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New Director General Takes Helm Of Hadassah Medical Organization In Israel

Professor Ehud S. Kokia, New Director
General of Hadassah Medical

NEW YORK – Hadassah Medical Organization, the pioneering health care provider for the State of Israel, today welcomed Professor Ehud S. Kokia as its Director General.

By assuming the leadership of Hadassah Medical Organization, which includes both Hadassah University Hospital Ein Kerem and Hadassah University Hospital Mount Scopus, Professor Kokia replaces Professor Shlomo Mor-Yosef, who served as Director General for 11 years. The Hadassah Medical Organization Board of Directors named Kokia to the role in March.

“I undertake this important responsibility with appreciation and awe for the Hadassah Medical Organization’s pioneering contributions to the State of Israel and the Israeli medical system,” Prof. Kokia said. “I know that as they have for decades, HMO’s 6,000 employees will be at my side as we continue the path that was paved by my colleague and friend Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef. And I know they will be joined by the hundreds of thousands of members, friends and supporters of the Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization of America, to help us continue to provide superb patient care and produce groundbreaking research.

“I eagerly await the opening of the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, our outstanding new in-patient facility, which will enhance the Hadassah Medical Organization’s already extraordinary international reputation for excellence and look forward to working with my colleagues to help realize Hadassah’s historic mission.”

Kokia, 61, has a 37-year career as a physician and health-care executive. Most recently, he was CEO of Maccabi Healthcare Services, a position he held since 2007.

“With a particular interest in quality assurance and patient services, Prof. Kokia recognizes the unique qualities of our hospitals and approaches his new responsibilities with experience, energy and enthusiasm,” said Joyce Rabin, HMO Chair, Hadassah Board of Directors. “He joins us at a pivotal time in our history as we approach the dedication of the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower in October 2012 during Hadassah’s Centennial Convention in Jerusalem.”

Kokia received his medical degree cum laude from Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine in 1974. He completed his training as a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology at Sheba Hospital and received a master’s in health administration at Ben Gurion University. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Israel Defense Forces, served as Commander of the Air Force Center for Aerial Medicine, and completed the flight surgeon course of the American Navy in Pensacola, Fla. Kokia was a research fellow at the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He worked in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sheba Hospital before moving to Maccabi Healthcare Services, where he has held critical roles over the last 16 years. Before becoming CEO, he served as Medical Director of the large non-profit health care provider which includes 5,300 clinics, 5,000 physicians and a network of hospitals.

Kokia has taught at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and Tel Aviv University, and published widely on topics including endocrinology, fertility and health policy.

Kokia and his wife Dr. Ira Kokia, a pediatrician and specialist in community health, have two children.

“I am especially proud to speak on behalf of over 300,000 members and friends in the United States and worldwide as I welcome Prof. Ehud Kokia as our new Director General,” said Marcie Natan, National President of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. “As we approach Hadassah’s centennial celebration in 2012, we look forward to working with him as we walk in the footsteps of our founder, Henrietta Szold, to provide world-class research and outstanding medical care to over one million patients that come through the doors of our hospitals each year.”

Hadassah has raised $260 million toward its Tower campaign goal of $363 million. Part of the remaining sum includes a $35 million grant from the government of Israel.



Letter to Hadassah Employees from Ehud Kokia

Dear Employees,

I am proud to be joining the Hadassah Family today; a prestigious and very special family. It is a great honor for me to be counted among its members.

I am proud to continue down the path that my dear friend Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef and each of HMO’s previous Director General’s took and I promise to do my utmost to be worthy of inclusion in this esteemed group.

The Israeli healthcare system in general and Hadassah in specific face many challenges, specifically economic challenges; less than simple employment relations, in which our youngest colleagues are involved; and professional challenges. Nonetheless, I am naturally an optimist and truly believe that we can stand up to these challenges for two important reasons.

Firstly, the quality of the staff at Hadassah is extraordinary and this is the case in every sector: physicians, nursing, para-medical, administrative and maintenance. It is up to each and every one of us to put our collective shoulder to the grindstone towards our common goal: to preserve the Hadassah Hospitals as the State of Israel’s leading Medical Center and one of the world’s finest medical institutions.

The second reason and not less important is the historical relationship between the Hadassah Hospitals and Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA). I am certain that this relationship, so very important to both the Hospitals and HWZOA, will flourish and significantly contribute to Hadassah’s development.

We have an extraordinary opportunity this coming year to dedicate the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower and turn Hadassah, both nationally and internationally, into one of the world’s most modern medical centers, providing our personnel with a most fitting facility, where one will certainly be able to “judge a book by its cover”. Additionally, during the coming year we will celebrate HWZOA’s centennial birthday, an historic date that will accompany us throughout 2012.

I cannot end without mentioning and describing the impressive activities of “Mr. Hadassah”: Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef who served as Director General for more than a decade and Hadassah for nearly forty years. I am certain that if we look at the aerial view of Hadassah from a decade ago we would not recognize the area with its extraordinary development and construction momentum and whose crowning jewel is the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower. This was Shlomo's accomplishment, achieved in his very special and modest way. Buildings, however, did not suffice for Shlomo. He advanced Hadassah in all areas of medical and human resource development. He brought Hadassah to the highest levels in medicine, research and teaching.

For all of this I am most grateful and am certain that his name will be engraved in gold in Hadassah’s Book of Chronicles. I wish him much success in everything that he may choose to do.

It is up to us to carry with pride Hadassah’s good name and do everything within our power to bring even greater honor and glory to this wonderful institution. Once again, I promise to give my all in order to add my modest contribution to what you, my dear employees, have done and will continue to do in the future.



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