What makes the Hadassah Medical Organization unique in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic? How have Hadassah’s professionals on the frontlines gone the extra mile to meet the special emotional and spiritual needs of their patients?
In a Zoom webinar moderated by HWZOA National President Rhoda Smolow on May 14, Prof. Sigal Sviri, director of Hadassah’s Medical Intensive Care Unit, and Rely Alon, PhD, head of the Division of Nursing, share their stories about how they and their staff have reached out to ease the isolation and loneliness for COVID-patients. Whether providing a Passover seder in a COVID-19 outbreak unit or giving smart phones to family members so they can see their loved ones, or suiting up relatives with full protective gear so they can enter a COVID-19 unit to visit their severely ill, dying spouse or sibling, Hadassah’s frontline personnel take the Hadassah mission of compassionate healing to another level.
Also speaking at the Zoom event was Deputy Director of the Hadassah Office in Israel Barbara Goldstein (known as BG). She shared biblical passages that hold particular meaning during these troubling days. As Zoom participants typed into the “chat box” to pledge financial support for the hospital to fight COVID-19, BG noted that the Hebrew word for contribution is the same as that for uplifting. “When we give, we are uplifted,” she emphasized.
At the same time, Prof. Sviri and Dr. Alon conveyed how much it means to them to have the support of Hadassah in America and around the world. “We feel you are with us, helping to save lives,” said Prof. Sviri. “It makes a big difference,“ Dr. Alon related.
The Zoom event concluded with the beautiful voice of Diana Dabush, granddaughter of long-time Hadassah board member Diane Issenberg, singing the beloved Hebrew songs “All the World Is a Narrow Bridge,” “Jerusalem of Gold,” and “Hallelujah.”