When I came to Hadassah, everyone was excited and involved in the move to the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower. Everyone was committed to the project; everyone was energized by the task. Everyone took to heart the words: “We’re not waiting for the future. We’re building it.” These are important words – words that apply to the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, but even more to the entire Hadassah Medical Organization.
Reflecting on Hadassah’s 100-year history, I believe that building the future has always been Hadassah’s priority. Looking back, I can see that every HMO Director General has made that his mission, each approaching it from a different viewpoint. These days, our patients are my main concern – how to provide them with the best treatment, how to encourage research that will ultimately benefit them, how to involve them and make them part of their healing process.
To assist in that effort, four new people have joined our talented management team, headed by Dr. Yair Birnbaum, Associate Director General and Head of Medical Services. A pediatrician by training, like some of the newcomers, he chose to focus on the managerial side of medicine – as did they. Always looking to Hadassah’s future, for more than ten years he has been implementing new programs while laying the groundwork for Hadassah-Ein Kerem’s new look.
Dr. Birnbaum has been assisted by Orly Picker Rotem, Deputy Director General of Nursing and Human Resources, who has ably married her two tasks. While expanding the scope and responsibilities of the nursing staff, she has also been instituting new policies and protocols, and enhancing and updating the technological tools. Another valuable member of the team, Dr. Yuval Weiss, Director of Hadassah-Ein Kerem, focuses on the medical aspect life of here at this tertiary care hospital. He attends to the needs of the 25,000 patients and visitors who come to the hospital every day – as well as the doctors and nurses who work in Ein Kerem’s vast medical complex.
Yaacov Schreibman has a “behind the scenes” job, broad in scope and particular in detail. As Associate Director General of Administration and Finance, he deals with improving and advancing the state of the physical plant. If the buildings themselves – and all the complex infrastructure they contain – don’t function, neither can we.
Prof. Zvi Stern has just completed his tenure as Director of Hadassah-Mt. Scopus and will be shortly be taking a sabbatical to become President of the Jerusalem Academic College of Engineering. He takes with him our profound gratitude for more than 25 years of outstanding service and devotion to Hadassah on both campuses.
Here, I am proud to announce that for the first time in Hadassah’s history, a woman will be in charge of one of our hospitals. Next week, Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach will become Director of the Hadassah University Hospital-Mt. Scopus. A Hadassah alumna, she is a graduate of our Medical School and completed residencies in both Pediatrics and Hospital Management here at Hadassah, acquiring board certification in both fields. She holds a Masters degree in Health Administration from Tel Aviv University and continued her post-graduate training at the Center of Excellence for Patient Safety Clinical Research and Practice at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Before returning to Hadassah, she served as Deputy Director of Assaf Harofeh Medical Center.
“I am proud and honored to be the first woman to head a Hadassah hospital,” she says, “and very excited to have the chance to share my expertise in quality assurance, patient safety and improvement of processes. Mt. Scopus is a wonderful hospital with an outstanding staff of doctors and nurses.
Osnat Levtzion-Korach believes that Hadassah’s most valuable asset is its people – the people who come to us as patients along with their families, and the people who are there to help and heal them. She is especially impressed with the nurses. “They are caring, super professional and highly motivated,” she says. “They see nursing as a profession that far exceeds only caring for some aspect of their patients. They have a holistic approach – insuring and emphasizing patient and family education and involvement.”
She is looking to build on this – and the many other strengths she has discovered while learning the ropes. “I, too, believe in patient-centered care,” she says, “and feel that patients and families have to learn to become more involved in their treatment.”
Dedicated to enhancing patient safety, she envisions creating a partnership with the medical staff in each department; creating a team that will address safety issues, eliciting their advice and working with them to formulate new ways of thinking and plan for the future.
“While I personally have more than two goals, high on my list is making sure the staff knows how appreciative we are of their work,” she continues. “But most of all, I want to do my part to ensure that HMO will continue to be the best medical center in Israel, clinically and academically, a medical center known for its even more advanced approach to the individual patient and all his needs.”
Yuval Adar approaches Hadassah from a different angle. While he was born at Hadassah-Ein Kerem and grew up in Jerusalem where Hadassah is a household word, his expertise is finance, specifically in the world of healthcare. He holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Hebrew University, where he specialized in finance. For the past 13 years, he has served at a number of hospitals, each time in a more significant role.
About six months ago he became Hadassah’s Chief Financial Officer, succeeding Menachem Katz. Previously Yuval served as Financial Manager of the Rabin Medical Center, a hospital of the Clalit Health Services, Israel’s largest healthcare provider. Before that, he was the Financial Manager of Clalit’s Tel Aviv-Jaffa District; Director of the Economic Unit at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, which includes Ichilov Hospital; and Chief Economist of Clalit’s Jerusalem District. He has remarkable credentials for such a young man. He knows the rules of the game and the players in the Israel healthcare system.
“I’m impressed with Hadassah,” he says. “There is a lot of research activity and it is very sophisticated. The commitment of the people who work here is simply remarkable. This is more than just the place they come to each day. Their devotion is so strong, I sometimes refer to it as ‘The Hadassah Syndrome.’”
The world financial situation is not exactly glorious and like all other institutions – and some countries – Hadassah has not been immune from its impact. Yet, Yuval Adar says, “I believe that Hadassah has a lot of potential to improve its financial situation. Our management has the opportunity and the ability to lead us in a new direction and change the financial status so that we can continue to be a great hospital that efficiently provides great medicine.”
In this crucial time at HMO, I make it a point to meet with Yuval at least once day. I rely on his assessments and advice. He is my right hand, the man who will move us forward in these challenging times.
Osnat and Yuval are two of the four new members of our management team. In my next Diary entry, Dr. Gaby Polliack, Assistant Director of Hadassah-Ein Kerem and Dr. Neomi Siegal, Head of Quality Assurance and Strategic Planning, will share their thoughts and ideas with us. Pictured, from left: Dr. Gaby Polliack, Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach, Yuval Adar and Dr. Neomi Siegal
These four new people augment our already formidable team. I know that in the months ahead that, working together, we will find new solutions to existing problems.
Like the men and women of Hadassah, we’re not waiting for the future. We’re building it.
Prof. Ehud Kokia