One local pediatrician hopes to build a new children's hospital overseas

Dr. Jack Borders will be traveling to the U.A.E to help build a pediatric hospital. (WRDW-TV / June 23, 2011)

Dr. Jack Borders will be traveling to the U.A.E to help build a pediatric hospital. (WRDW-TV / June 23, 2011)

News 12 at This Morning / Thursday, June 23, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- MCG's Children's Medical Center is known for the service it provides to children from all over the southeast and its top notch physicians. One of those physicians wants to take his knowledge and training overseas.

In some parts of the world, parents don't have the option of taking sick, young patients to a children's medical center, but that may change in a few years.

With a name like Dr. Borders, MCG Pediatrician Dr. Jack Borders crosses many foreign frontiers to treat his patients. Now, he's planning a trip nearly 8,000 miles away to the United Arab Emirates, a country he's familiar with, and this time he's on a mission.

"The ultimate goal is to help them build a pediatric hospital," explained Dr. Borders.

He says MCG's Children's Medical Center will act as his blueprint.

"I feel like there is a certain obligation on my part to give back to places I am very aware of that have a great need," said Dr. Borders.

His special interest is in pediatric airway management, meaning helping make it easier for children to breathe.

"There is really not another doctor in the Gulf that does that," said Dr. Borders. "Pediatric services tend to be blended in with general hospital services."

However, he says there is an overwhelming need in parts of the Middle East to focus on young patients.

"Greater than 50 percent of the population is under the age of 20. There is a huge pediatric population, yet not a pediatric hospital," he added.

This is also a journey with a two-way streak. Physicians in training would be able to travel to the U.A.E to practice their skills.

"It opens people's eyes. It's not just the medical issues they see, the surgeries they see, it's the setting in which those patients are seen and their preconceived notions fall down quickly."

Claude Harburgur, a second-year resident, says, "Dr. Borders has been a quiet advocate to go overseas for training."

By transplanting the ideas and techniques he's used at MCG, he hopes to build another model half way across the world to help patients and students gain more perspective on not only medicine, but two different cultures.

"If we as MCG want to project ourselves as a national and international entity, you have to actually show we have an international perspective," said Dr. Borders.

Dr. Borders is planning to leave in August. His first step is to set up a pediatric airway center at one of the hospitals there. He estimates that should take six to eight months. Then he will start working on plans to build a pediatric hospital, the first of its kind in that region, which he expects will take three to five years.


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