I’m the marketing and CSR director at Almoosa Specialist Hospital in Al-Ahsa.
I grew up in the Al-Ahsa region in the 1980s and early 1990s when the area wasn’t as developed as it is now. One shortcoming was that we only had health centers, so residents had to drive for hours to reach a major city hospital, a disadvantage that was turned to an advantage after a few years.
As a child, I was misdiagnosed with a form of cancer in my leg. This paved the way for a grand project spearheaded by my father, Abdul Aziz Almoosa, who was told by a colleague that he should take me to the Boston Children’s Hospital to visit the best orthopedic oncologist there.
The treatment process was unprecedented, from patient care to the support and information we received. Dr. Mark Gebhardt called my father at his hotel room and told him that I didn’t have cancer. On returning home, my father decided to open a hospital in the region, Almoosa Specialist Hospital.
He gave back to his home region in the best way possible, ensuring that all patients and visitors get the same standard of treatment that Boston Children’s Hospital offered me. My father’s passion and desire to give back to the community motivated our family.
I was educated in Al-Ahsa and received my BA in mathematics, but I was uncertain what wanted to do after graduating. I got married in college, had my first child soon after and focused on volunteer work, but still never found my calling.
In 2012, the hospital faced a crisis following the discovery of a coronavirus. This was a major blow, but it didn’t deter us. My father’s vision was to ensure the best care for patients, and we couldn’t let the issue result in the collapse of the hospital, a major source of treatment for many in the area.
I found myself involved in the restructuring process and helping to rebuild by focusing on our social responsibility to the community. I found my calling.
With my background in volunteering and community service, I was able to help both society and hospital. The revamping helped both parties to grow alongside one another, and highlighted community health awareness by involving every member of the community.
My husband, Hani Alshaikh Mubarak, and I try to encourage these values in our daughters. We want them to understand how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to keep active. It doesn’t matter if they want to get into the family business or not, so long as they understand the concept of giving back to the community and being the best versions of themselves.
Organizing annual marathons, developing parks and accommodating children with special needs means it’s more than volunteering now. I am focused on developing community-based integrated care that is changing the way Al-Ahsa residents are living — this is what I was meant to do.
A few years ago, we invited Dr. Mark Gebhardt to the hospital. He was moved to learn how a simple task of taking care of a patient and their family affected our lives. Kindness and care go a long way, and we need more of both to help build a stronger and more integrated community.