so on. CMC’s interventional radiologists are leaders in this image-guided therapeutic revolution. With miniaturized tools and tiny catheters, they deliver precisely targeted treatment anywhere inside the body — without the need for open surgery. By doing so, they are able to destroy malignant tumors with extreme heat or cold, without harming healthy tissue, block the blood supply to harmful growths such as uterine fibroids, eliminating the need for hysterectomies in many women, open blocked blood vessels in peripheral disease and diabetes, biopsy tissue in areas that once required exploratory surgery, drain blockages in the liver, gallbladder, kidney and other organs. For patients, this can mean less pain and scarring, as well as a recovery measured in days instead of weeks.

Within the framework of modern treatment standards, the cancer patient receives the latest technology and treatment methods. Would you please tell us about the importance of your cancer center in terms of treatment methods and healthcare providers?

Due to the increase in the number of cancer patients in Lebanon and the region, we found it important to expand on our oncological services to offer a full-fledged cancer center. The CMC Cancer Center offers oncological treatment services with unmatched patient care and safety measures, dedicated towards meeting every step required to successfully carry out treatment all under one roof.  The center provides medical, surgical, and radiation oncology services and treatments in a state-of-the-art facility with the most advanced technologies. We also thrive to provide our patients with a compassionate and personalized care by providing all support services including but not limited to pain management and palliative care, multidisciplinary organ specialists, tumor board reviews, continuous education and research, etc. 

“Clemenceau Medicine International is working to establish a network of top-notch medical centers from Riyadh and Dubai to other regional and international cities, with the aim of gathering expertise, human resources and outstanding healthcare from all over the region.”

The latest treatments provided by the CMC Cancer Center:

Ocular Oncology Service: We are proud to announce that we successfully established the first adult ocular oncology service in Lebanon. In the past, removal of the eye was the only available treatment for choroidal melanoma in Lebanon.  Today at CMC, we offer up-to-date treatment for choroidal melanoma and other intraocular tumors such as brachytherapy (radioactive plaques) which is used to preserve the eye and vision of our patients. Brachytherapy entails placing a radioactive plaque on the surface of the eye to directly treat the underlying tumor with minimal damage to the surrounding ocular tissues. 

Immunotherapy to treat advanced Breast Cancer: We use the same modern treatments that are being used in Europe and USA. At the beginning of 2019, the FDA approved the use of immunomodulators that are effective in treating patients with triple-negative breast cancer. During that same month, we started using this highly effective treatment in Beirut which has mild side effects and enhances the patient’s immunity against cancer cells and is more effective than conventional chemotherapy. 

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT): SBRT administers very high doses of radiation, using several beams of various intensities aimed at different angles to precisely target the tumor. SBRT begins with one or more sessions of treatment planning with advanced imaging techniques to precisely map the position of the tumor. The images are used to design a four-dimensional, customized treatment plan that determines beam intensity and positioning. The goal is to deliver the highest possible dose to kill the cancer while minimizing exposure to healthy organs.

We must talk about the regional expansions of CMC carried out by Clemenceau Medicine International. What is the reason for choosing Dubai and Riyadh? 

Clemenceau Medicine International (CMI) is launching hospitals in major regional city centers and destinations around the Middle East to create a network of state-of-the-art medical centers, and bring together expertise from all across the region, hence making quality healthcare accessible to the entire community. The network, which now consists of CMC Beirut, CMC Dubai, and CMC Riyadh and will expand to other international cities, will deliver value-based care across the region. 

The Clemenceau Medicine network will provide patients access to internationally accredited facilities designed to support, facilitate state-of-the-art medicine, technology, patient safety, quality patient care, as well as embrace the patient, family and caregivers in a psycho-socially supportive and therapeutic environment. In addition, our patients will have access to specialized physicians and experts and will be able to exchange experiences and know-how via telemedicine and Medical Second Opinions without the patient having to travel. 

Overall, this network provides patients with greater accessibility to quality patient-centered care to help diagnose and deliver treatment. By sharing expertise, medical know-how will rapidly reach new heights, helping patients and their families’ access better treatments and improve their quality of life. 

Today, Dubai is becoming a new hub for medical travelers. Medical tourism sales in the UAE are increasing with growth supported by a number of government-led initiatives of 2021 and the rising number of medical travelers in the country. Based on that, it was important for us to have a medical center in Dubai.

 Clemenceau Medical Center in Dubai Healthcare City is a 100-bed State-of-the-Art Medical Center designed to offer patients the most innovative treatments and technologies available in the region, in a safe and compassionate environment. 

Our patients will benefit from avant-garde treatments and technologies since CMC in Dubai Healthcare City is fully equipped with the most modern and advanced medical equipment. In addition, CMC will offer its patients a diversified medical team of physicians and staff with international expertise to deliver the best clinical practice under one roof. The medical center will officially start operating at the beginning of 2020. 

As for Clemenceau Medical Center Riyadh, the 180-bed hospital provides all the essential health services required through a person’s lifetime. 

The hospital will also offer patients with the most innovative treatments and technologies within a first class service, in a 5 star hotel ambiance with spacious furnished suites and VIP services.  Our professional clinical staff will be trained to deliver high quality standards of care to ensure a positive patient experience at its finest. 

Moreover, the medical education and availability of skilled and leading Saudi Doctors will add to the appeal of the hospital and will be further enriched with the transfer of knowledge amongst the network. 

To summarize, what Clemenceau Medicine offers is 15 years of service excellence and personalized healthcare culture. We are bringing a decade of experience and know-how. 

Our patients in this region will have access to high quality advanced healthcare and share expertise from Beirut, Dubai, Riyadh and beyond through our network as well as our international affiliation with the best.

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