The idea of forming a community for hospital CEOs from around the world was first discussed in 2018, at a conference hosted by Sheba Medical Center as part of its 70th-anniversary celebrations. In 2019, CHUM de Montréal University in Canada hosted the second summit, again, in the presence of the CEOs of the world’s leading hospitals, confirming the need for a community.
The FOH community was created to realize the shared vision of its members: to provide a conducive environment for senior leaders in health organizations and administrators of the world’s leading hospitals to interact, share challenges, facilitate progress, and influence global policy.
After two years of prelude and planning, the community was finally formally launched in a virtual event attended by some of the world’s most senior healthcare professionals and hosted by Sheba Medical Center and Charles N. Kahn III, President of the Federation of American Hospitals and Co-Chairman of FOH.
Opening the event, Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, Director-General of Sheba Medical Center, stated: “We need to transform our friendship and partnership through technological modalities. Today we are making the best use of technology to bring everyone together to launch an initiative that expands upon the past hospitals of the future summits and broadens the scope to address the meaning of health… With an aim to transform healthcare and the wellbeing of the peoples in our respective communities. This forum, I hope, will serve as a space for all of us to share insights, and turn them into realities. Our time to define the future of health begins today, with this event.”
Outlining the values, goals, and singular qualities of FOH, Prof. Eyal Zimlichman, Deputy Director-General, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Innovation Officer at Sheba Medical Center, and FOH Co-Chairman, explained: “Where many academic centers today lead through research, we think that in the next decade we will also need to lead through innovation… FOH is a community of leaders from the world’s premier health organizations, with an objective to influence, transform, and redesign the future of health. We intend to utilize the shared belief of our members, and the power of professional collective wisdom, to impact the course of global health… How are we going to do that? First, we are creating a sustainable, living community, then we’ll identify impactful topics for drill-down discussion on an annual basis, and finally, we’ll meet virtually and physically to share knowledge, raise challenges, discuss roundtable topics and publish works for global distribution. It’s not just what we come to an understanding about, but how do we disseminate these findings across the world.”
For his part, FOH Co-Chairman Mr. Kahn added: “Medical science, disease, and illness, as demonstrated by COVID-19, knows no borders. Our great institutions of medical care, delivery, research, and training are limited by the policies, culture, and financial context of each country… For many, all healthcare is considered local. I would posit to the contrary that in the first two summits we belied this claim. The discussions showed clearly that the leading health centers and systems across the world have many shareable achievements and challenges, and that the onslaught of COVID-19 makes this truer than ever… Now is the time to place our collaborations on a more mature and ongoing basis… The potential of this community, in my view, is compelling, and even more so in this time of COVID-19”.
Formally announced near the end of the event, the next FOH summit will be held in Dubai in October 2021.