Director of the Department of Medical Engineering at AUBMC receives international clinical engineering award

Sally Abou Melhem <sa256@aub.edu.lb>, Office of Communications​​​

Due to his contributions to the field of clinical engineering in Lebanon and the region, and his leadership in promoting and advancing global collaboration of clinical engineering in order to enhance healthcare, Director of the Department of Medical Engineering at AUBMC Bassam Tabshouri was awarded the 2018 ACCE Antonio Hernandez International Clinical Engineering Award.

This award is one of several advocacy awards presented by the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE), to members and colleagues for outstanding achievements in the field of clinical engineering worldwide. According to ACCE, the Antonio Hernandez International Clinical Engineering Award is presented to a clinical engineering (CE) professional in recognition of his / her extraordinary contributions to the advancement of CE in a country in which CE is an emerging field.

In his comment on receiving the award, Tabshouri emphasized the importance of being grateful, especially to all his colleagues in AUBMC Medical Engineering and others, saying, “It takes interacting with entire communities, as well as challenging environments, for one to achieve.”  He added that, “one’s work should be done with great love and humility.” 

After graduating from AUB, Tabshouri joined the AUBMC Medical Engineering Department in 1978, supporting its operation during the war years and later in attending to international standards. During his many years at AUB, he gave a number of lectures and courses at both the Faculty of Medicine (FM), and the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA). He also worked on expanding the services of medical engineering, to cover not only the medical center, but also several faculties at AUB, including medicine, arts and sciences, engineering, and agricultural and food sciences. In addition, Tabshouri participated in founding committees and developing mechanisms for technology review and assessment within AUBMC and FM. He has recently been involved in assisting in the MS/PHD program for biomedical engineering at AUB.  

Tabshouri’s work has also extended outside of AUB, where he has offered services to several governments, communities, and organizations, as well as given lectures and participated in organizing conferences in the region on the subjects of medical technology management and transfer. He also founded the Healthcare Technology Management and Advancement of the Lebanese Healthcare Management Association and is currently working with Banque du Liban towards positioning Lebanon as a hub for innovation in healthcare technologies.

Throughout his career, Tabshouri focused on providing proper technology management and transfer, with the support of high international standards in education, research, and patient care, in a cost effective manner. He also emphasizes the impact of technology on the scientific, cultural, social, economic, and environmental contexts it is used in, as well as the interaction between them.

The awards ceremony took place in June 2018 at the 28th ACCE Annual Meeting and Awards Reception which was held during the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Annual Conference and Expo for 2018 in California. In conjunction with its Annual Conference and Expo, AAMI also hosted a Global Forum, in collaboration with ACCE and other organizations, which explored the rapidly shifting landscape for how medical devices are conceived, developed, manufactured, and used around the world.

In his acceptance speech at the ceremony, Tabshouri said, “Our work has direct impact on the health and wellbeing of humans in our societies and worldwide. I believe this is the focal point of our profession in dealing with technology which is exploding at an exponential rate.” He added, “We need to keep our eyes open on the major challenges that we are all facing in our field. In this process, there is a lot for us to learn from each other.”

ACCE International Committee Chair Antonio Hernandez, whom the International Clinical Engineering Award is named after, expressed to Tabshouri that he truly deserves the award for his work and commitment to advance CE and HTM. “Your work is a reference that has been recognized by your peers,” said Hernandez. “Your perspective on your intervention in the (AAMI) global forum provides valuable information of your region. The situation is similar to other parts of the world that are dealing with the challenges of the advancement of technology and the need of human resources to cope with them.”

Out of the nine awardees of ACCE, three were Lebanese and two of those are AUB graduates. The second AUB graduate, Riad Farah, medical engineering manager at Saint George Hospital University Medical Center in Beirut, received the Challenge Award which entitled him to be a member of ACCE. The third Lebanese awardee is Dr. Rabeh Robert Hijazi, chief of biomedical engineering at the Detroit VA Medical Center, who received the Professional Achievement in Management / Managerial Excellence Award.​