Six-year-old Kyra Warrell is facing amputation of her leg. Doctors in the UK have told her parents that there’s nothing more they can do for her rare condition, and have suggested that they accept the inevitable—an amputation and a prosthetic leg. And yet, later this year she will have the first of three operations by worldclass surgeon, Dr. Dror Paley, who believes that if the surgeries are successful, she will not only keep her leg, but will also have a full range of motion by the time she is 16.
There’s something miraculous happening in the North of Israel. And it’s taking place at one of Israel’s best loved and most highly regarded institutions, Rambam Medical Center.
As the largest hospital in the north of Israel, Rambam services more than two million people, as well as being the main referral center for twelve hospitals in the region. It’s the main trauma center for the IDF, where injured soldiers from all over the country are airlifted, as well as the medical treatment center for the US Navy 6th Fleet and U.N. Peacekeeping Forces.
But medical excellence is what American Friends of Rambam’s National Executive Director, Richard Hirschhaut calls just one piece of the mosaic that makes this institution so successful.
RISING ABOVE THE POLITICAL FRAY
Rambam Medical Center was established in 1938, making it older than the State of Israel itself. Rambam is also a respite from politics and its often divisive tone, focusing not only on medical care, but also on advancing peacekeeping efforts in the region. Hirschhaut elaborated on one example, which arose just last month, when a young boy from Gaza urgently needed a kidney transplant. Despite the logistical and geopolitical hurdles that needed to be navigated, Rambam made it happen, ultimately saving the boy’s life.
Located in Haifa, close to two hostile borders, the daily reality of Rambam is the diversity of both its staff and patients. From Syrian civilians wounded by shrapnel, to Palestinian children who are unable to receive adequate medical care closer to home, Rambam truly is a safe haven for those in need.
Rambam’s staff also reflects the region’s rich diversity, representing dozens of religious and ethnic backgrounds, united in their singular goal of providing world-class healthcare. Rambam strives to be a beacon of tolerance and respect, an antidote to the news headlines, and a way to create everyday examples of cohesion and harmony.
But in a country where security is a constant factor, there is always more that can be done. That’s why, in order to keep safety and security at the forefront for both staff and patients, Rambam opened the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Medical Center in 2014. The facility is the largest underground hospital of its kind and includes 2,000 beds, operating rooms, a fully equipped intensive care unit, and it can be up and running in just 72 hours.
Rambam also has a worldclass trauma teaching center, which has trained over 3,000 medical professionals from more than 60 countries around the globe, with life-saving results time and again. This expertise has given Rambam the lowest mortality rate in the country for severe trauma patients.
THE FUTURE OF MODERN MEDICINE
The last part of this equation is the innovation which comes out of Rambam, establishing the hospital as an incubator for breakthrough medical treatments. Rambam Health Care Campus provides fertile ground for medical ingenuity, helping researchers from their initial concept, all the way to securing investment. With training and support, cutting-edge therapies, treatments and devices are put into practice. From stem cell treatments and gene mapping, to working towards a cancer vaccine, this research is already having a global impact on the healthcare industry, and on the prognosis and quality of life for thousands of patients around the world.
AMERICAN FRIENDS OF RAMBAM
Hirschhaut’s appointment in February 2017 as National Director of American Friends of Rambam marks something of a reboot for the organization. Hirschhaut explained, “We are a vital partner in raising awareness and building support for and connection to Rambam. We welcome the involvement of all who recognize the transformative power of quality healthcare and innovation as the best face of Israel for the benefit of all humanity.”
The annual Rambam Summit celebrates all dimensions of this remarkable facility, from the hospital’s impact on the business world and Israel’s economy, to the medical breakthroughs coming out of its research centers. Friends of Rambam from around the world are encouraged to join in this year’s Summit celebrating Rambam’s 80th anniversary.
Friends of Rambam are not only supporting Israel. They are supporting humanitarian efforts and bold peacekeeping missions in the region. They are advancing innovation in healthcare and shaping the future of medicine – in Israel and throughout the world.
Information provided by American Friends of Rambam Medical Center. To learn more or to support the American Friends of Rambam Medical Center, please visit www.aforam.org.