Few countries in recent history have witnessed what Lebanon is going through. Worse than the economic crisis, currency meltdown, political paralysis, and the pandemic is the air of helplessness and despair gripping the country. Hope is in short supply in
  President’s Forum: Notes from Dr. Mawad  
Michel E. Mawad, M.D.

Dear Members of our LAU Community,

Few countries in recent history have witnessed what Lebanon is going through. Worse than the economic crisis, currency meltdown, political paralysis, and the pandemic is the air of helplessness and despair gripping the country. Hope is in short supply in the midst of an extended nightmare that has seen the country slide into a bottomless abyss. 

A daily life of anxiety and struggle for survival is not conducive to a positive outlook, which is almost nowhere to be found in Lebanon today. To this, LAU stands out in stark exception as a beacon of hope and resilience. Many remarkable examples can be cited as illustrations: 

Thousands of students receiving $80 million in financial aid, a leadership in the fight against COVID-19, assistance to faculty to stay in the country, and completing a signature new building for our School of Architecture and Design. Expansion plans beyond Lebanon's borders, new capacity building in healthcare delivery, and even new professional schools are also in the works. For us, challenge evokes response, and LAU's response is in proportion to our daring. 

Our cherished alumni are a source of great news. Founders of companies that are now listed on NASDAQ, media leaders setting the tone for the industry, professionals in multiple fields shaping the practice and serving as role models for our youth working toward a different future. LAU, despite it all, is at the forefront now more than ever: Leading by deed and example.

Nowhere is our daring spirit more visible than at our new hospital in Jounieh. LAU Medical Center-St John’s Hospital will soon become a second LAU icon in the Keserwan/Byblos area after our Byblos campus. It is an act of faith on our part in the future of this country and a much-needed medical asset serving a catchment area between Beirut and Tripoli. Above all it will bring LAU medical standards based on best US practices to the new community we are proud to serve. Hope may be in short supply elsewhere, but we have enough of it at LAU to share with the rest of the country. Much like love, hope becomes bigger when shared.


LAUMC-St John’s Hospital will open its doors to patients in a few days to become the talk of the town in the Jounieh/Byblos area. Its patients will have at their service a total of 85 beds and patient stations including In-Patient Service, One-Day Surgery, Emergency Service, a Cardiac Catherization Laboratory, and a Critical Care Unit. It will also boast a full-blown imaging department comprising a CAT scanner, MRI, X-ray and Ultrasound. The medical corps will consist of 40 physicians with a focus on one-day surgery, Obstetrics, Gynecology, Orthopedic Surgery, Cardiology, Endoscopic Procedures, Gastroenterology and others.


LAUMC-St John’s Hospital will also offer the Jounieh/Byblos area its only stroke-ready capability with a state-of-the art interventional set-up, the area's only 160-slice CAT scanner for ultra-rapid evaluations in addition to three advanced operating rooms and another one in the Emergency Department. Most of all, it will have the ability to transmit surgeries live to anywhere in the world (video and sound). The In-Patient Service includes seven VIP patient rooms with all the amenities necessary for patient comfort. To complete the picture, a hospitality team will be on hand to offer patients and families a relaxing atmosphere. 

The new health facility will add enormous value to medical practice in a major part of the country and spare patients in a wide community the trouble of having to drive several kilometers for medical help, especially in cases of emergency. LAU has spared no effort at the heart of the crisis to keep looking forward, invest in the future of Lebanon, stay service-focused and innovation-driven and act proactively when it comes to offering the best to its community. 

At a time of retrenchment and shrinking, LAU is expanding in meaningful ways as a leap of faith in this country and its future. This future will be owned by those who persevere against all odds, dare to be bold, and stand up to seemingly insurmountable challenges. The LAU you know and trust thinks big, has a regional and global footprint, and settles only for proven best practices in education, research, community service and healthcare. LAUMC-St John’s Hospital is the newest manifestation of the LAU ethos of excellence, engagement and impact. 

Making excellent healthcare affordable and accessible is at the heart of our mission, which has been put to the test time and time again in our long history and prolonged service record. LAUMC-St John’s Hospital is but one manifestation of our spirit of service and culture of continuous innovation. Our proactive ethos compels us to reach out and share rather than stay put and expect others to flock to us. Community-centeredness is one of our core values. This is how it has been, and this is how it will continue to be for us.

It is the spirit of LAU: demanding, resilient, determined, and decisive. 

To our community we say: LAU is there for you


Michel E. Mawad, M.D.
Lebanese American University