Israel is only 69 years old and it is a dynamic country on a constant growth path.
The Negev, which is Israel’s south region, makes up 60% of the country’s land, yet, it is mostly uninhabited. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister’s dream was to settle the Negev. Though mostly desert, Ben Gurion saw the Negev as the future of the country. Since Israel is now water secured, the country has now taken upon itself the task to make the Negev bloom so it can accommodate the country’s population natural growth and be prepared to receive and settle Jews who had to leave a turned hostile host county. Israel’s military bases, located in the center of the country, are being moved south. The Jewish National Fund (JNF) has taken upon itself development projects and Be’er Sheva, the capital of the Negev is going through vast growth.
That brings me to talk about Soroka Medical Center, the only hospital in the Negev that has been serving the country with all its conflicts with Gaza, 8-9 minutes helicopter ride for battle casualties.
This past weekend, at the home of Mikey & Iris Dardashti in Beverly Hills, California, American Friends of Soroka Medical Center Rachel Heisler Sheinfeld, Executive Director, with guest speaker Professor Ehud Davidson, MD, Internal Medicine expert and Soroka CEO, guests were treated to a lavish lunch, listened to the performance of the Israeli SOBO Blues Band, an international blues band who Mr. Dardashti has flown in from Israel for the event and were informed of what Soroka means to Israel and be made aware of the center’s needs.
Soroka is the medical bridge between Israel’s south, the Negev, and the many hospitals in the center of the country. During all the conflicts that Hamas in Gaza launched on Israel, Soroka was the first stop for the evacuated wounded, but Soroka does not only treat casualties of war, rather anyone who needs hospitalization in the South.
Now Soroka is about to open a cancer center division, greatly lacking and extremely needed for the south. Additionally, a Brain Center that will combine neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, rehabilitation and research of the brain. The center will apply a new concept whereby the center’s team will come to the patient, according to his or her needs, rather than the patient running around from one department to another.
Many members of the Soroka team have children serving in the military and during the military operations in Gaza, these past few years, the anxiety lever was high, as many wounded soldiers brought in from the battlefield could have been one of the team’s sons.
As is the case for all hospitals in the world, to improve the facility’s all around service, it requires funds. Soroka has taken on the Star of David project, by artist Marc Bennett, which will not only adorn the entrance wall of the hospital but will also raise awareness of the history of the Magen David-Star of David and will become an education center point for children and grownups alike.
Next time you are in Israel and you visit Be’er Sheva, a few hours to visit Soroka Medical center will do your heart good, especially when Israel stands as the first nation in the world to set up a top of the line field hospital, anywhere in the world where a disaster occurred.
Israel is only 69 years old and the road to stardom is wide open.