I am visiting our sister medical school, Oman Medical College, in Muscat, Oman. This is my first trip to the Middle East and to Oman.

It is fantastic!

The country is beautiful – bordered by mountains on one side and sea on the other. The people are even better – warm, connected to purpose and committed to a better life for their citizens.

Yesterday, I met the minister of health, His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Saidi. We found that Oman and West Virginia have many similar problems and seek similar solutions to improve health in the population, as well as make affordable, accessible care available for all.

While we have similar challenges, our strengths are complementary, not overlapping.

We have the infrastructure for research, technology, and program development that I believe is ahead of Oman.

They have community, connectedness among their citizens and a country-focus that we can learn from.

We agreed that programs focused on maintaining connections to purpose, people and future is important for both of us to improve health in our communities and in our citizens.

In this way, it is interesting that I travelled  7,000 miles to find such striking similarities and complementary strengths.

I believe Oman and West Virginia can create a better future for each other by partnering, sharing and connecting our people to hope, purpose and a better future.

The world continues to get smaller, better and more connected to West Virginia and this may be key to a better future for all.