Hadassah to start military medical school


I will have more on this tomorrow after I talk with Hadassah’s president, Nancy Falchuk, but it seems that Hadassah will partner with the Israeli government to form Israel’s first military medical school.

Here’s the release from Hadassah:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          
April 28, 2009
CONTACT: Alix Fried, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications                                                                              

NEW YORK – Israel’s first Military Medical School will open in Jerusalem this October, Hadassah National President Nancy Falchuk announced this week in New York.
This fall, Israel’s newest medical program will open with fifty students and function as a division of the celebrated Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine. “Sixty years ago, Hadassah opened the first Israeli medical school in partnership with Hebrew University and we are now thrilled to begin this new endeavor,” said Falchuk, a nurse by profession. “The Israeli military will greatly benefit from well-trained physicians joining their ranks.”
The fifty students admitted as the program’s inaugural class will share many classes with the other 100 first-year Hadassah-Hebrew University’s students, but will take additional courses emphasizing subjects necessary for military service, such as sports medicine, treating trauma and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear attack), and management training.
Students will be able to earn additional masters degrees in public health and science within their six year study period.  In addition, Hebrew University experts will provide courses in Zionism and Jewish studies that will enhance leadership qualities in future IDF officers. Tuition and housing will be paid by the IDF, in return for a five-year commitment of military service in either a military base or with a fighting unit.
“The first Israeli medical students began their preparatory studies in the fledgling school we opened together with our partners at the Hebrew University in 1948, and it’s appropriate that we should announce the opening of the Military Medical School on the week when we are celebrating Israel’s Independence,” said Falchuk, who heads the 97-year old organization that initiated nursing and medical education in Israel.
Professor Shmuel Shapira – aspecialist in conventional trauma, terror medicine, and non-conventional weapon threats who advises the IDF about prevention and response to potential biological, chemical and nuclear weapon attacks – has been named Director of the new school. He said the Military Medical School will address a shortage of full-time physicians in the IDF, new challenges of unconventional warfare, and the need for sophisticated management of modern military clinics.
“We expect to attract top candidates who want to combine medicine with the special contribution to Israel society that can be made in the IDF,” said Professor Shapira. “The majority will probably be recent graduates, but we know there are soldiers and officers who realize during their IDF service that they want to become military doctors and who are welcome to join the program.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat phoned Nancy Falchuk with his congratulations and thanks for Hadassah’s continued work in rebuilding and strengthening Jerusalem.
“The Military School of Medicine will contribute to the advancement and development of the city and helps the rehabilitation of Jerusalem’s competitiveness in the global economy,” said Mayor Barkat. “Only Jerusalem can offer both the Hebrew University and Hadassah University Medical Center – both internationally renowned institutions.”
Hadassah-Hebrew University, Israel’s veteran medical school, officially opened in May 1949 as a joint endeavor of the American women’s organization and the Hebrew University.  It quickly gained an international reputation for academic and medical excellence. The first class graduated in 1952, taking a new oath of the Hebrew Physician “to enhance the heritage of medicine in Israel.” Graduates have undertaken decisive leadership in clinical, academic and managerial fields of biomedical sciences throughout Israel and the world.
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Founded in 1912, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is the largest women’s, largest Zionist, and largest Jewish membership organization in the United States. In Israel, it supports pacesetting medical care and research, education and youth programs, and reforestation and parks projects.  In the US, Hadassah promotes health education, social action and advocacy, Jewish education, volunteerism and leadership skills, Young Judaea and connections with Israel. For complete information about Hadassah, visit www.hadassah.org

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