Soroka Medical Center, an International Soirée of Medical Minds

How harmonious coexistence spreads across borders. In this case, Israel and Azerbaijan and Israel and Ukraine, through Soroka Medical Center.

First after the COVID restrictions era, on March 27, 2022, organized by American Friends of Soroka Medical Center Team (AFSMC), headed by Rachel Heisler Sheinfeld, Executive Director, Mikey and Iris Dardashti who, over the years formed deep connection to Soroka Medical Center, hosted, at their lavish home in Beverly Hills, California, an impressive soirée for the benefit of Soroka hospital’s neonatal intensive care division. The event’s guest, Dr. Mickey Gideon, the Head of Soroka Pediatric Neurosurgery division, presented to some 200 guests his remarkable achievement of successfully separating conjoined twin-girls, performed in Soroka.

The operation to separate the twins was completed at Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba, southern Israel, in September 2021. The team of doctors separated the heads of one-year-old conjoined twins, a very rare operation, so far performed only about 20 times in the world and in Israel for the first time.

About Soroka Medical Center

Soroka Medical Center, the second largest hospital in Israel and one of its most strategic medical institutions, is made of medical and scientific research global leadership combined with a unique human touch. The center helps foster saving lives and research and innovation. Soroka’s uniqueness is expressed by being a beacon of peaceful coexistence, healing and hope while serving the profoundly diverse southern region of Israel, caring for over 1.2 million people, including 400,000 children and where more babies are born than anywhere else in Israel.

What Is So Unique About Soroka

It is its cutting edge medicine; expansive innovation; exceptional people, and a unique human touch where Jews and Arabs make up an exemplary medical team.

The Soroka Medical Center, located at a 20 miles distance from the hostile to Israel Gaza Strip, represents Israel’s social fabric diversity while laying the foundation for harmonious coexistence, mostly between Jews and Arabs who share the land.

While the hospital’s emergency room is the busiest in Israel, it has to be prepared for any occurrence, at any time, and its mission often takes it around the world.

Soroka’s research division often collaborates with international institutions and its innovations in genetics and medicine help improve and also save lives around the world.

As the flagship hospital of Clalit, Israel’s largest HMO, Soroka’s humanitarian mission extends, as needed, worldwide. Currently Soroka is collaborating with Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel, staffing Israel’s $6.5 million, 66-bed Field Hospital, opened during the 3rd week in March 2022, set up in Mostyska, western Ukraine, a town close to Ukraine’s border with Poland and is called “Kochav Meir” (Shining Star), in honor of Israel’s former Prime Minister, the late Golda Meir who was born in Ukraine.

This field hospital, most needed in a country fighting a war, is housed across a number of tents on the grounds of a school. It is staffed with 65 medical personnel and with a capacity of treating 150 patients at once, is one more example of Israel routinely sending humanitarian missions to assist with crises around the world.

An Evening to Honor Dr. Mickey Gideon

Dr. Gideon, born in Iran from where his family fled, is the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Soroka Medical Center, considered to be one of the world’s top doctors in this field. Within the field of brain-surgery, Dr. Gideon specializes in correcting congenital Central Nervous System (CNS) malformations in children. In the field of congenital head and face anomalies Dr. Gideon works in cooperation with the Plastic Surgery team.

With a strong focus on harnessing innovation, technology and mathematics to advance and improve healthcare, Dr. Gideon also serves as a Medical Director for several innovative Israeli Health-Tech startups with special interest in Surgical Robotics. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for several MedTech Venture capital firms in Israel.

Dr. Gideon’s dedication to the people of the Negev and his compassion for the underserved, particularly children, is legendary.

All of these factors came to bear in the extraordinary case of the twins, conjoined at the head, who were born at Soroka. Dr. Gideon led the multinational, multidisciplinary team that performed, first for Israel, the successful separation surgery.

The one year conjoined twins separated at Soroka Medical Center, Israel - Photo: courtesy Dr. Gideon
The one year conjoined twins separated at Soroka Medical Center, Israel – Photo: courtesy Dr. Gideon

Dr. Mickey Gideon and His Kinship for Azerbaijan

The Republic of Azerbaijan’s social flagship policy is harmony and coexistence, locally and internationally.

Dr. Mickey Gideon is a contributor to such a policy in Israel and Azerbaijan.

Immediately after the conjoined twins’ separation, which became also known in Azerbaijan, as well as Israel’s helpful hand during Azerbaijan’s 2nd Nagorno-Karabakh war – 27 September 2020 – 10 November 2020, Leyla Aliyeva, the daughter of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev and Vice-President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation along with Bona Dea International Hospital, invited Dr. Gideon to visit Azerbaijan.

Dr. Mickey Gideon speaking in Azerbaijan - Photo: courtesy Dr. Gideon
Dr. Mickey Gideon in Azerbaijan – Photo: courtesy Dr. Gideon

Mapping a Plan to Advance the Medical Profession in Azerbaijan

Dr. Gideon is excited to tell me about his mapped plans for a close collaboration between Israel and Azerbaijan:

  • Promote the Pediatric Neurosurgery field in Azerbaijan;
  • Bring Azerbaijani doctors to Israel for fellowship programs;
  • Establish workshops and perform few pediatric surgeries in Azerbaijan;
  • Establish international fellowship for doctors from all over Azerbaijan to come to Israel and participate in all type of surgeries in different hospitals in Israel;
  • Establish telemedicine framework for consultation and conferences;
  • Establish health-tech start-up industry;
  • Establish a medical center to advance the medical profession in Azerbaijan where they will teach medicine.
Dr. Mickey Gideon with a team of doctors in Azerbaijan - Photo: courtesy Dr. Gideon
Dr. Mickey Gideon with a team of doctors in Azerbaijan – Photo: courtesy Dr. Gideon

Working within Doctors Without Borders framework, Dr. Gideon’s goal is to help Azeri children who need the advice of experts in the pediatric field that is somewhat lacking in their country, plus tightening Azerbaijan-Israel relations in the field of medicine, expand cooperation with local doctors as well as Israeli doctors become familiar with Azerbaijan.

With his Iranian background, Dr. Gideon senses an immense closeness to Azerbaijan. For him this project is personal. He wants to promote healthcare between the two countries and his expanding plan will bring the two countries that are already proud of their close relations even closer.

To donate toward Soroka’s call for Neonatal Intensive Care special incubator unit for babies, at the cost of $50,000 each, visit HERE:



Nurit Greenger
During the 2006 second Lebanon War, Nurit Greenger, referenced then as the "Accidental Reporter" felt compelled to become an activist. Being an 'out-of-the-box thinker, Nurit is a passionately committed advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States, and the Free World in general. From Southern California, Nurit serves as a "one-woman Hasbarah army" for Israel who believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.

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