Pioneering Leadership in Healthcare: Dr. George Cheriyan’s Vision for Modern Healthcare at the American Mission Hospital

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Dr. George Cheriyan stands at the helm of the 120-year-old American Mission Hospital in Bahrain, serving as both its Corporate CEO and Chief Medical Officer.

Established in 1903, the hospital has a rich history and is a landmark in the region. Dr. Cheriyan, the 11th Chief Medical Officer, holds the distinction of being the first non-American to lead this historic institution, making significant contributions to its legacy.

Dr. Cheriyan’s vision and dedication to make healthcare accessible, high-quality, and affordable came to fruition with the inauguration of the King Hamad American Mission Hospital on January 26, 2023. His strategic project management ensured that the hospital’s completion coincided with its 120th anniversary.

A distinguished pediatrician and neonatologist, Dr. Cheriyan focused his skills at the Hospitals for Sick Children in London and Toronto, and later contributed to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. His journey led him to Saudi Aramco in 1991, where over 18 years, he held key roles such as head of neonatology and chair of the Healthcare Quality Council. Dr. Cheriyan’s commitment to excellence is underscored by his training as an improvement adviser at The Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in Boston and his pursuit of healthcare management studies at the Harvard Business School.

His academic achievements are equally noteworthy, holding fellowships from the Royal College of Physicians (London) and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, alongside a Diploma in Child Health (DCH) and an MBA. Dr. Cheriyan is also an Adjunct Professor of Clinical Medicine and Management at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, contributing to medical education and research.

In 2009, he assumed the leadership of the American Mission Hospital, marking a pivotal moment in his career. He brought to this role a wealth of experience, having worked for over 25 years as a neonatologist following his medical training in India and postgraduate studies in London and Toronto. Dr. Cheriyan’s extensive leadership roles in Saudi Aramco, including overseeing healthcare quality, positioned him as an invaluable asset to the American Mission Hospital.

Dr. George Cheriyan articulated the importance of addressing the body, mind, and spirit in patient care, leading to the development of the King Hamad American Mission Hospital—a futuristic, smart hospital designed for holistic healing

In an interview with Life N Style Magazine, Dr. Cheriyan emphasised his vision for holistic healing, extending beyond traditional healthcare boundaries. .

Dr. Cheriyan shared insights into the hospital’s features, combining nature, technology, and community outreach. The hospital’s commitment to holistic healing is exemplified by its incorporation of natural elements, such as greenery and water features, promoting a soothing environment. Moreover, technological advancements enable healthcare to extend into patients’ homes, aligning with the philosophy that patients heal best in familiar surroundings.

Collaboration is a cornerstone of Dr. Cheriyan’s healthcare philosophy. Highlighting partnerships with esteemed institutions like the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and Mayo Clinic, he emphasized the importance of shared expertise and global collaboration in building a world-class healthcare system.

Cover Story: Gulf Daily News Bahrain


Dr. George Cheriyan’s remarkable leadership journey is deeply rooted in his rich family background, characterised by a legacy of dedication to service and excellence. Born in Kuwait to M.G. Cheriyan and Mary Cheriyan, his upbringing was influenced by the cultural connection of Kerala, South India. His father hailed from Mavelikara and his mother from Edayaranmula.

Growing up in Kuwait, amidst the bustling energy of the oil industry, provided a unique backdrop for Dr. Cheriyan’s formative years. However, in Calicut, where his parents settled after retirement, he found a sense of home and stability during his teenage years. This nurturing environment laid the foundation for his future endeavours in medicine and healthcare leadership.

Dr George Cheriyan with his wife Darley

At the heart of Dr. Cheriyan’s personal and professional life is his partnership with Dr. Darley Cheriyan, his college mate and beloved spouse. Together, they have built a life centered around their shared passion for medicine and holistic healing. Their enduring bond extends beyond their professional pursuits, as they find joy in spending time with their two sons and their families. Danny, a gastroenterologist in Dublin, and Paul, an internist physician in Salt Lake City, USA, continue the family’s tradition of excellence in healthcare.

Dr. Cheriyan’s family extends beyond his immediate household, encompassing siblings who have made their mark in various fields. Tom Cheriyan’s business acumen thrives in the UK, while Sheila Philips’s dedication shines through her work with the Home Office. Ronnie, the third sibling, contributes to the business landscape in Calicut, India, reflecting the family’s diverse talents and interests.

Dr. Cheriyan’s leadership journey, backed by his family’s support, empowers him to redefine healthcare standards at the American Mission Hospital.

You can listen to the interview with Life N Style Magazine by clicking on the YouTube link below:

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    Dr. Chandy Jacob