The New Idea
To change the way doctors approach health problems in the Middle East, Dr. Noyek has devised an incremental and personal mentoring approach to cooperation. The approach starts with training fellowships, progresses to student exchanges, and leads to the implementation of regional research projects, the establishment of a cross-border network of peaceful professional cooperation, organizational interactions, and the adoption of critical public policy changes at the national level. His organization, the Canada International Scientific Exchange Program (CISEPO) invites collaboration among health professionals from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Canada to solve pressing health issues in the Middle East. In part, Dr. Noyek achieves this through CISEPO initiatives that include: Educational programs such as student exchanges, training fellowships, on-the-ground conferences, and international eHealth and needs-based cooperative professional development and research. The participants in these initiatives then become lifetime members of the CISEPO network.Through the Canadian student-exchange program, CISEPO is building the capacity of medical students in Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Canada for greater cooperation among health professionals in the future. To produce further change, Dr. Noyek also created a network of established health professionals from the same countries to spearhead initiatives that not only resolve pressing health problems, but also foster cooperation and lead to policy changes.Dr. Noyek’s organization is unique as a health-focused entity nurturing cross-border cooperation across the Arab and Israeli frontier in the Middle East, persistently achieving an impressive impact over the last 16 years in the context of a highly divisive conflict. He has advanced the field of health in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan by working on mother-child health, nutrition, infectious diseases, hearing health, youth health, other clinical and public health disciplines, thus strengthening health systems. This diversity is important as it has enabled CISEPO to have a greater impact, as well as facilitate relationships among a diversity of actors in the region.