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How Medical Travel Programs are Managing Through the COVID-19 Crisis

As the number of COVID-19 cases across the globe soars, governments and international health authorities are struggling to contain the spread of the virus. Governments have taken extreme measures including closing borders, instituting travel bans, and cancelling classes, sporting events and public gatherings. In countries with a high number of COVID-19 cases, healthcare providers are facing capacity challenges to adequately treat patients, while in certain countries, travel bans, or the fear of travel has significantly reduced the number of medical travelers seeking cross border care.Join us on this timely webinar to hear representatives from medical travel programs at top hospitals around the globe share their perspectives, strategies and tactics for managing through the COVID-19 crisis.

Webinar Speakers

Dr. Choh Joong Haeng

Director, International Healthcare Center
Seoul National University Bundang Hospital

Dr.Choh is currently the director of the International Healthcare Center at SeoulNational University Bundang Hospital, one of the largest and most prestigious academic medical centers in South Korea. Dr.Choh has been a cardiothoracic surgeon with training and practice background both in USA and South Korea until 2015 when he took the current position at his Alma Mater. Over 35 years he maintained an active cardiovascular surgical practice in Chicago area with the leadership role as the co-chair of the Cardiovascular Division at Advocate Sherman Hospital System, Elgin, Illinois.

Between 2003-2005, he served as the founding medical director of Cardiovascular Center of the new Seoul National University Bundang Hospital during its early phase.

Dr. Heitham Hassoun

Vice President & Medical Director, International,
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Heitham Hassoun is the Vice President and Medical Director, International for Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, California. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, he served as the Global Medical Director for Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI) and was an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Hassoun is a multi-faceted clinician and global healthcare leader with more than 20 years of experience in healthcare strategic planning, global business development, international patient services, global collaborations, health system integration and development. He was instrumental in the creation of Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, an approximately USD $1.2 billion joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Johns Hopkins Medicine, as well as oversight of many other Johns Hopkins institutional management and affiliation agreements around the world. Currently, he has wide-ranging responsibilities for Cedars-Sinai, a leading US academic medical center, including expanding its global impact and footprint in both patient care and institutional collaborations.

Dr. John Louis Lucas

Chief Executive Officer
City International Hospital

Dr. John is a graduate of University of Alberta school of medicine. His post graduate training includes a MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. John is a board certified in preventive medicine, public health, family medicine, and medical management. He worked for 20 years as a primary care physician and then spent 20 years as a healthcare administrator serving as CEO of several large U.S. health systems until retirement in 2013.

Dr. John was trained as a Joint Commission International Surveyor and a Malcolm Baldrige National Examiner. He relocated to Vietnam in 2015 after being appointed as the Chief Medical Officer of The Franco Vietnamese Hospital followed by an appointment as CEO of City International Hospital and has completed five years in the country pursuing his great passion for global health initiatives and developing private healthcare in Ho Chi Minh city.

Dr. Korpong Rookkapan

Chief Executive Consultant, Head of the COVID-19 Command Center
Bumrungrad International Hospital

As an accomplished C-Level Healthcare Executive, Strategist and Instructor, Asst. Prof. Korpong Rookkapan, MD has an extensive 19 years-experience in turning around medical service operations, integrating strategic business development with advanced healthcare technology and renowned Thai hospitality along with successful development of management teams.


Ms. Karen Timmons

Chief Executive Officer
Global Healthcare Accreditation

Karen Timmons, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Healthcare Accreditation® (GHA) Program, leads an innovative and inaugural healthcare accreditation program designed specifically for healthcare organizations seeking to elevate the quality, patient experience, and excellence of care provided to medical travel, medical tourism and/or international patients. The program focuses specifically on an organization’s Medical Travel Cycle, encompassing the entire pathway of medical travel, as well as setting high expectations for transparency and cultural sensitivity.

Timmons is an internationally known expert in accreditation, healthcare quality and safety processes, having previously served as President and CEO of Joint Commission International (JCI), Chief Operating Officer of The Joint Commission, and Global Patient Safety Officer for Det Norske Veritas (DNV). Timmons has served as chairperson in the following areas for the World Health Organization (WHO): Chair for the WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety Solutions, Chair for the WHO High 5 Steering Committee, and Chair of the WHO HIV Quality of Care Working Group on HIV-AIDS. She has also served on the Global Health Advisory Council for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and is a past board member and treasurer for the International Society of Quality Assurance (ISQua) as well as a past board member of Planetree, an organization focused on patient-centered care. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the High Reliability Organization Council, a not-for profit enabling healthcare providers to become more reliable.

Timmons has special expertise in leadership development and mentoring, especially regarding quality and safety programs, international accreditation, and patient safety solutions. Timmons received her Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, her MA from Fairfield University, Fairfield, Ct, and her BS from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.