Over 500 people learned about the Hadassah Medical Center’s humanity and state-of-the-art medicine and research during Hadassah Mexico’s February Breast Cancer Awareness Week. With Hadassah’s Breast Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist Dr. Ilana Kadmon as the featured speaker, $30,000 was raised to support the Hadassah Medical Center as well as local projects including mammograms for disadvantaged women and financial help to a local child in need of a bone marrow transplant.
A Conference at Mexico’s National Cancer Institute for nurses who specialize in cancer treatment kicked off the week. Dr. Kadmon zeroed in on the important role of nursing in counseling women with breast cancer and the psychosocial aspects of the disease. While at the Institute, Dr. Kadmon met with physicians and oncologists to discuss particular clinical cases of women with breast cancer.
The following day featured a breakfast on Breast Cancer Prevention that showcased a panel of health experts, including Dr. Maki Esther Ortiz Dominguez, Deputy Secretary for Quality and Innovation in the Mexican Federal Secretariat of Health; Dr. Felicia Knaul, a breast cancer survivor and author of Tomatelo a Pecho (Take It To Heart), a book about breast cancer, as well as Director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative, which aims to expand cancer care and control to developing countries; and Hadassah’s Dr. Kadmon. First Lady of Mexico Margarita Zavala de Calderon offered greetings via a pretaped interview. Ethel Fainstein, Director of Hadassah Mexico and Latin America, spoke about Hadassah Hospital and showed a video about Hadassah International and the Hadassah Medical Center.
“At Hadassah,” explained Mrs. Fainstein, “we believe that every person has the right to proper health care, be it man, woman or child, regardless of race, religion, or social station. Health care should be a fundamental right for every inhabitant of our country and the world.” In referring to Hadassah’s support to fund mammograms for disadvantaged women, Mrs. Fainstein noted: “For these women, it may mean the difference between life and death.”
Participants at the breakfast received an array of Hadassah materials that describe the innovative work of Hadassah’s Sharett Institute of Oncology in the field of breast cancer, the new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower, Hadassah International, and Hadassah Mexico.
Later in the week, Dr. Kadmon had the opportunity to visit and speak with staff at several other hospitals. These included the Oncology Center of ABC Hospital in Santa Fe, where she gave a presentation about different patient populations with breast cancer and met with Dr. Raquel Gerson, head of Oncology,and five nurses who specialize in breast cancer. Dr. Kadmon also gave a presentation to medical staff at the Hospital San Jose-Tec de Monterrey on a “multidisciplinary approach to patients with breast cancer.” At San Jose-Tec, Dr. Kadmon held a nursing workshop with 80 nurses where they explored strategies to help patients cope with a breast cancer diagnosis.
An additional public seminar attended by over 70 women of Monterrey raised awareness within the local community about the importance of early diagnosis. At this “Tea Conference,” Hadassah Mexico held a raffle for two free medical check-ups, donated by Israel Bonds.
Dr. Kadmon’s last two visits were to Hospital OCA (whose Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Genaro Levinson, is a major donor to Hadassah), and the Red Cross of Monterrey for a nursing workshop.
Ending her week with a celebration, Dr. Kadmon attended the wedding of the son of Hadassah Mexico Board Members, Sally and Samuel Schatz.
Mrs. Fainstein reports that appreciation for this Breast Cancer Awareness Week was widespread. “From the medical field to the local Jewish community,” she says, “people kept asking us, ‘When will the next Hadassah program be?’”
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