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The American Hospital Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

The Mayo Clinic has expanded its reach to the Middle East for the first time.

The Rochester-based hospital system announced Wednesday that American Hospital Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network. The 240-bed, 80-physician facility was founded in 1996 and later became the first private medical institution to be accredited by The Joint Commission International.

This week's formal agreement will provide the foreign facility with "access to the latest Mayo Clinic knowledge and promotes collaboration among physicians to benefit patients," according to a news release.

"We are very proud to be the first hospital in the Middle East to be selected to join the prestigious Mayo Clinic Care Network," said Peter Makowski, CEO of American Hospital Dubai. "We look forward to building on the high standards of care we have in place and enhancing quality even more. As one of the pioneers of private health care and an innovator in the region, we are determined to push the bar even higher in the Middle East when it comes to patient-centric care — a commitment we share with Mayo Clinic."

In addition to gaining access to Mayo's "extensive library of patient education materials," the new partnership will open up the following opportunities for the Dubai facility:

• eConsults that enable American Hospital Dubai physicians to connect electronically and directly with Mayo specialists for additional input on a patient's care

• AskMayoExpert database for reference at the point of care to offer the latest Mayo-vetted information on disease management, care guidelines, treatment recommendations and reference materials for a wide range of medical conditions

• Health care consulting that enables American Hospital Dubai to learn more about Mayo's clinical, operational and business models, including their design and implementation

• eTumor Board conferences that invite American Hospital Dubai physicians to present and discuss management of complex cancer cases with a multidisciplinary panel of Mayo specialists and other network members

The Mayo Clinic Care Network generally is centered around its main campuses in Minnesota, Florida and Arizona. It actually operated a cardiology facility in Dubai from 2005-10, but officials appear eager to reclaim that territory.

"We are pleased to welcome American Hospital Dubai to the Mayo Clinic Care Network," said Dr. David Hayes, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. "As we have worked together toward this day, it is clear that high-quality, patient-centered care is fundamental to the mission of both our organizations. We look forward to collaborating in ways that enhance that care."

Mayo says health care facilities undergo a "rigorous evaluation" before being invited to join its care network, which was created in 2011. The care network currently includes 35 organizations in the U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico and Singapore.

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