Hadassah Park Slope Chapter > President's Message
Ethel Gold

President's Message: Ethel Gold

  Ethel Gold

"Hadassah changes lives one person at a time!"
...Hadassah National


We are Hadassah…
Beyond 1 - the individual - Beyond 100 into infinity

Dear Hadassah Sisters:

Winter blew in like a lion and finally departed like a lamb! As we begin to experience the many pleasures of Spring, let us also energize and revitalize our bodies and stimulate our minds with a renewed passion and commitment to our partnership with the land and people of Israel.

What are Hadassah's newest breakthroughs?

*A new center at the Ein Kerem Campus has opened for treatment of pediatric vascular defects. The problematic blood vessels are closed off by inserting a catheter through the groin and cauterizing the area until the vein or artery has shrunk. A multi-disciplinary medical team formulated a treatment plan. Early detection is the key to prevent development of physical and social
scarring in young adolescents.

*Hadassah medical researchers have found the gene that causes liver disease. The team, headed by Dr. Rifaat Safadi, an Arab-Israeli physician at Hadassah Hospital identified it in the immune system and liver. In a healthy person the gene repairs liver tissue when it gets damaged by daily abuses. However, if the immune system is compromised by hepatitis, overeating, extreme alcohol consumption, the gene overreacts and does not work well and can leave scarring with the risk of cirrhosis of the liver. Sometimes merely stopping the excess patterns can begin to heal the liver - otherwise the "natural killer (NK)" cells are introduced to target and control the fibrosis.

*A blood test that detects BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations has been developed. Women with a mutation in the BRCA genes have a greater risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer. Formerly the only test available was full gene sequencing: not always reliable, costly and time consuming. Hadasit, Hadassah's technology transfer arm patented the test - 95% accurate and is working on the production of a diagnostic kit.

*Hadassah is a participant in a Global Stem Cell Research Consortium on Alzheimer's Disease. Brain regeneration can be achieved by only two possible approaches: introducing such cells to the brain by transplantation (grown and manipulated in a culture dish and then transplanted) or by inducing the injured brain's own resident stem and precursor cells to exit their quiescent state and enter a regenerative mode. These two approaches are under extensive research. These experiments hold great promise in uncovering a cure.

As Hadassah members we see our efforts rewarded in many ways. A proud feather in our cap is the very distinguished Hadassah Academic College founded in 1970. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs provide skills and credentials for our students to build their lives, pursue promising careers and contribute to the economic vitality of the country. About one half of the students enrolled are the first in their families to achieve a higher education.

As Henrietta Szold commented to a sculptor commissioned to create her likeness - when asked how she wished to be portrayed, she answered, "Make my eyes look to the future." We at Hadassah are continuously faced with new challenges for the future. My sincerest thanks to our selfless women and men whose volunteerism has been extraordinary. Through your continued generosity and participation we can all be a part of the future that Henrietta envisioned.

Looking forward to greeting you at our upcoming events! L'hitraot!

Ethel Gold

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