A full delegation of cardiovascular physicians and surgeons from the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, a leading center of medical excellence in the United Arab Emirates, visited Pakistan recently and participated in the 49th annual Cardiocon in Islamabad. In an exclusive interview with Daily Times Pakistan, Dr. E. Murat Tuzcu, Chief Academic Officer and the Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine in the hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute, expressed his views on the progress made by Pakistani cardiologists and asserted how best they could exchange ideas and best practice with peers from Pakistan’s medical community about the changing needs of the patient populations in both markets. Dr. Tuzcu is an internationally recognized expert in the emerging field of heart valve repair and replacement and treats patients from all around the world. Talking to our correspondents, he said, “Cleveland Clinic’s heart program has ranked as the best in the USA for the 25th consecutive year and we are incredibly proud to bring our heart and Vascular Institute to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, where we are able to reach millions of lives with quality healthcare closer to home, all within a three-hour flight radius from Pakistan.” Group photo with Dr. E. Murat TUZCU, Chief Academic Officer and Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi; Dr. Faisal HASAN, Interventional Cardiologist and Vice Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine, and Mr. Shujahat Shah, Heart and Vascular Operations Director, with the Daily Times team. Dr. Murat is of the view that from a medical profession perspective and from what he has learnt from colleagues, Pakistan is a very sophisticated country. Therefore, they have been encouraged to meet and share future possibilities. “We have very good relations with Pakistani physicians, we get patients from Pakistan in Abu Dhabi and as such we bring a value-proposition to Pakistan to take this initiative forward,” the renowned heart specialist said. He said, the Cleveland Clinic is a major health care center in the USA for almost a century, 1921 and have been open to strengthening our international relations. Dr. Murat Tuzcu further stated that Cardiologists from all over the world come to their Institute for education, having more than 150 cardiologists and 50 house surgeons, some also from Pakistan. “This gives us great strength from a multi-faceted relationship”, he pointed out. The highly respected cardiologist told Pakistan Times, “The Cleveland Clinic is entering into a new phase of overseas relations, we have a hospital in Abu Dhabi and in four years we have grown substantially; we want to be an integral part of the region, with relations in the Gulf countries and MENA region and certainly with Pakistan.” The Heart & Vascular Institute is one of the five Centers of Excellence at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Led by some of the world’s most respected physicians and surgeons, it offers basic diagnostic to cutting-edge treatments including minimally invasive and robotic cardiac surgery. The Institute was the first in the Middle East to introduce transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) as an alternative to traditional open-heart valve replacement surgery – TAVR is one of the key innovations being discussed at Cardiocon this week. In the end, I would like to say that the best option to address a health problem is prevention, even though a stent is put, and you begin to feel well, the root cause is not addressed. Therefore, lead a healthy life, eat well and exercise to keep the body and its functions in good shape.