New Sheba center turns value of tikkun olam into action

“We will cross every boundary to assist,” he said.

Prof. Elhanan Bar-On MD, MPH Director of the Israel Center for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response at Sheba Medical Center - Tel Hashomer at the 7th Annual JPost Conference in NY (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Prof. Elhanan Bar-On MD, MPH Director of the Israel Center for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response at Sheba Medical Center - Tel Hashomer at the 7th Annual JPost Conference in NY
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Sheba Medical Center sees its national role as delivering quality medical care to all the citizens of Israel, said Prof. Elhanan Bar-On, the director of the new Israel Center for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response at Sheba. However, he said, “Our role extends beyond the boundaries of Israel. If in our everyday work we use our heads as doctors and our hands as surgeons here in Israel, where we go is with our souls.”
Speaking Sunday at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York, Bar-On said that Sheba medical teams will arrive anywhere they are needed – close or far, day or night – and give their heart and soul to anyone who needs them – with no difference to race, religion or gender.
“We will cross every boundary to assist,” he said.
Sheba Medical Center was founded in 1948 as “Army Hospital No. 5.” Today, it is the largest hospital in Israel, with 1,800 beds and a place where patients receive continuous care, from the emergency room through their rehabilitation process, utilizing the most advanced treatment methods and technologies available.
“We also realize that there are large parts of the world’s population that do not have access to this treatment,” said Bar-On. “Sheba sees humanitarian aid as part of our mission.”
Sheba established the Israel Center for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response that Bar-On directs nine months ago. Since then, the hospital has sent cardiac surgeons to Nigeria; orthopedists and general surgeons to Tanzania; and ear, nose, and throat specialists to Mongolia. Most recently, a multidisciplinary team was sent to Lusaka, Zambia to help treat an outbreak of cholera.
Currently, a team of ophthalmologists is on a ship in Papua New Guinea, providing cataract surgery to the residents.
“Tikkun olam (the rectification of the world) is part of our DNA at Sheba,” said Bar-On, noting that beyond the humanitarian value that these missions bring to the patients, “by going to these places, we become better doctors and nurses, and better human beings.”


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