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At midnight on March 1, 2019, Professor Jonathan Halevy stepped down as the hospital’s Director-General and Professor Ofer Merin, previously Deputy Director-General and Director of Trauma Services assumed the hospital’s directorship. He is just the fifth person to hold that job in the Hospital’s more than 117-year history. Professor Halevy, who is widely credited with managing Shaare Zedek’s rise to become one of Israel’s top hospitals, will continue his involvement in numerous management issues including development and fundraising.
During his final week in the position, Professor Halevy visited all of the medical departments and support units and thanked the staff for their dedication and hard work that made the hospital so successful. Professor Halevy also addressed hundreds of current and former hospital employees as well as friends and family at the weekly Clinical Conference. So many members of the staff wanted to attend this session that three additional viewing areas were set up around the hospital. During his presentation, Professor Halevy said that his professional accomplishments were a result of the partnership with Shaare Zedek’s staff. In addition, an exhibition of photos detailing his life and career were on display throughout the hospital. The week concluded with a farewell luncheon in the hospital cafeteria for all staff.
When Professor Halevy assumed the position of Director-General in 1988, Shaare Zedek was considered a small community hospital well-known for its compassion for patients. During his tenure, he oversaw the opening of 26 new medical units. Today, Shaare Zedek offers care across all major medical disciplines and treats over 800,000 cases per year. The inpatient care rate over the last three decades multiplied by 469% while outpatient care went up by a remarkable 2,221%.
Under Prof. Halevy’s leadership, Shaare Zedek more >
A three-year-old named Nicole Chodkovski wandered away from her mother at a mall in Beer Sheva. Another woman took the little girl by the hand, heading toward a bus for Tel Aviv. The woman began asking for money along the way, telling people that Nicole was her sister and that their mother was waiting for them. A quick-thinking soldier, Moria Baranes, noticed the odd behavior. She told the woman she had money for her but first wanted to meet her mother. The woman grabbed Nicole and broke into a run, with Baranes in pursuit, shouting, “Kidnapper!” The woman finally dropped Nicole in order to get away and the mother and daughter were reunited.
That was 16 years ago. Nicole Chodkovski is now a soldier and recently told friends she wanted to meet the woman who saved her. The IDF located Moria, now 35, at Shaare Zedek, where she works in the Barkai Shor Gynecology Outpatient Clinics. A reunion was arranged at a roadblock Nicole helps guard that Moria drives through regularly.
“Moria saved my life,” Nicole said when they met. “Who knows what would have happened if she would not have noticed me?”
Moria replied, “Wow, those eyes I will not forget. These were the eyes I saw crying while she was being held by the woman who tried to kidnap her. I saved her then and today she watches over me.”
This article first appeared in the Winter ’16-’17 issue of Heartbeat Magazine published by the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
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Naama Bagrish, Head Nurse of the Emergency Medicine Department, was recently awarded Yedioth Ahronoth’s Annual National Prize for Outstanding Worker in the field of Services.
Naama has more than 20 years of Emergency Room experience and manages a staff of 80. She begins her workday each morning at 5:50 AM by getting to know each patient in the emergency room and their specific needs. Naama shared, “As a nurse, I feel a sense of mission. Working in the ER is very fulfilling. I like the fast pace, the diversity of the patients and the staff. I like figuring out what is happening with each patient and providing each patient and their family with what they need.”
“Naama instills in her staff the vision of Nursing Management at Shaare Zedek,” the newspaper wrote, “To be professional and human and to stay close to the patient…Pleasant and lovely, she agreeably and modestly helps with everything and constantly emphasizes that an excellent manager cannot succeed without an excellent staff.”
At the award ceremony, President Ruvi Rivlin quoted Martin Luther King, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry…” President Rivlin shared, “Striving for excellence…is the desire to do as much as possible, to innovate, to create, develop, contribute to raise the bar and to set an example…”
Photos by Ohad Tzveigenberg/Yediot Aharonoth
This item appeared in the Summer 2016 edition of Heartbeat, the bi-annual publication of The American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center. To join our mailing list please send your email and address to firstname.lastname@example.org.