Selwa Al-Hazzaa

Selwa Al-Hazzaa

Dr. Selwa Al-Hazzaa
Shoura Member and Head & Consultant of Ophthalmology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center

Dr. Selwa Al-Hazzaa is Consultant of Ophthalmology since 1993 at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSH& RC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Head of Ophthalmology since 1997 (first woman). She is Professor in the College of Medicine at Alfaisal University since 2011 (first woman), and Senior Clinical Scientist since March 2008 and Consultant in Genetics in the Research Centre of KFSH&RC since March 2009.

She is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, since 2003 and was reappointed in 2006-2009 (first from the Middle East).

In January 2007, she was appointed Senior Advisor to Minister of Health, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In 1995, she was “The First Woman” appointed to the Medical Advisory Council, the strongest governing body of King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Al-Hazzaa was the first lady doctor to join as a member of the Executive Board of the Saudi Ophthalmologic Society (SOS) in 1996. In 1997, she was nominated Chairperson of Continuing Medical Education at SOS (first woman). During this tenure, she was Chairperson (first woman) of Saudi Ophthalmology in 1999, 2000, and 2001 (major annual meeting of SOS and King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital (KKESH).

She became a member of the Editorial Board of the Saudi Journal of Ophthalmology in 1997, and then became the Associate Editor in 1998-2008 (first woman). She was also a member of the Editorial Board of the prestigious Ophthalmic Genetics Journal in the USA in 1997-2005. Dr. Al-Hazzaa was the Assistant Editor of the Middle East Journal of Ophthalmology from 1992-1996 (first woman). She is on the Editorial Board of the Archives of Ophthalmology, since 2005, and the Chinese Journal of Ophthalmology since 2006 representing the Middle East (first from Middle East).

She was an Executive Board Member of the Middle East African Council of Ophthalmology, representing Saudi Arabia (1999-2005). Dr. Al-Hazzaa was a member of the Ministry of Health Central Committee in Riyadh (2001) and International Faculty in the International Ocular Inflammation Society, representing the Middle East (2002). She was also the President of the Woman Promotion Forum at Prince Salman Center for Disability Research in Riyadh (2002-2004); and a member of the Global Diabetic Retinopathy Task Force in the USA representing the Middle East (2002).

Dr. Al Hazzaa was elected Executive Member of the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO), the highest rank in ophthalmology worldwide, being the youngest member; the first female from the Middle East, and the only female ophthalmologist from the 5 continents in 2002 and reappointed in 2006.

Dr. Al-Hazzaa is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) in Edinburgh, England (1996) and Fellow of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, USA (1995). She has completed a two-year Fellowship in “Retina Vascular Center,” “Hereditary Eye Center” and “Eye Pathology Laboratory” at the Wilmer Ophthalmologic Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA (1990-1993). She has also completed a one-year Fellowship at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC, USA (1989-1990).

Dr. Al-Hazzaa was the first Saudi to receive the Best Research Award of the SOS in 1986, and again in 1995 on “Ocular Sickle Cell Disease,” where the disease was categorized for the first time. She was chosen Resident of the Year at KKESH (1986). She also received numerous recognition awards from KFSH&RC and various and numerous institutes in the Arab country. She received the prestigious Gold Medal Award of the SOS from HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Ahmed Al-Saud, President of the SOS in 1999 as the first Saudi. She also received an award from Her Majesty of Saudi Arabia for her medical, scientific, and humanitarian efforts in 2000.

She was named “Arab Woman of the Year” in the field of Medicine and Community Services in 2005 from the Arab Women Studies Center in Paris. In addition, Forbes International Magazine chose her as one of “The Most Powerful Arab Women for year 2005”. She was again chosen as the “Arab Woman for 2006”.

She was awarded the “International Health Professional of the Year 2007” in Great Britain; “Gifted Honorary Guest” at the King Abdulaziz Center for Gifted in 2007, Honorary Guest at the Janadriya Heritage Annual Festival in 2007 and awarded Khoja award in 2008 and Al-Muftah award for scientific contribution by HRH Prince Faisal bin Khalid in 2009. She was first Guest of Honor for Cultural Attaché in United Arab Emirates for 1st Creative Forum for Saudi Students in the UAE Universities in 2010.

As for medical breakthrough, in 1993 Dr. Al-Hazzaa introduced the Protocol for ”Retinopathy of Prematurity” and adopted according to the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution’s standard. In 1994, Dr. Al-Hazzaa was the first to treat “Retinopathy of Prematurity” using the “Diode Laser” in the Middle East. In 1995 the first Multi-Wavelength Laser was purchased to treat diabetic retinopathy in the Middle East by Dr. Al-Hazzaa. In 1997 the first Intravitreal Ganciclovir Implant (Vitrasert) for AIDS patients was performed by Dr. Al-Hazzaa in the Middle East. In 2000, Dr. Al-Hazzaa was the first to use Photodynamic Therapy Machine to treat “Age Related Macular Degeneration” in the Gulf Region. In 2003, she was the Attending physician to His late Majesty King Fahad bin Abdulaziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. In 2005, she was the first Physician to use Avastin (Bevizumib) for patients in the Middle East. In 2006, she was the first to use Lucentis (Ranibizumab) for ARMD patients in the Middle East.

She has organized numerous seminars on eye diseases nationally and internationally, and is a professional member of 16 international and national ophthalmic societies. She is an Executive Board Member of the Saudi Committee for the Development of International Trade (CIT), of the Council of the Saudi Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 2001, and was the Executive Chair of “Friends of Saudi Arabia” in 2004-2007 lecturing in various cities in the USA, Europe, and the Middle East to promote Saudi Arabia in the international stage.

She was an official advisor to the Shura Consultative Council in 2002 and was the key factor in Shura Council Joining Parliament in 2003.

Dr. Al-Hazzaa has published 38 international papers, 4 book chapters; the most important in Duane’s International Ophthalmology, on “Genetic Eye Diseases in Saudi Arabia (first ophthalmologist), and concluded 7 book reviews. She attended 209 symposia and presented 294 lectures in the USA, Europe, and the Middle East and was an invited international guest speaker in 52 lectures and an invited local speaker in 50 lectures. She is currently undergoing 7 research projects and has had over 243 international and national television, radio and newspaper interviews.