World Leaders Honored at 2015 Rambam Hospital’s ‘From Vision to Reality’


Litzman, Peres, BeyarFormer President Shimon Peres, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, world-renowned geneticist Mary-Claire King and Mariita and George Feldenkreis of Miami, chairman and chief executive officer of Perry Ellis International, were all honored as part of Rambam Health Care Campus’ annual summit this past week, June 7-9.

Over 150 leading medical researchers, healthcare policy makers and philanthropists gathered at the hospital, northern Israel’s leading medical center, for the summit, this year coined, “From Vision to Reality.” The three days showcased the latest medical innovations and gave host to some of the leading personnel in medicine presenting to the delegation on a wide-range of topics, from the future of digital health, to world disease caused by genetic mutation.

“I believe that medicine will play a major role in building peace in the Middle East. If a doctor treats me, I shall never forget it, or the doctor, and this can have a very positive impact,” said former President Peres. “Rambam Hospital is a messenger of humanity. Medicine gives hope for all of us. I believe that the best foreign policy of Israel is with its medicine…it really moves me to my bones.”

Over the course of the summit, attendees had the opportunity view the newly-renovated Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital and hear discussion panels with medical leaders from around the world on an array of groundbreaking medical topics. In addition, as part of the gala on June 9, a ceremony took place in which the Joseph Fishman Oncology Center was officially unveiled. The new cancer center is the most advanced cancer treatment center in northern Israel and will offer comprehensive and innovative treatments and research.

“It was incredible to see so many of the world’s leading scientists and dignitaries at the hospital over the past few days, truly engaging in information and dialogue that will help shape the future of medicine and make the world, and Israel, a better place,” said Director General of Rambam Rafi Beyar. “Rambam is cutting-edge in a variety of fields in medicine and we are very excited we had this opportunity to share it with the world.”

King, a genetics professor at the University of Washington, is most famously known for identifying the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that are responsible for many breast and ovarian cancers.

“This region, because of its unique history, unique demographic, remarkable diversity of population, combined with superb medical care and excellent scientific infrastructure, makes this a uniquely fine place in the world to carry out the kind of work I do,” said Prof. King. “Rambam is a hospital for the world. It’s remarkable to go, for example, to the pediatric dialysis unit and see eight young patients, four Jewish and four Arab, and it’s no deal. It’s a perfectly normal and absolutely natural situation, all caring for one another. It’s a model for the world and the fact that Rambam puts medicine before politics is what attracts me to this hospital.”

Participants also had the opportunity to view a live simulation of the Samy Ofer Underground Fortified Emergency Hospital, the largest and most advanced of its kind in the world. The simulation comes amidst an increased threat in recent months from Hezbollah and other terrorist groups on Israel’s northern border.

“Never before have I felt so powerfully the choice before humankind (than when visiting the underground hospital). The power to destroy life and on the other hand the power to heal and preserve life,” said Rabbi Sacks. “I so admire Rambam Hospital. It reaches way beyond the Jewish community and embraces all communities. Rambam is showing us exactly what it means to heal the body and also the soul.”

Shimon Peres Rambam Award Prof. Rafi Beyar Shimon Peres at Rambam 1 Litzman, Peres, Prof. Beyar, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks Litzman, Peres, Beyar

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)