American University of Beirut

Baylor College of Medicine and AUB’s Houston community rally for Beirut and AUB

Thursday, August 27, 2020​

The August 4 explosion in the Beirut Port devastated the city. It very quickly became clear that there would be enormous needs – not just to treat the hundreds of people who were injured by the explosion, but also ongoing needs related to patient care and rebuilding the city. “The support we have received from alumni and friends in the Houston area has been extraordinary,” said President Fadlo Khuri. “Trustees and alumni Huda Y. Zoghbi, MD, and William Zoghbi, MD, led the charge. The response was immediate and generous – from faculty and staff at the Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Medical Center, and from people throughout the Houston area. We are deeply grateful.” 

In his weekly video message on August 14, 2020, President, CEO, and Executive Dean Paul Klotman, MD, spoke about the strong ties between Baylor and Lebanon. “We are – in my view – the American University of Beirut,” he said. Klotman went on to note that the founding president of the Baylor College of Medicine was Dr. Michael Ellis DeBakey, a Lebanese-American surgeon. He spoke also about the “tradition of Lebanese faculty” at Baylor. He urged people who wanted to support Lebanon to make a gift to the AUBMC Disaster Response to the August 4 Beirut Explosion​.

Donations to the fund are being used to pay for the care of patients at the AUB Medical Center (AUBMC) who need financial assistance, for medical supplies, and for repairs. The August 4 explosion damaged patient rooms, clinics, service and waiting areas, and laboratories. Preliminary estimates are that it will cost $2.5 million to repair the damage at the medical center – and an additional $5 million to repair the even more extensive damage to the university.

“I am so grateful to Dr. Klotman and to our many wonderful colleagues and friends who have given so generously,” said Trustee Huda Zoghbi, the Ralph D. Feigin Endowed Chair at Baylor College of Medicine. “Many hospitals in Houston – Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, Houston Methodist Hospital, and Texas Children’s Hospital – have donated urgently needed medical supplies to the AUB medical center.” 

“Drs. Huda and William Zoghbi have been amazing,” said Houston-based Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations-North America Lina Jazi, “mobilizing the community at Baylor and in Houston in support of Lebanon and for AUB.”

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