October 13, 2017

Meet Our New Chair of Neonatology

Introducing Hany Z. Aly, MD


After 16 years as the director of the division of newborn services at The George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C., Hany Z. Aly, MD, is beginning a new chapter in his career as Chair of the Department of Neonatology at Cleveland Clinic. In this profile, learn more about Dr. Aly and the expertise he will bring to department.


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At a Glance

Specialty interests: Stem-cell neonatology, minimally invasive care for neonates

Background in Brief: Graduated from Ain Shams University Faculty of Science Cairo, Egypt (1981). Earned Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Ain Shams University School of Medicine in Cairo, Egypt (1986). Completed his residency at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia and Postdoctoral Clinical Fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. Founder and director of the Neonatal Neurology and Brain Development Fellowship Program at The George Washington University. Founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. Completing Master of Science in Health Science with a concentration on health care quality from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (2016).

Research interests: Noninvasive respiratory support for premature babies to reduce the incidence of chronic lung disease, neonatal neurology — brain monitoring and novel modalities for brain protection in babies with asphyxia.

In his own words

Why neonatology? It is intriguing to me for a number of reasons: The work that we do with babies at a young age can shape their entire lives. We can program babies to stay healthy, which is both fascinating and an added responsibility for neonatologists in the field. In addition, neonatology requires total advocacy from the provider’s side — babies are unable to speak for their needs; they need someone to advocate for them when they are living for multiple weeks alone in the NICU. So we look after their physical needs but really the emotional needs should also be taken into consideration. Also we need to support the parents. Many times they are devastated, so paying attention to parents is as equally important as paying attention to the baby.


Why Cleveland Clinic? Because it is one of the best institutions in the nation. The Pediatric Institute is one of the youngest at Cleveland Clinic and I see room for the neonatology program to grow and achieve a comparable ranking as the hospital’s adult services.

Why study health quality? The idea behind health quality is that it changes the excellence in outcome from being attached to an individual and becomes a culture and a system that can be applied to different environments. For example, having a protocol or a checklist for a specific procedure ensures its appropriateness and success under all circumstances. It becomes a system that everyone can embrace. In the Neonatology Department, we plan to start health quality projects for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and for neonatal neuro-critical care.

Trends in neonatology that you’re most excited about? We now know that the least invasive approach to babies offers the best outcomes. It’s not about how many procedures you can do or medications you can give. The more natural, the better. For example, the water-sealed CPAP for which I have expertise and have published on, is a way to support tiny premature babies without causing lung injury or chronic lung disease. Another area on the horizon is the promise of stem-cells to treat certain neonatal diseases.


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