Saudi Aramco traces its beginnings to 1933 when Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with the Standard Oil Company of California. Soon thereafter, a few determined explorers began surveying and drilling to find oil in the Saudi dessert.

It wasn’t until 1938, however, that they discovered oil in commercial quantities at the drilling site Dammam No. 7 — aptly named the “Prosperity Well” — solidifying success for Saudi Aramco and establishing a prosperous future for Saudi Arabia.

Clearly, a lot can happen in five years.

This month marks the fifth anniversary of Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare (JHAH), the joint venture of Saudi Aramco and Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM). Over five years, the partners have had a far-reaching impact on the health of Saudi Aramco employees and their families.


The Strengths
Saudi Aramco is known for being the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals enterprise. Perhaps what is less well known is the company’s reputation for diligently supporting the health of its people.

As the company has continued to grow over the past eight decades, providing health care to its expanding workforce also has become much more complex. Saudi Aramco decided to work with Johns Hopkins Medicine to provide the best possible care to its employees and transform its health system for the future. JHM brought to the joint venture nearly 130 years of expertise in academic medicine, a concept combining clinical care, medical education and research.

It became global news when the two industry leaders teamed up in May 2014 to create Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, a first-of-its-kind partnership.


The Successes
Their collaborative achievements are transforming the care delivered within JHAH and amplifying its impact on the people and communities of Saudi Arabia.

Among JHAH’s most significant successes:

  • Cardiac Surgery: Cardiovascular diseases drive 42 percent of all adult deaths in Saudi Arabia, yet the Gulf region is vastly underserved in heart and vascular care. Following years of careful planning, JHAH relaunched its cardiac surgery program in April 2017, with JHM’s support. JHAH and JHM have also established a comprehensive Heart and Vascular Institute at JHAH that will help combat the disproportionately large burden of cardiovascular disease in the Kingdom.
  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program: JHAH and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine launched a Doctorate of Nursing Practice program with a cohort of 13 JHAH nurses. This program—the first ever offered in Saudi Arabia — enhanced nurses’ clinical skills, developed their leadership skills and solidified their essential role in delivering quality health care. When the students graduated in 2017, the number of nurses with doctorates in the Kingdom tripled.
  • Palliative Care: JHM and JHAH introduced palliative care — a relatively new concept in much of the world — and established a multidisciplinary program at JHAH. This new service eases suffering from chronic pain and incurable disease and improves the final days for terminally ill JHAH patients. JHAH continues to see volumes grow for its palliative care consult service, outpatient clinic, and its home health visits for chronic and end-of-life care.
  • Robotic Surgery: JHAH has been building a comprehensive robotic surgery program with JHM’s support in enhancing related clinical techniques and technologies. JHAH’s program now focuses on urology and gynecology, but the partners are building capacity to expand to other clinical specialties to offer more alternatives to traditional open surgeries.
  • Sickle Cell: In collaboration with JHM, JHAH now provides multidisciplinary care for patients with sickle cell disease, a recessive genetic disorder associated with high morbidity and mortality and with excruciating pain. JHAH launched an infusion clinic and developed treatment plans for the most frequently readmitted sickle cell patients. JHAH’s sickle cell program holds promise of serving as a model in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.


The Future
Clearly, much can happen in five years.

Since 2014, Johns Hopkins Medicine and Saudi Aramco have been enthusiastic partners in the Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare joint venture. In five years, they have endeavored to create sustainable health care, provide access to leading-edge primary and specialty care, deploy the latest technologies, ensure patient safety and quality care, and employ well-trained and compassionate caregivers.

As Johns Hopkins and Saudi Aramco enter the next five years of collaboration, they are building on their respective strengths, as well as their shared mission. They are buoyed by JHAH’s significant successes, and they see great value in working to ensure good health and health care for JHAH patients. Meanwhile, they also are embracing a vision of creating a sustainable system of medical and preventive care that can become the pre-eminent model in the Kingdom and throughout the Gulf region.

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