Following a Hadassah International Leadership Conference and a tour of the Hadassah Medical Organization, Christina Caddy-Gold, the brand new administration and operations manager of Hadassah Australia, New South Wales, summarized her inspirational experience in a letter of appreciation. We are pleased to share an excerpt with you.
From that first evening I was invited to attend the staff dinner, I felt immersed in Hadassah. I realized quickly that I was in a room with top-caliber, highly educated, friendly and warm, giving people, who were committed to the Hadassah Medical Organization and making a real difference.
I thought that perhaps I had found a place to call home.
Then, the next morning when the conference began and almost everyone stated that their best achievements were their partners and children, and their success in helping others, I knew I was with my kind of people.
From then on, it was a fast learning curve. Listening to others and hearing about their efforts in the past and their goals and strategies for the next year was all very inspiring.
It all came together when we met with Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach, Director of Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, and Prof. Eitan Kerem, head of the Division of Pediatrics. I really felt that there was a place for us in the soul of the Hadassah "MO" and that we had a job to do to improve the hospital experience. And it was important work. The hospital relied on us to survive!
For me the real "aha moment" was the tour of the hospital where I witnessed a four-year-old helping a nurse to inject herself with chemotherapy. She was a "big girl" and could do it herself—three times a week.
I saw a Palestinian boy sharing a room with an Orthodox Jewish boy—both bedridden. There was no need for a bridge to peace here; the two children were both on it and their families were past any judgment. Clearly, the illness was the enemy in that room.
I saw the family room filled with people from all walks of life, sharing food from home, chatting, living, watching TV.
In the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, I marveled at the equipment used to treat babies and felt proud to learn that they enjoy a 95 percent success rate in keeping these babies alive, many of them Palestinian. Someone said along the way that the most Jewish thing a Jew can do is to help the Palestinians, and this was evident here.
In the adolescent psychiatry unit, I was in awe to learn that they offer a day-care program that enables adolescents suffering from eating disorders and anxiety to come to be treated and supported four days a week! That is phenomenal dedication and it enables the teenagers to attend school and have a functional life while they are recovering.
Of course, the Chagall windows are beautiful and mesmerizing and a big draw card for the hospital, but even more amazing is the lists of hundreds of names outside the Synagogue of people who have donated at least $100K or more. Hadassah is loved and cared for around the world.
Touring the underground operating theatres in the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower felt like we had been transported to space. Again, I felt proud of the achievement of Hadassah and its staff, though the pride was tainted with frustration because they are unable to use these operating rooms yet due to a lack of funds to complete them.
I feel very proud to be of a select group who are dedicated to working toward goals and dreams to make Hadassah even better.
Each Hadassah International team and each person within each team, in each country, is unique and what became clear through the Leadership Conference was that no way to support Hadassah is right or wrong or best or better. It doesn't really matter what method you employ to fundraise as long as your heart is pure and your goal is the common good. There are many ways to raise awareness, many projects, many strategies, all working in unison.
The Leadership Conference was a terrific adventure for me and I look forward excitedly to attending next year with some successes under my belt to share with others in order that they will grow and succeed further in their endeavors to help Hadassah provide the exceptional and warm service the hospital is known for.