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 Direct link to HMO's most up-to-date information:  Support medical breakthroughs
and treatments at Hadassah Medical Organization.


     June, 2014               


     My husband and I recently returned from Israel, where we were treated to a V.I.P. tour of  Hadassah Hospital, made possible by  Carol Weiss and Lisa Moore.  While waiting for my assigned guide, Della, imagine my   delight at seeing the clown dash across the lobby towards the Mother and Child Pavilion, which we later toured.  I requested to be shown any of our FAR’s physical contributions to the hospital, including plaques, tiles, elevators, equipment and bricks.  It was thrilling to view bricks that were donated by my Tzedakah chapter, as well as other region chapters.  On our tour, we had the opportunity to ride in one of the elevators whose plaque bears the FAR name.  Our guide informed us that there were Palestinian doctors and    nurses who have been on staff for years, working side by side with Israelis .  Della took us to several floors in the Tower, including a special examining room that has equipment that was donated by one of our FAR chapters.  She informed us about the five secure underground floors of the hospital and how they worked.  We visited the Mother and Child newborn floor and enjoyed seeing several  babies being wheeled in the hall.  This is the location of the tiles that have been donated by Lydia Krieg and Myrna Rodkin,  and we enjoyed viewing them along with others that are found on panels along the corridor.  At the end of our tour,  we were able to view the magnificent Chagall Windows, which shimmer with unbelievable color from within the Synagogue.  This total experience filled me with a source of pride in the results of the work that Hadassah does.

     The trip to the hospital was on Sunday June 15th.  By midweek, we learned of the  kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers and the government went into an Alert status to find them.  Fortunately for us, we returned home just before the barrage of rockets reached Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, where we had just been.

     Presently, the wounded Israeli soldiers are being brought from Gaza to Hadassah      Hospital in Jerusalem, where all the highly trained doctors and nurses are ready to treat them.

                                                                    Submitted by Joy Parks, HMO Chair



Shabbat Shalom!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Recovery Deal Signed over Hadassah Medical Organization 
Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA), the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) and the Government of Israel (GOI) signed the official agreement for the financial recovery of HMO.

Healing Garden at Hadassah's Hospitals Dedicated to Smorgon Family 
The Jack and Robert Smorgon families' Foundation Healing and Environmental Garden was dedicated at Hadassah University Hospital, Mount Scopus on June 22

International Symposium on Pancreatic Disease Headed Up by Hadassah Specialist 
Earlier this month, Jerusalem hosted an international symposium dealing with inherited diseases of the pancreas.

June 9, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

It is with regret that I write to you today to inform you that the Board of Directors of Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) has accepted the resignation of Director General Avigdor Kaplan.

As many of you know, over the past year, Dr. Kaplan led the effort to return HMO to financial stability. His service culminated in the heroic efforts of the past several months during which he labored tirelessly to negotiate the terms of a recovery plan with the Government of Israel (GOI) and the unions. The plan, which was recently approved by the Courts, now awaits the execution of an agreement by the relevant parties. In Avigdor's note to me he stated, "The achievements of the agreement aren't only fiscal. They preserve the special character of Hadassah as a provider of excellence in clinical treatment, teaching and research."

As part of the recovery plan, the GOI has required the establishment of a financial overseer who will work with HMO's Director General. Avigdor Kaplan earnestly objected to this aspect of the plan and it was on the basis of this disagreement that he decided to tender his resignation.

The Board of HMO and HWZOA respects Dr. Kaplan's perspective. However, in the end it was our conclusion that this overseer was an important component of an overall plan with the GOI in order to aid in HMO's recovery.

This decision in no way changes the extraordinary sense of gratitude we all feel toward Dr. Kaplan. In the annals of the history of our organization his contributions will be forever remembered.

Looking ahead, I am pleased to report that Professor Tamar Peretz, head of the oncology division, will serve as interim Director General of HMO and Dr. Kaplan has agreed to assist with a smooth transition. Professor Peretz, a world-renowned doctor with over two decades of experience leading the Sharrett Institute of Oncology, will be assisted by Deputy Administrative Director (DAD) Shlomo Sirkis, who is both a lawyer and an accountant. With their understanding of HMO and their deep leadership experience, I have no doubt they will effectively continue the recovery process while the HMO Board undertakes a rigorous search for the next permanent Director General.

I know you will all join me in expressing our thanks to Dr. Kaplan for his service and in extending our heartfelt best wishes to Professor Peretz whose leadership will be crucial during the weeks and months ahead.


Marcie Natan


Members:  Please note the stories on how your money is spent.  Our medical research is moving ahead.




Hadassah Medical Organization

Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) provides medical care to over one million patients a year regardless of race, religion or nationality. HMO includes the Middle East's most advanced medical facilities: two hospitals in Jerusalem and the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower. HMO is internationally renowned for its pioneering medical research, which benefits people in every corner of the world.

Explore Hadassah Medical Organization:


hMedicine: Research breakthroughs and medical updates

visit Hadassah Medical Organization's web site



Every Beat Counts: Hadassah's Heart Health Program™   educates women about risks, prevention and detection of heart disease, the #1 cause of death among women in the U.S. and worldwide. Cardiovascular disease kills more women than men in the U.S., and women present symptoms differently than men.

Heart Disease. Get the facts.

· 42% of women who have heart attacks die within one year (vs. 24% for men);

· 1 in 3 women over age 20 has some form of cardiovascular disease;

· A woman is 10 times more likely to die of a heart attack than breast cancer;

BUT...82% of heart disease is preventable. Prevention begins with YOU!

· Empower Yourself. Be an Advocate. Take Action.

· Learn more about risk factors and warning signs

· Use Hadassah tools and resources to help you live a heart healthy life:

Hadassah joins with Sister to Sister    

to empower women to be heart healthy—


Breakthrough Research at
Hadassah Medical Organization's Heart Health Institute

Medical Firsts                                                             

  1964 - 1st hospital in Israel to perform Double Bypass surgery                                                                                                 
  1986 - 1st successful heart transplant in Israel                                                                                                

  2009 - The Cathlab team at the HMO's Heart Institute performs the first                trans-catheter implantations of aortic valves                                                                                                                                               2013 - 1st in Israel multidisciplinary facility to treat pediatric vascular defects

Sign up for News and Updates about Every Beat Counts:  Hadassah's Heart Health Program

Find Every Beat Counts: Hadassah's Heart Health Program™ seminars, workshops and events in your area.

For more information contact health@hadassah.org      Empower yourself. Be an Advocate. Take Action.




 HMO Roundup 

     May, 2014


FDA Approves US Clinical Trials to Treat ALS with Israel Stem Cell Technology

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the start of multi-center Phase II clinical trials in the United States to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with adult stem cell technology first introduced by the Hadassah Medical Center’s Prof. Dimitrios Karussis, Senior Neurologist and head of Hadassah’s Multiple Sclerosis Center.

Hadassah Heart Specialists Reveal Detrimental Effect of Thyroid Imbalance on Heart Failure Patients

A study by the Hadassah Medical Center's heart specialists has revealed that increased levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) are correlated with "worse clinical outcome" in patients suffering from heart failure.


October, 2013



Taking Care of Thousands and Building the Future: Hadassah Statistics for 2013

During the past year, nearly a million patients of all ages turned to Hadassah’s two campuses of healing, at Ein Kerem and Mount Scopus, for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care.

Hadassah handled a total of 406,044 hospitalization days; 10,971 babies were born in its delivery rooms; 650,736 ambulatory care visits took place; 4,318,652 laboratory tests were performed; and 137,142 patients arrived at Hadassah’s emergency rooms for help.

In parallel to this patient care, 487 research articles by Hadassah physicians were published; 231 scientific grants were awarded to Hadassah researchers; and Hadassah received 14.5 research grants from the prestigious Israel Scientific Foundation.  All other hospitals across Israel combined received a total of 16 grants.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

At the same time, Hadassah trained the next generation of Israeli physicians, scientists, dentists, nurses, and occupational therapists, as well as health professionals from many countries around the world, who chose to further their training at Hadassah.


2013 Archives:

Hadassah’s Cardiovascular Wellness Institute: Achieving Healthier Hearts

     The Hadassah Medical Center’s Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Institute for Women, created with a 10 million-dollar grant from Psychotherapist Irene Pollin in memory of her daughter, Linda Joy, has already impacted the lives of hundreds of Arab and Israeli families.     

     “Our mission,” explains Dr. Donna Zfat–Zwas, the Institute’s Director, is “to increase awareness of cardiovascular disease as a significant cause of death and illness in women throughout Israel.” Her goal is to reach both women and health care providers. “People in Israel think heart disease is a man’s disease,” she says. “Women don’t have the awareness they need.”

     The Institute is reaching out particularly to Israel’s Arab and ultraorthodox communities, where heart risk factors are higher. Rates of diabetes among Arab women are up to 50 percent, Dr. Zfat–Zwas reports. Diet and sedentary lifestyle are major contributors to the problem. Hadassah’s Institute is working with Arab women to promote a change in their lifestyle behaviors.

     Within the ultraorthodox population, the institute is reaching out through two programs – one in the local school setting; another with Rabbis and their wives. The intent is to have an impact on the entire infrastructure of the Chasidic community to bring about real change toward a healthier lifestyle. Knowing that the Haredi teachers have continuing education requirements, the institute was able to arrange with a Haredi school principal to give credits to their teachers for engaging in physical activity.

     In terms of reaching health care providers, the  institute professionals are speaking with coordinators of continuing education programs for the major health plans to urge them to raise awareness among family physicians about the risks to women regarding health disease.

     Dr. Zfat–Zwas emphasizes that a most important message to impart to women is how much is in their control when it comes to heart disease prevention. She says that simple lifestyle interventions make a big difference. Accordingly, the institute staff encourages women to think more about appropriate diet and physical activity – rather than their weight and appearance. They also educate them as to how symptoms of a heart attack may differ in women.   Although a man often experiences a sense that an elephant is sitting on his chest, often with pain radiating down his left arm, a woman may experience less  specific symptoms – intense fatigue, discomfort in the chest, shoulder or jaw, or a shortness of breath.                                                                     


Margery Rosin, Executive Vice President



From: קרומר רון -Krumer Ron <Ronk@hadassah.org.il>
Date: June 13, 2013




Treating Fractures with Stem Cells Significantly Speeds Up the Bone Healing Process



An article, recently published in the medical journal “Molecular Therapy”, has scientifically proven that the injection of stem cells into severe fractures significantly speeds up recovery.


The article details the research and clinical trial conducted over the past four years by the doctors of the Orthopedic Departments at Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem. The research was led by Prof. Iri Liebergall, Head of Orthopedics at Hadassah.


“A process that began 15 years ago eventually led to this clinical trial at Hadassah, the first of its kind in Israel. The trial included twenty-four patients with severe Pelvis fractures,” said Prof. Liebergall, “This research is a medical breakthrough.  Publication of this study and its findings will most likely change the currently accepted principles of treating complicated fractures. Now, we face the challenge of understanding this healing mechanism and how it works.”


Four years ago, the Orthopedic Department at Hadassah began a clinical trial where  fractures, which tend to heal slowly or not at all, were repaired with the help of the patient's blood system and bone marrow. This treatment is based on the use of stem cells taken from the pelvic area in close proximity to the injury. The cells undergo a process of designated isolation and re-injected into the fracture site.


Medical literature identifies certain fractures which require surgical treatment and have a long, ongoing recovery process. Sometimes, these fractures do not recover and further surgical intervention is required. This is caused by a number of reasons, some of which are connected to the injury mechanism. Other reasons include the anatomical structure of the fracture site. For example, the distal tibia, used in this study, is characterized by a scant layer of muscle tissue and bone support tissue, as well as reduced blood supply, all of which make recovery harder.

This innovative treatment is based on Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which have

the potential to become osteoblasts, imperative to the preservation of bone quality and fracture healing.


One month after the initial surgery, following a check-up, patients who participated in this trial underwent a short procedure, under general or local anesthesia. During this procedure, 50 mL of bone marrow and 100 mL of blood were extracted from their pelvic area. The blood and bone marrow were transferred to the laboratories where the mesenchymal stem cells were isolated from the bone marrow and platelets isolated from the blood sample.


The patient was brought back to the operating room, and the surgeon injected a solution of stem cells, platelets and demineralized bone matrix (powder with different proteins that help bone growth) into the injury site.


According to the specialists, this procedure shortened the recovery process from 6-12 months down to 2-3 months. The findings from this research show that these patients can regain functionality and return to their everyday life faster. These findings have economic repercussions, as a patient will lose less work time and require fewer days of sick leave. It opens a window for further research on tissue recovery using complex cellular mechanisms.



The Story of Maria Aman – Part One

Maria Aman (13) from Gaza was very severely wounded in 2006. As a result she became quadriplegic with no ability to breathe spontaneously. At the time the story hit the news all over the world, especially because she lost her mother and other family members, and her father dedicated his life to be with her. She was treated in an Israeli hospital but for the last several years she was staying in Alyn pediatric rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem attached to a respirator.

The only way to try and improve her condition was by way of a very complicated surgery that involved unique technology and equipment that were not available in Israel. Dr. Mark Ginsburg from Columbia Hospital in NY is perhaps one of very few experts in this. He was in contact with Prof. Raphael Udassin, head of pediatric surgery at Hadassah, who agreed to do it here. The negotiations and arrangements regarding the transfer of the equipment to Israel and use it in an Israeli hospital took months and involved government authorities. Finally everything was settled, Dr. Ginsburg came to Israel and the surgery was done successfully with Hadassah's Dr. Uzi Yizhar and Prof. Udassin as Dr. Ginsburg's surgical team.

During the surgery two pacemaker electrodes were implanted under her skin beneath her breast on the Phrenic Nerve which regulates the diaphragm's function. The girl is back in Alyn Hospital, still attached to the respirator. Next month she will return to Hadassah for follow up. If everything goes well she will be off respirator, with no Tracheostomy, able to breathe spontaneously and speak for the first time in 7 years.

 Reuters has been following this story for some years now. Dr. Ginsburg invited them to join him at Hadassah. I am told that they will put it on their website today (Thursday).

This story has several other aspects; none of them concerns Hadassah (for example – issuing an Israeli residency/citizenship to the father etc.).




Seminar held at Hadassah for Participants of the International Society for Gynecological Investigation (SGI) Conference


Dozens of researchers from a number of different countries around the world visited Hadassah Hospital and participated in a seminar held by Hadassah’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This seminar was part of an SGI (Society for Gynecological Investigation) conference, which took place in Israel for the first time. Prof. Simcha Yagel, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hadassah was the chairman of this 3-day conference.


The visiting researchers attended lectures on a number of topics that discuss research with therapeutic implications. These lectures were given by senior obstetricians and gynecologists from Hadassah:

Prof. Benjamin Reubinoff, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hadassah University Hospital Ein Kerem and director of the Center for Embryonic Stem Cell Research, discussed the latest innovations in embryonic stem cell research. Dr. David Shwekey described the increasing usage of robotics in gynecological procedures and Dr. Yuval Gielchinsky spoke about using laser surgery on fetuses. The lectures were all well received and the international audience expressed great interest in collaborating with Hadassah in these innovative studies.


A number of Hadassah’s leading researchers in the field of reproduction took an active part in the 3 day conference: Prof. Yagel spoke about the importance of heparin as a possible treatment for eclampsia and pre-eclampsia. Prof. Benjamin Reubinoff led a discussion about the usage of stem cells in the field of reproduction. Prof. Ariel Revel spoke about fertility preservation and Prof. Neri Laufer, former head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology led a discussion on the lecture presented by Dr. Yuval Gielchinsky about reproductive aging. Prof. Drorith Hochner, head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hadassah University Hopsital Mt. Scopus, discussed the topic of giving birth after an anal sphincters tear, and Dr. David Shwekey discussed the rate of perineal tears in young mothers.






Next week Jerusalem will host the annual President's Conference. This has become a world renowned event, and top leaders, artists. scientists from all over the world participate in it. Hadassah will be there also.

Prof. Dina Ben Yehuda, Head of the Department of Hematology was invited to participate in a panel on "the medicine of tomorrow". Prof. Henri Atlan, a veteran of Hadassah's department of nuclear medicine will also be a panelist.




Shabbat Shalom, 

Ron Krumer

Director, External Relations

Hadassah Medical Organization




Get Well Soon!! www.YouTube.com/Hadassah



Hadassah to Participate in Global Stem Cell Research Consortium on Alzheimer’s Disease

   The Hadassah Medical Center is one of the prestigious participants in a global consortium sponsored by the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (CAF), aimed at employing stem cells to eventually uncover the cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Prof. Tamir Ben-Hur, M.D., Ph.D, head of Hadassah’s Department of Neurology (left), is spearheading the research at Hadassah, which has received an initial grant of $100,000 from Cure for this purpose.

Prof. Ben-Hur explains that neural stem cells are able to renew themselves and generate various types of brain cells. While such cells form the brain during embryonic development, it has become clear that the adult brain, like many other tissues, also contains resident  stem and precursor cells.


More Information about Stem Cell Research
Involving Alzheimer's Disease

Prof. Ben-Hur’s consortium team includes researchers from Harvard Medical School, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Massachusetts  General Hospital, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and New York Stem Cell Foundation.

 The aim of the research is to find a way to regenerate these existing dormant cells in the adult brain. The theory is that this result can    possibly be accomplished either by transplanting cells that have been grown and manipulated in the lab or by finding a way to enter a regenerative mode by manipulating these dormant cells in the Alzheimer diseased brain.

 At this stage of the research, these special cells have been proven to possess two qualities. They have unique immunologic properties that suppress inflammation in the brain, and they  protect brain cells from injury. All research has been  conducted on animals that have degenerative diseases.

Dr. Ben-Hur and his team will investigate “...whether mouse and human neural cells that carry mutations which lead to the early development of Alzheimer’s disease are defective in their functional properties of ameliorating inflammation and protecting their environment.” Basically, they will be drawing a comparison between the functioning of normal neural stem cells and those of Alzheimer diseased cells. This will encompass dealing with inhibiting inflammation, preventing neural degeneration, and hopefully, promoting neurogenesis, the growth of new cells in the brain. The goal of this research is to find out if the brain has the potential to protect itself from developing the disease, if these stem cells are functioning properly.

Ultimately, it is hoped that this knowledge will aid in the pursuit of finding new ways to deal with Alzheimer’s disease.

Submitted by Joy Parks, HMO regional chair


New Treatments for Brain Disorders
Submitted by Joy Parks- HMO Chair  

  •     On Thursday evening December 6th, 2012, I attended a lecture given by Dr.
    Bernard Lerer at the Broward Jewish Federation.Dr. Lerer is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at Hadassah Hospital.His lecture subject was new research for treatments of various brain disorders.In addition to his position at Hadassah Hospital, he servedas the non salaried Director of the National Institute for Psychobiology in Israel, (NIPI), wrote for scientific publications and has had his research supported by many foundations in Israel and the United States.

         In his lecture, he described how the various functions of the brain are altered when Alzheimer’s disease is present. The disease is caused by amyloid proteins that are deposited in the brain.Up until now, the drugs that are presently on the market, Aricept and Exelon, have been used to prevent the production of the Amyloid protein.
  •  Dr. Lerer spoke about depression as a medical illness that can be treated and cured. He informed us that by the year 2020, depression will be the second most cause of peoples’ disability to work.Research is being conducted that employs the use of Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation,(DTMS). A fellow researcher, Professor Abraham Zanger, invented an “H Coil,” which is noninvasive and can be placed directly over the brain.As of April, 2012,twenty-two research sites have used this technique and have achieved remission.They are now experimenting with this technique on patients with severe Parkinson’s disease as well.
  • Other promising Israeli research. by Professor Joseph Zohar, who deals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, concluded that an injection of the hormone Cortisol shortly after exposure to a traumatic event may prevent PTSD.Clinical trials on animals, as well as people, suggest that it may be possible to develop a new therapy to prevent PTSD.

  • FROM hNEWS, January, 2012:

      Successful new treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at Hadassah 
    Results of a unique clinical trial conducted at the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem indicate that Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy in conjunction with brief exposure to trauma cues is safe and effective for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.
    “The study was the first of its kind designed to test the effectiveness of TMS on people with severe or resistant PTSD,” says Principal Investigator Dr. Moshe Isserles of Hadassah’s Dept. of Psychiatry. “Only a few studies have been conducted using magnetic stimulation and none using the combination of magnetic stimulation and exposure to the trauma memory.”
    TMS has been used to treat patients who suffer from depression for the past decade. This trial, however, involved the use of an innovative device that can stimulate extensive areas deeper in the cortex. The device was developed by the Israeli company Brainsway Ltd.
    The 26 patients in the clinical trial were divided into three groups: one was treated using the Deep TMS device together with a brief exposure to trauma cues; the second group only received Deep TMS treatment, with no trauma cues; and the third group received sham stimulation with exposure to trauma cues. All the patients in the study participated in at least eight sessions, the minimum required for treatment.
    The primary measure of treatment efficacy was the change in patients’ Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale score, an accepted measure of symptom severity in PTSD patients. Only the group that received active Deep TMS treatment with exposure to cues showed a statistically significant improvement. Measured two months after the treatment concluded, their improvement remained constant.
    “There was a marked decrease in nightmares and flashbacks, avoidance and arousal permit, ?? improvement in sleeping, mood and functioning,” Dr. Isserles said. Similar results were obtained in follow-up questionnaires that measured the intensity of symptoms of PTSD and depression.
  • A significant portion of Israeli population is exposed to traumatic events, some of them life-threatening. According to surveys, seven percent of the population suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with the figure even higher in disaster areas.
    Ron Krumer
    Director, External Relations
    Hadassah Medical Organization
    Get Well Soon!! www.YouTube.com/Hadassah

  • A Friday Story: Hadassah International Builds Bridges Around the World
  •  Dear Friends,

     Trauma Medicine is one of Hadassah Medical Organization's highly developed disciplines, one we have honed during the two decades since we established Israel's first Shock Trauma Unit – often under “trial by fire.” Treating victims of terror attacks and mass casualty events play a major role in our learning process. Less visible, but unfortunately more common, are the unconscionable number of road accident victims we treat each year.

     We have shared – and continue to share – what we have learned through journal articles, conference presentations and on-site training. Some years ago, we were asked to help set up a trauma unit in Buenos Aires. This summer, we participated in the Hadassah Mexico Trauma Symposium. 

    I recently returned from the Third Trauma Symposium at Hospital Santo Tomas in Panama, the country’s largest teaching hospital where HMO and Hadassah Panama helped to establish a Level 1 Trauma Unit. Over 700 doctors and nurses attended the first symposium in 2007, and about the same number return each year. The dedicated members of Hadassah Panama were instrumental in initiating this fruitful collaboration and continue to foster it – Hadassah International can take pride in creating these and other important initiatives.

     Since the beginning, Hadassah doctors and nurses have been an instrumental part of the program. They present papers at the meetings and remain in Panama for a week or more, working alongside the local medical teams.

     “These seminars are very useful for our personnel,” says Dr. Elias Garcia Mayorca, Medical Director General of Hospital Santo Tomas. “They give us the opportunity to share our experiences here with the well-trained physicians from the Hadassah Hospitals in Jerusalem, which allows us to give our patients better assistance.”

     This year, Neurosurgeon Prof. Jose Cohen, an Interventional Neuroradiologist and stroke specialist, Dr. Miklosh Bala, an expert in trauma from the Department of Surgery, and Emergency Medicine Nurse Merav Kamer represented HMO. While still in Panama, Dr. Bala and Ms. Kamer shared their impressions with us.

     “The trauma conference was extremely successful and the turnout was remarkable. The audience included all trauma personnel – from doctors and nurses to paramedics and fire fighters. In fact more people came than could fit in the auditorium. The lectures generated a lot of interest.There was a lot of feedback and many questions. When I saw the people coming back the next day, I knew that ‘it worked.’

    As for our work in the hospital, it is still in progress. As far as we can tell, there have been many improvements since Dr. Almogy and Pnina Sharon's visit last year, but there is yet much to do."

     Last year, Dr. Gidon Almogy, the Director of HMO’s Surgical CenterB, Pnina Sharon, the Head Nurse of Adult Emergency Room at our Judy and Sidney Swartz Center for Emergency Medicine, and Dr. Liat Appelbaum, Director of the Center for Diagnostic and Invasive Ultrasound in the Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging, spent two weeks at Hospital Santo Tomas helping them organize their Trauma Unit and assisting them in formulating their protocols. This was their fourth visit to share advice and provide tangible support.  Dr. Ruth Stalnikowicz, Head of the Emergency Room at Hadassah-Mt. Scopus, accompanied them on one of their visits, adding invaluable insight.

     “The men and women of Hadassah Panama did and are doing an amazing job of organizing everything for the conference and every other aspect of our visit,” Dr. Bala and Ms. Kamer wrote. “Their hospitality and warmth are overwhelming. They have gone to extreme measures to make us feel at home and we are at a loss for words to show our gratitude to them.“ 

     Now it’s my turn to add some words of praise for Hadassah Panama and for Hadassah International President Sherry Altura.  Sherry has nurtured the group and the project since its    inception, fostering personal relationships and important connections. Most of all, she has made the name Hadassah – and Hadassah Panama– renowned and respected throughout the country.

     Dr. Jacabo Cohen, or Jacky as he is called, organized and chaired the Symposium.  Thanks to his outstanding medical reputation and superb organization skills, it was an outstanding success.  “I am proud to belong to Hadassah and to do this seminar for my country,” Dr. Cohen said modestly.  But the seminar is just part of what he did for Panama and for us. He and his wife Sarita, President of Hadassah Panama, along with past president Margie Mizrachi and her husband Moy, hosted us throughout our stay – providing us with invaluable advice and incredible hospitality.  Among many of their many gracious gifts, they arranged for me toattend Slichot services and Moy accompanied me for this meaningful observance.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

    The Jewish community of Panama held their former Chief Rabbi, Rabino Sion Levy, of blessed memory, in such high esteem that they raised over one million dollars to name the Centennial Conference Room in the new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower in his honor.

     Hadassah Panama organized television interviews and a special VIP luncheon – with major media attendance – where the new national protocol for treating trauma patients was formally announced. Hadassah Panama helped devise and promote the new protocol, which will enhance how medicine is practiced in Panama.                 

     During the Symposium, our Hadassah experts were stellar attractions. After his outstanding lecture on strokes, Prof. Cohen was inundated by people with questions about patients and loved ones. He listened attentively and reviewed each situation.

    “It is amazing how competent this community is in the planning and execution of these events, Sherry Altura says. “They could run this country given the chance.”

     I agree.  All the members of Hadassah Panama, but especially the women, are masterminds at planning and executing events, assuring that Hadassah has a prominent place in the community and most graciously coordinating our visits.  As Hadassah Panama Vice President Raquel Btesh noted, “When Hadassah puts their heads and their hands together we can do everything.”

     “I am thankful to Hadassah for sending these doctors to Panama to help us with this important project. They are our inspiration,” Sarita Cohen added.                                                                                                                                                             


    My experience in Panama –like the one in Mexico and in many other places around the world – is an inspiration to me. It reminds me of how much the Hadassah Medical Organization has to offer, how important it is for us to share our knowledge with the people and countries,the esteem the Hadassah Medical Organization elicits, and how important Hadassah International is to our efforts.

     Whether in Latin America or the Far East, Europe or Australia – countries that are our friends as well as some that don’t recognize the State of Israel – Hadassah’s doctors and nurses are welcomed with warmth and enthusiasm, admiration and respect. They in turn, bring honor to Hadassah and to Israel, creating new relationships, establishing new friendships, building bridges across countries and continents by caring for others.

     Shabbat shalom,

    Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, Former Director General




    Since 2001, Hadassah International has organized many different academic and medical symposiums and seminars in different areas of Latin America.

    Following is a short list of these past academic activities:

     Caracas, Venezuela, 2001: International Nursing Seminar

     Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2001: International Nursing Seminar in collaboration with Einstein Hospital

     Miami Beach, FL, USA, 2001: International Nursing Symposium

     Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2002: Trauma Seminar in collaboration with Hospital Fernandez

     Mexico City, Mexico,  2004: Nursing Seminar in collaboration with Ministry of Health

     Monterrey, NL, Mexico, 2004: 1st International Nursing Seminar: “Challenges facing a nurse today” in collaboration with Tec Monterrey Hospital and Nuevo Leon General Hospital

     Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, 2005:  VII International Congress of Medical Advancements –Dealing with Massive Catastrophes in collaboration with Guadalajara Civilian Hospitals

     Jerusalem, Israel, 2005: Hadassah Medical Organization(HMO) and Hadassah Mexico organize a one-week Symposium for Mexican Pediatric Dentists in collaboration with Mexican Association of Orthodontics 

     Costa Rica, 2006: Alternative Medicine Seminar in collaboration with Unibe University; Collaborative Agreement signed that allows for five Costa Rican physicians to do specialty training at HMO

     Panama, 2007: 1st Trauma Seminar - “Trauma Emergencies”as well as a Medical and Nursing Seminar in collaboration with Hospital SantoTomas

     Mexico City, Mexico, 2008: Human Genome Institute Conference

     Mexico, 2009-2010: First Aid Courses - as part of a grassroots project, intended to raise awareness of Hadassah International among the Jewish communities of Mexico and provide health education to its members

     Mexico, 2010: Breast Cancer Awareness Week (including conferences, workshops and seminars) in collaboration with the Mexico National Cancer Institute, Oncology Center of ABC Hospital, Hospital San Jose - Tec de Monterrey, Hospital OCA, Red Cross of Monterrey

     Mexico City, Mexico, 2011: Trauma Symposium - “Dealing with Multiple Victims of a MassCatastrophe: Experiences from the Hadassah Medical Organization” in collaboration with Cadena, A.C., a group of young volunteers from the Jewish community that deal with emergency situations and national disasters

     Mexico, 2011: Nutrition and WellnessEvent (including conferences, workshops and seminars) in collaboration with the Mexico Ministry of Health, Mexico National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition, Gea Gonzalez Hospital, ABC Hospital, Maguen David Community Center

    Sao Paulo, Brazil; June, 2012: Academic Medical Congress in light of a collaborative agreement drawn up between Alberto Einstein Hospital,the government of Sao Paulo and HMO.



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