An initiative of Hadassah International’s Melbourne Unit became a signed Memorandum of Understanding on August 3rd, setting into motion an ongoing sharing of medical expertise between Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, Australia’s premier trauma facility, and the Hadassah Medical Organization. The agreement will translate into exchange of medical and scientific personnel and collaborative research projects, particularly in the area of trauma medicine.

“The Melbourne branch of HIMRA is very proud to have played a facilitating role in the agreement signed between these two great hospitals,”
notes Ron Finkel, President of Hadassah Melbourne. He adds: “We look forward to the day that patient outcomes in both Australia and Israel will be enhanced as a result of this collaboration. The Alfred has a world-class reputation in trauma research, especially in motor vehicle trauma, and the HMO has knowledge and experience in the handling of mass casualty that, while we hope will never be needed in Melbourne, can be transferred to The Alfred.”

HMO ‘s Director General Shlomo Mor-Yosef traveled to Australia to sign this historic document, along with The Alfred’s General Manager, Lea Pope. On hand for this momentous occasion were Ron Finkel; former Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen, Patron of Hadassah Australia; Members of State Parliament John Lenders and Tony Lupton; and Orna Sagiv, acting Ambassador of Israel to Australia. In addition, the event received extensive statewide and national media exposure, on radio, television, and in major newspapers.

“This MOU,” commented Professor Mor-Yosef, “will be the springboard for collaborations between two well-matched hospitals of similar size, both of which are dedicated to state-of-the-art patient care and treatment. As well as trauma, we believe there will be many other clinical areas for the two hospitals to exchange expertise.” Among them are stem cell research. (HMO is already linked to Australia in this cutting-edge research field, since Professor Ben Reubinoff, head of Stem Cell Research at HMO, was working toward his Ph.D. at Monash University in Melbourne when he became one of the first researchers to cultivate human embryonic stem cells. In addition, Prof. Reubinoff keynoted two international conferences on stem cell research in Australia this past year. At that time, Hadassah Melbourne hosted a gathering of potential investors to discuss how they could support Prof. Reubinoff’s research.)

Speaking in front of Federal Parliament following the signing of the new agreement, Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby noted that the MOU strengthens the Alfred’s trauma expertise just following the launch of the hospital’s new National Trauma Research Institute in July. The new Institute, he noted, will facilitate research and educational exchange between the two hospitals.

In June, The Honorable Steve Bracks, Premier of Victoria Province, toured HMO, accompanied by Hadassah International Coordinator Marlene Post. At that time, he formally announced the details of this agreement and commented: “We have a lot to learn from Hadassah.”