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Late Dr. Burwell (PAT) Kennedy and Dr. Marian Kennedy

UAE Awards

Hamdan Award for Honouring Individuals Working in the Field of Medicine & Health
Dr. Burwell Kennedy and his wife Dr. Marian Kennedy came to United Arab Emirates on an invitation from Late Sheikh  DZayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his brother Sheikh Shakhbutto start a hospital in Al Ain in the year 1960.
After Dr. Pat and Dr. Marian showed their expertise in the American State Medical Care in Muscat (Oman) and Bahrain, they were asked by the Rulers to establish The Oasis Hospital in Al Ain. This was the first and only hospital in the whole emirate of Abu Dhabi serving Al Ain and surrounding area of Buraimi in addition to the coastal and interior areas of Oman. The first Government hospital was established 10 years after the establishment of the Oasis Hospital.
In the period from 1960 to 1963 Drs. Pat and Marian Kennedy and their medical team established their first clinic in a guest house donated by Sheikh Zayed. The initial rooms for patients were constructed quickly with palm branches and was a temporary arrangement. In the meantime building work had started on a clinic and three homes on the site that Sheikhs donated and which became its permanent location. In 1963, the rooms made of palm fronds were destroyed by fire. During those ten years, Dr. Burwell and Dr. Marian suffered a lot of physical hardships and challenges on the way to make the hospital a full fledged one which today has the comforts and facilities of international healthcare. During those days there were no electricity and water resulting in no air conditioning and no proper storage facility for the medicines. The intravenous fluids were made by them by mixing water, sugar and salt according to a recipe. Due to absence of support staff, they themselves performed all the jobs including cleaning and maintaining the rooms.
They remained in the country until 1962 without ever taking a holiday to visit their homeland due to the unavailability of replacement doctors. The infant mortality rate of 50% was very high in 1960 and maternal mortality rate was around 35% in addition to the prevalence of many endemic diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, eye diseases, intestinal disorders etc. It was a crucial time to establish a hospital to deal with these problems. Drs Kennedy were very keen and well prepared to prevent these diseases. The people of Al Ain were very kind and welcomed them to their homes and showed their gratitude to their medical services. Hence, they became known as "Kenned and Mariam".
After winning the hearts of the people of Al Ain the Kennedys started their new treatments and medications. This finally resulted in safe deliveries and good pediatric care. As a result, the mortality rates reduced drastically in a very short period. Most of the family members of Al Nahyan dynasty were born at the Oasis Hospital during those first 15 years. The total number of births that has taken place in Oasis Hospital to date is more than 80,000. They served in the hospital as primary doctors until 1 975 when they resettled in the United States to pursue the education of their children. But they continued to love the Arab people of the Emirates and Oman. They left behind a strong and continued legacy, an example of love and sacrificial service to the people in the UAE. The Oasis Hospital is also known as Kennedy Hospital by the local people. Today, Drs. Pat and Marian Kennedy are known as truly medical pioneers in what is now the United Arab Emirates. They understood the great need for them, and out of compassion and love, they and their family made many sacrifices in their material comfort and wealth to serve the people of the United Arab Emirates. The extent of their contributions to the people of the United Arab Emirates cannot be measured.
Dr. Pat Kennedy was born in 1919 and died in  2000 at the age of 81. Dr. Marian Kennedy lives in California in the United States of America and two of their children have become doctors.
In the Oasis Hospital, the day to day health care services are given on a non-profit basis and no one has been refused healthcare for financial reasons. In addition to the routine medical services, the Kennedys treated gunshot wounds, animal bites, dental problems and any other challenging situation.  In the absence of veterinary care, Dr. Pat also treated many animals including camels, falcons, goats and cattle.
For the above remarkable healthcare services provided to the people of the United Arab Emirates by the Late Dr. Burwell (Pat) and Dr. Marian Kennedy, they were together deserving of the Harridan Award for honoring individuals working in the field of medicine and health for the 2005-2006 session.