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NAVCENT Commander Visits Bahrain’s American Mission Hospital

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Victoria Kinney, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs | May 22, 2017

MANAMA, Bahrain – To see the history of the close U.S./Bahrain relationship, one needs to look no further than the American Mission Hospital.

That history is why the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, Vice Adm. Kevin M. Donegan, visited the facility in the heart of Manama, Bahrain, May 21.

Donegan’s visit to the American Mission Hospital highlights the importance and origins of the American-Bahraini relationship. The hospital is the longest-standing organization in Bahrain to have official ties with the United States. The American Mission Hospital was established by four Americans and began operating more than 100 years ago as the Mason Memorial Hospital and continues to serve the people of Bahrain – including the Bahraini royal family – and others.

“To properly connect to the history of the United States and Bahrain, you have to come here to where it started,” said Donegan. “This hospital shows you the openness of the Bahrain society, especially since it is here in the Middle East and it is indeed a mission hospital. I think it’s the only hospital in the Middle East that has this kind of inclusion and has been functioning for so long. It’s a great hospital, and tells a great story.”

Chief Medical Officer and Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, George Cheriyan, along with the hospital Chief Operating Officer, Julia Tovey, gave an overview of the hospital’s mission and vision and gave Donegan a tour of the buildings. Cheriyan made it a point on the tour to show Donegan the pediatric ward, which is covered in colorful murals that were hand-painted by U.S. 5th Fleet Sailors.

“The hospital has always had a very close relationship with the U.S. Embassy and the Navy,” said Cheriyan. “[Vice Adm. Donegan’s] visit reestablishes and reemphasizes the relationship and rejuvenates what this hospital stands for. With time, people forget that this was a unique partnership between our countries. This visit will do well to bring our partnership back to life and remind the public of our connection.”
According to its mission statement, the hospital works, “to provide high quality healthcare at an affordable cost to all who seek care.”

U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse comprises 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.
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For further questions, please contact U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs Office
011-973-1785-4562 or navcentpao@me.navy.mil