Dr. Amitai Ziv, deputy director-general of Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, has won the $100,000 Charles Bronfman Humanitarian Award. He will receive the prize in May at a ceremony in New York.
Ziv, 48, is founder and director of the Israel Center for Medical Simulation (MSR), which uses a flight-training model to educate doctors and medical students on how to minimize medical errors.
The Bronfman prize "celebrates the vision and talent of an individual or team under 50 years of age, whose humanitarian work has contributed significantly to the betterment of the world," the prize founders said. "Its goal is to bring public recognition to young, dynamic individuals whose Jewish values infuse their humanitarian accomplishments and provide inspiration to the next generations. We are thrilled to pay tribute to Amitai Ziv, who embodies the very qualities that have guided our father throughout his lifetime.
"Dr. Ziv represents the best of the young generation's values, commitment, creativity and energy. His insightful and innovative work responds to the imminent need for reshaping the way medical care is delivered throughout the world."
Ellen Bronfman Hauptman and Andrew Hauptman together with Claudine Blondin Bronfman and Stephen Bronfman, founded The Charles Bronfman Prize in honor of their father's 70th birthday. They are the Trustees of The Charles Bronfman Prize Foundation, a corporation headquartered in New York, which administers the prize. The panel of judges includes James Wolfensohn, former president of the World Bank; former justice and finance minister Dan Meridor; and Rosalie Silberman Abella, a Supreme Court justice from Canada.
"I love creativity," Charles Bronfman said. "Amitai Ziv was a fighter pilot who applied the lessons learned in flight simulation to that of his chosen profession of medicine. His pioneering effort in the education of young doctors is the kind of creative breakthrough that my children sought to identify and honor when they established the prize."
Ziv's experience as an IAF combat pilot became the catalyst for his adaptation of flight simulation training to the field of medical training, the prize founders said. Launched in 2001, MSR became the first interdisciplinary, multi-modality center of its kind. Today it serves as the model on which some of the finest medical institutions around the world are developing their own simulation centers.
"An important goal of MSR is to reduce the frequency of medical errors that take place in the health system," the prize founders said. "In the US alone, as many as 98,000 people die each year from medical errors, more than the number who die annually from car accidents, breast cancer and AIDS combined, and the equivalent of a Boeing 747 crashing every day."