When Dr. Tamar Elram needs a moment of revitalization, she climbs to the roof of Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, the hospital where she serves as director. On one side she can see the village of Anata, where the Prophet Jeremiah urged Jews to build a home in Jerusalem in times of trouble. He asked, famously, “Is there a doctor in the house? Is there healing for the daughter of my people?” To which Hadassah responded with life-saving medical care. On the other side, she sees Jerusalem, a growing city of some 800,000 residents. And then she looks with pride over her campus, where a prophetic vision and a city with real-life challenges and complexities intersect. It’s where the renewal of Hadassah Mount Scopus is taking place before her eyes.
Last year, ground was broken for a vastly expanded rehabilitation center. Also in 2019, renovation and expansion of the Emergency Room and the building of Mount Scopus’s first trauma center began. With the opening of the new Rady Mother and Child Center, featuring contemporary ambiance and state-of-the-art equipment, the number of women giving birth at Mount Scopus has increased by over 30 percent. The hospital opened the first cardiac catheterization center in North Jerusalem, immediately improving medical outcomes for the nearby population.
“I am so proud of Director General Prof. Zeev Rotstein, of Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, and of Hadassah International for including Mount Scopus in the 360 Degrees of Healing Campaign,” said Dr. Elram. “We see the master plan for the campus materializing before our eyes.”
Having come to Jerusalem as a young child, Dr. Elram, one of six siblings, knew by age 12 that she wanted to become a physician. She graduated from the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Medicine and trained in obstetrics and gynecology, followed by a Wexner Fellowship at Harvard University. Before assuming her position at Mount Scopus in 2017, she served in senior positions in Israel’s Ministry of Health, as Deputy Director of Hadassah Ein Kerem, and as the Director General of Misgav Ladach Hospital in Jerusalem. In 2019 Lady Globes Magazine named her one of the 50 most influential women in key positions in Israel.
But Dr. Elram, the 48-year-old mother of five, isn’t only concerned with building a physical campus. She wants to build the resilience of her staff through a program aimed at spiritual development. In the morning, staff is greeted by soothing music and encouraged to listen and sing. She has developed a staff program of arts and spirituality. “I believe that the emotional well-being of my staff is central,” she said. “I’m sure you can be a better healer and a better leader if you are in touch with your inner self. Improving personal well-being also improves interpersonal relationships and communication, key elements in healing. Medical decisions are partly science and partly a reflection of our values.”
For her personal development, Dr. Elram writes poetry in English and Hebrew. And what better place for a poet to find inspiration than the heights of Mount Scopus.
As featured in the 2019 Hadassah Annual Report, released in July 2020.
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