In an act of compassion from half a world away, Hadassah is reaching out from Jerusalem to share the COVID-19 expertise of the Hadassah Hospitals with every facility that cares for the vulnerable elderly Jewish population of South America.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Around the world facilities and institutions that care for the elderly have been hit very hard by the coronavirus pandemic, experiencing a very high percentage of COVID-19 fatalities in this institutionalized frail population with preexisting conditions.

The Jewish communities of South America have established five institutions that care for their most vulnerable older population. By sharing the Hadassah Manual of Protocols for COVID-19, Hadassah International is building a bridge across the oceans from the Hadassah Hospitals in Jerusalem, helping each community to fight the COVID-19 in its midst. This manual is a collection of guidelines and protocols developed by the internationally acclaimed experts at the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) in Jerusalem.

In several video conference calls this week, Hadassah International’s outreach was welcomed with open arms, and the manual was gratefully received by the following institutions:

  • The LEDOR VADOR FOUNDATION in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a modern spacious old age home built for the general community with funding from overseas foundations. With 280 residents, Enrique Burbinski serves as Executive Director and Dr. Romina Rubin as General Director of Medicine. They have the space to facilitate the physical distancing of the residents, and they are very happy that to date they do not have any COVID-19. They were very pleased to receive the manual so that they can determine how prevent a possible future outbreak in their facility.
  • HOGAR BEN TZION is the Seferadi nursing home in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is an older cozy, warm facility built by the Sephardi Community with 85 residents. It was the only facility for the aged to initiate a fundraising campaign to raise the money and test all its residents and staff for the coronavirus. This testing showed that 19 were positive with COVID-19. Unfortunately, 9 have died, and several are still in the hospital. The General Director, Dr. Ricardo Barmat, had visited the Hadassah Hospitals last year and this week he welcomed Hadassah as their savior. He has already instituted some of the Hadassah recommendations to save the lives of those residents who have not been infected with COVID-19.
  • The HIRSH CENTER OF CARE AND REHABILITATION FOR ELDERLY PEOPLE in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a luxurious facility built by the wealthy German Community. It has 300 residents. Dr. Marcelo Rohn, the General Director, received training at the Hadassah Hospitals in Jerusalem last year. At his urging, two Board members, Marcelo Stenberg and Roberto Herzfeld participated in the video conference when the Hadassah manual was presented to them. They expressed their deep gratitude.
  • The HOGAR ISREALITA OF URUGUAY in Montevideo, Uruguay, has 100 residents. The Executive Director, Lonit Leibovich, was joined by Monica Ras, President; Yoni Kurlender, Development Director; and Dr. Carla Di Candia, Medical Director, on the video conference call. The handover of the Hadassah manual is very important to them as they are the only Jewish old age home in the country and are dealing with a very frail elderly population during the pandemic. They are extremely grateful for Hadassah’s willingness to collaborate with them during the crisis.

Hadassah International will also be reaching out to the Jewish Community of Santiago, Chile in the near future. The community first established the HOGAR ISRAELITA DE ANCIANOS, in 1951. Now called BEIT ISRAEL, the old age home has moved into a new modern facility to better serve its elderly residents. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it too faces crucial decisions on how to keep its population safe.

Hadassah is saving lives and mitigating the impact of the coronavirus around the globe as the pandemic continues to spread. Hadassah hopes that the Hadassah Manual of Protocols for COVID-19 will provide valuable information that can be used by administrators, doctors, and nurses in other affected parts of the world so they don’t have to battle COVID-19 alone. Hadassah believes that sharing resources, experiences, and lessons is our only chance to win.

Read about the Hadassah International crisis response TOGETHER WE LIVE.


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Press contact

Jorge Diener
Associate Director
Hadassah International
Mobile: +972-50-2569697