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A Long And Winding Road

Diary of A Director General
By Prof. Ehud Kokia
Director General, Hadassah Medical Organization

The weather seemed to be sending me a personal message the foggy, misty morning I returned to Hadassah after more than a week abroad. Low clouds hung over the narrow, winding two-lane descent that brings me to Ein Kerem and it was difficult to see the road ahead. Suddenly, the sun broke through, shining directly on our Ein Kerem campus, spotlighting the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower. Our beautiful new building was enveloped in a golden glow, radiating the special light that is captured in the Jerusalem stone that covers the structure. Suddenly, my heart seemed to beat faster as my mind memorized the moment; a moment that seemed to say we are nearing the end of a long and winding road. It seemed to encompass all I had experienced the week before at the HWZOA National Board Meetings, all I had felt while meeting with major donors, true philanthropists in every sense of the word; all of their dreams for HMO and ours. That ray of sunlight seemed to symbolize the light that shines from our Medical Center, sending its beams far and wide.

It was the light I saw in the eyes of the people I met in Florida, the light that was captured at the Midwinter meetings when Davidson Tower Campaign Co-Chair Judy Swartz, HWZOA National President Marcie Natan and HMO Chair Joyce Rabin spoke passionately about the necessity of moving forward, when CFO Rick Annis reinforced their message.

Many women stepped forward to speak in favor of the proposal. In a truly democratic fashion, there were also those who raised significant concerns. All of them – those in favor and those against – spoke with knowledge and conviction. All of them spoke from the heart. As I watched and listened, I was struck by the passion and dedication of the members of the National Board, volunteers who devote their time and their energies to Hadassah and to the Hadassah Medical Organization, to the mutuality of purpose that unites us.  

After much discussion, the proposal passed. In many ways, it was a culmination of a dream; in many ways, it was an homage to those dreams we are still dreaming.

In my report to the National Board, I had a chance to speak about HMO, about our accomplishments and about the challenges we face, about the dream that began 100 years ago and the continuity and innovation that has sustained and propelled it, about the tremendous potential and the problems that could impede our progress.

I described the plans for moving-in day, just seven weeks from now and our reflections on the day after, when we examine the impact of the move and plan how to utilize the space that was vacated. I described all the other things that are happening simultaneously on both campuses; new construction and renovation, new medical milestones, new research triumphs, new equipment, new department heads and the need to train those who will come after them. I spoke about our talented staff and our dedicated workers, but most of all, I spoke about our obligation to our patients, about our desire to enhance the medical services and the personal services we provide.

Dreams come true, I said several days later at a special event for the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower. “You dreamed of building a new hospital and within less than two months, this dream will come true. Only a few organizations know how to dream great dreams, even fewer know how to turn them into reality.”

It is a long and winding road from the dream to the deed. For Hadassah, that road began 100 years ago in the gloom of an impoverished population in the Old City of Jerusalem, a road that successfully wound its way past the obstacles of war and the troubles of a new nation. It is a road that has brought people to Mt. Scopus and Ein Kerem, seeking our help as they, their parents and grandparents did. The light that glowed from the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower one misty morning last week was more than another, albeit special landmark. It was a statement of Hadassah’s ability to dream and to do.

The road does not end with this marvelous gift you are giving to Jerusalem and to Israel for the centennial. Together we will continue along the paths we know and those we have yet to determine. Together we will continue to dream and continue to do. Each of you in your own way is leading the way. Each of you is a partner in fulfilling the dream.

Yours,

Ehud

Date: 1/30/2012 12:00:00 AM

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