Today the theme was Co-Existence through Medicine, the tagline for Emek Medical Center, the major hospital for the region. This theme is evident the minute you enter the campus. The hospital staff boasts an almost equal mixture of Jewish and Arab medical practitioners and the multi-cultural staff is a melting pot that is a reflection of the demographics of the area, where people of all faiths and backgrounds work side-by-side to heal their patients. We were hosted by Professor Dan Hershko, the head of Surgery A and breastcare services. Seven years ago, our community, led by Neil and Amy Katz, raised close to $170,000 to fund the Katz Family Breast Health Initiative. Through this program, Emek was able to increase its outreach into the surrounding community, bringing breast-cancer awareness and screening into outlying areas. In fact, we learned the Katz Family Breast Health Initiative was the catalyst for Emek’s new comprehensive breast-health center, where groundbreaking has just begun.
This major regional medical center also boasts a 26-bed neo-natal unit, where New Haven native Dr. Scott Weiner now practices. We toured the NICU, where they were prepping a 21-week-old infant for surgery and we had a chance to see Dr. Weiner examine a 26-week-old baby who weighed less than 1.5 pounds. Because the delivery suite is a distance from the NICU, the newborns are transferred there via a 10-minute walk outside, hardly ideal conditions for these fragile babies. We learned that Emek treats many preemies, due to the lower social-economic profile of the region, and we were struck once again by the multi-cultural staff working as a team to take care of the diverse population they serve. What an inspirational way to start our day.