Being a “bridge to peace” through medicine has been Hadassah’s hallmark for decades:
- The Hadassah Medical Center absorbs millions of dollars in costs each year for health care and medical training that its health professionals provide to Palestinians.
- Hadassah extends a range of services to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestinians in the adjacent territories. An example of Hadassah’s pivotal role as a bridge to peace through medicine is the surgical partnership between Hadassah’s Dr. Eli Milgalter, an Israeli Jew and Director of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, and Dr. Bisher Marzouqa, a Palestinian cardiac surgeon from Bethlehem. Each year, the two physicians operate on 50-70 Palestinian children at Hadassah through a special program of the Peres Center for Peace. Entitled “Save the Children,” the project is funded by the Tuscany Regional Council of Italy, the Peres Center for Peace, and the Hadassah Medical Center.
- In the last few years—intifada or war not withstanding—the Hadassah Medical Center, together with the Peres Center for Peace, has been training Palestinian physicians to create their own pediatric oncology unit. In 2005, the first such unit in the PA opened at Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem. Its doctors, nurses, and a social worker all were trained at Hadassah. Initially, the most complicated treatments, such as bone marrow transplantation, are being done under Hadassah’s mentorship.
- Hadassah remains a key participant in the “Peace Through Health: Partnership in Emergency Medicine” program, which is upgrading the emergency medicine capabilities of a Palestinian hospital in East Jerusalem. To date, hundreds of Israeli, Palestinian, and American physicians and nurses have already received training, and the collaboration has sparked a network of contacts among Israelis and Palestinians.
While the Hadassah Medical Center takes pride in its state-of-the-art clinical care and innovative research, above all else, Hadassah is a humanitarian medical institution, dedicated to sharing its expertise with all who seek its help.