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The Balsam Team




Our healthcare team includes medical doctors, mental health professionals, nurses, and clinical pharmacists. We currently have one team and plan to grow. The interdisciplinary team meets weekly to discuss patients' conditions and develop a comprehensive plan of care. The core team members include our Medical Director, Dr. Hibah Osman, and our nurses Janane Hanna and Rebecca El-Asmar. All core team members have received training in palliative care at internationally recognized centres and they are continually working to enhance their knowledge, skills and expertise.

Dr. Hibah Osman

is a family physician who is American Board Certified in both Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She is the founder of Balsam and serves as its Executive and Medical Director. She is in private practice and is also a Clinical Associate at the American University of Beirut Medical Center where she has established the first palliative care consultation service in Lebanon. She developed an interest in palliative care after caring for some of her patients who developed terminal illnesses. She was struck by how much the medical system fails to address the needs of people with serious illness. With time she developed a strong commitment to provide palliative care to patients who need it and to change the culture of medicine in Lebanon by introducing palliative care into the medical system. She has received training in palliative care at the Institute of Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice.
Rebecca El-Asmar

has been working as a nurse in the oncology unit at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) since 2004. She holds a Master's degree in Nursing from the American University of Beirut. She has cared for cancer patients at the various stages of their disease and works to support them and their families throughout the illness. She believes that caring for patients with cancer requires not only skill, but also passion and patience, which she exercises carefully. Rebecca joined the Balsam team because she strongly believes in its mission of supporting patients in need of palliative care. She is continuously developing her skills and updating her knowledge on palliative care. She received training at Al-Malath Foundation in Amman, Jordan, in 2010.
Janane Hanna

worked as a nurse in the oncology unit at the American University of Beirut Medical Center for five years, and received an award for Best Oncology Nurse at AUBMC in 2010. She holds a Master's degree in Nursing from the American University of Beirut. Janane is a strong proponent of palliative care and developed guidelines and recommendations for the establishment of a palliative care program as part of her Master's research project. She has received training in palliative care at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and at Al-Malath Foundation in Amman, Jordan. She currently works as the Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Pain Service at AUBMC.
Dr. Michael Khoury

Dr. Michael Khoury is a practicing psychotherapist in Beirut. He was trained as a physician and clinical psychologist and teaches at the American University of Beirut at the Faculty of Health Sciences. He is actively engaged in community mental health and psychosocial interventions in Lebanon and the region, mainly as a trainer and counselor. He is interested in cross-cutting, inter-disciplinary fields of practice, like palliative care and existential psychotherapy. His main focus is to assist the team of Balsam, patients, and their families in better understanding end of life issues, family dynamics, existential processes, and systemic factors with the aim of improving decision-making and quality of life.
Dr. Dania Ghaziri

Dr. Dania Ghaziri has been working as a pharmacist/Clinical pharmacist at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) since 1998. She holds a doctorate in clinical pharmacy (Pharm D degree) and is certified by the American Board in Pharmacotherapy BPS. Dr. Ghaziri is committed to excellence in patient care and works closely with medical teams to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate and the safest medications for their medical conditions. Dr. Ghaziri and the Pharmacy Department at AUBMC are inspired by the work of Balsam and by its mission. They are committed to supporting Balsam by providing their clinical expertise. Dr. Ghaziri works as a volunteer with the Balsam Interdisciplinary Team. She helps analyze cases and resolve any issues related to medications to optimize the care that their patients receive.
Hiba Makke

Ms. Hiba Makke received a bachelor’s degree in social work from the Lebanese University and then obtained her Master’s degree in social work from Howard University in Washington, DC. She was trained in a variety of social and health institutions in Lebanon. As well as at Georgetown University Hospital. Hiba joined Balsam’s team because she believes that Palliative care patients and their families need the psycho- social support along with the medical support. She assists and connects Balsam patients with available community resources.
Hiba Al-Shami

Ms. Hiba Al-Shami holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the American University of Beirut. She worked as a registered nurse at the American University of Beirut Medical Center in the Oncology Unit for four years. After acquiring solid experience, and feeling the need for palliative care in her domain, Ms. Al-Shami decided to make use of her knowledge and skills in improving patients' and their families' wellbeing as a nurse with the Balsam team.  Hiba strongly believes in Balsam’s cause and serves as a patient advocate to ensure all the seriouslly ill patients she cares for get the best quality of life possible.
Mrs. Alia El Tabsh

Mrs. Alia El Tabsh holds a Master’s degree in Nursing Administration from the American University of Beirut. She worked as a registered nurse at the American University of Beirut Medical Center for 4 years and at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center with palliative care patients then as the head nurse of the medical oncology solid tumor unit. Before joining Balsam Alia was the nurse manager of the medical surgical units in Makassed General Hospital for 6 years. Alia has encountered many palliative care patients during her years of experience which made her passionate about this type of care. She believes that it is challenging and rewarding to help patients feel better no matter what is the status of their underlying disease.
Jinane Abi Ramia

Ms. Jinane Abi Ramia obtained her Masters degree in Public Health in May 2014 from the American University of Beirut with a concentration in Health Management and Policy. She is interested in making change at the community, institution and policy levels to improve the existing healthcare system in Lebanon. She joined Balsam because she believes that palliative care is highly needed to address the needs of the terminally ill patients and to improve their quality of life, especially the elderly among them whose needs are neglected in Lebanon.





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