Prof. Yoram Weiss, MD is Acting Director General of the Hadassah Medical Organization. He was the director of Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem from 2014-2021. Previously he was chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology (2009-2014) and director of the Center for Surgical Critical Care Medicine (2006-2009). He received his medical degree from the Technion Medical School in Haifa, subsequently training in anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Hadassah and the University of Pennsylvania. He has held two faculty appointments: Associate Professor at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Prof. Weiss was twice awarded a prestigious Israel Science Foundation (ISF) research grant and received the European Critical Care Research Network Basic Science Award from the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine.
As of 12/31/2020, Hadassah has 850 doctors, almost 2,000 nurses and provides nearly 1 million people with hospital services each year. Overseeing all of this is Prof. Yoram Weiss, MD, the acting director general of the Hadassah Medical Organization. Since taking the helm a year ago, he has helped navigate the organization through unprecedented double crises — the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, all the while maintaining a vision of the future. "I had a career over 30 years and I could tell you, I had not one day where I was bored," Weiss says in the newest episode of the "Hadassah on Call" podcast aptly titled: The Future is Now: Precision Medicine, Stem Cells & More.
More than two years into the pandemic with its different variants and surges, Weiss is proud of his team's work. "I think that Hadassah has proven itself as an amazing hospital when it comes to really addressing COVID on several areas," he says. In particular, he cited three factors: patient treatment, research and the development of new drugs and protocols — including Hadassah's participation in COVID vaccine trials and the development of low-cost ventilators.
In recent months, Weiss has been orchestrating the hospital's humanitarian efforts on the Poland-Ukraine border. From the beginning of the war began, Hadassah has had a rotating delegation of medical professionals working with colleagues in the region and helping treat the influx of refugees. "And our hospital is open for these refugees who are in Jerusalem," he adds. "If they need, we admit them and we take care of them."
Amidst these crises, the hospital continues to thrive. In our interview, Weiss points to several new technologies that he's excited about, all of which fall under the umbrella of personalized medicine. He discusses precision medicine, how stem cell treatment has evolved to treat more diseases — including the ability to create entirely new organs outside the body and how CRISPR technology could potentially helping patients with leukemia, lymphoma and multiple sclerosis.
Named one of the best smart hospitals in the world by Newsweek magazine, Hadassah has more new technologies on the horizon, including telepathology, or the ability for a doctor in one country to be able to perform a surgery in another country through the use of robots. "The number of platforms that will allow us to do telemedicine will just increase over the next few years," Weiss says.
All of this is made possible through the research environment at Hadassah, fostered by Weiss and his team. "We're trying to put a lot of emphasis talking to our young physicians about the importance of research," he says. "It's not that we impose what needs to be developed. It's the researchers that drive the research and that's the importance of what's happening. And I'm really very, very proud about that."
Asked about his hopes for the future of the hospital, Weiss is ambitious. "I hope the hospital will be the leading hospital when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of cancers in Israel," he says. "And I'll tell you the truth. I would like to be one hundred times better than we are now. I want Hadassah to be within the 10 best hospitals in the world in five years."
“Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine” is a production of Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America. Hadassah enhances the health of people around the world through medical education, care and research innovations at the Hadassah Medical Organization. For more information on the latest advances in medicine please head over to hadassah.org.
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The show is hosted by Benyamin Cohen and produced by the team at the Hadassah offices in both New York and Israel.
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Our recent episode about Hadassah’s efforts in Ukraine:
If you're enjoying this conversation, you may want to check out our last episode where we spoke with Professor Weiss and two other doctors about Hadassah's efforts to help Ukrainian refugees. One of the people we chatted with was Dr. Rely Alon, who is sending Hadassah nurses to the Poland-Ukraine border. You can find that episode of “Hadassah On Call” on Apple Podcast, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcast. Or on the web at hadassah.org/hadassahoncall.
Donate to Hadassah’s Ukraine response:
As you're heard on this episode, Hadassah has been on the ground helping on the border of Poland and Ukraine since the war began. You can help these efforts continue be by making a donation to our Ukraine mission. Simply go to hadassah.org/ukraineresponse and click on the donate button. While you're there, you can also make a contribution to our Youth Aliyah program, which helps shelter refugees from the Ukraine war. Thank you so much for your support.