Hadassah Mexico opened doors to many segments of the Mexican communities in Mexico City and Monterrey for the Hadassah Medical Center, when the unit hosted Prof. Yaacov Naparstek, Chairman of Hadassah Hospital-Ein Kerem’s Department of Medicine, for a lecture series and get-togethers with prominent Mexican families. Seven events later, $250,000 was pledged for the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower.
Meeting with Mexico City donors in a private, warm atmosphere gave Prof. Naparstek the opportunity to tell them about the new medical achievements at the Hadassah Medical Center and to update them personally with the latest information on the building of the new Tower. “This was a significant and fundamental encounter to strengthen the relationship with our donors and friends,” notes Ethel Fainstein, Hadassah International Director for Latin America.
Preceding Prof. Naparstek’s visit to Mexico, supporters of Hadassah Mexico received an invitation to his presentations, as well as an article by Prof. Naparstek about the customized care patients receive in Hadassah’s new Center for Personalized Medicine. In addition, articles about Hadassah’s New Centers of Excellence were published in several Jewish publications, which announced Prof. Naparstek’s upcoming visit. Israel’s Ambassador to Mexico HE Yosef Livne participated in one of Dr. Naparstek´s conferences and praised Hadassah’s work.
While in Mexico City, Prof. Naparstek attended a breakfast with the President of the Central Committee, the political umbrella of the Jewish Community; the President of the Magen David Community; and the Chalabe Community, at their new Community Center.
Prof. Naparstek’s main lecture, entitled “Personalized Medicine: Progress and Perspectives,” was organized by The Mexican Health Foundation, the National Institute of Genomic Medicine, and the National Academy of Medicine. During his presentation, Prof. Naparstek stressed the importance of businessmen’s contributions to the development of this new field of medicine and its transference to everyday clinical practice. The Conference setting gave Prof. Naparstek the opportunity to speak with physicians who are doing research on Lupus, which is his research specialty, and discuss the possibility of a clinical exchange with Hadassah.
“The response to Prof. Naparstek’s talks was wonderful,” relates Sherry Altura, Hadassah International Liaison and Major Gifts Chair for Mexico. “At the conclusion of two of the events,” she adds, “a participant stood up and spontaneously donated a room for the new Tower. In addition, a teary-eyed young man, just starting out in his career, pledged a mezuzah for $5,000.”
During a whirlwind 24 hours, Prof. Naparstek also launched the Tower Campaign in Monterrey. He attended a luncheon with community leaders, including Religious Leader Rabbi Kaiman. “The 93-year-old rabbi invited us to his home and served us cookies and sweet homemade wine,” Ms. Fainstein relates. Rabbi Kaiman also offered his support in promoting the Tower Campaign. In the evening, Prof. Naparstek gave a presentation open to the community in which he described Hadassah’s latest medical advancements.
More than 15 Mexican physicians already had a strong bond with Hadassah because they are Hadassah graduates. This visit expanded Hadassah’s reach within Mexico. As Hadassah International Director Melissa Kaplan comments: “We established a strong core of support for the Hadassah Medical Center in both Monterrey and Mexico City. We made many new friends, who are potential donors and board members.”