American Friends of Rambam Medical Center Honors Helmsley Trust and Sloan Kettering’s Prof. Hedvig Hricak at New York Gala
More than 200 guests attended the American Friends of Rambam Medical Center Gala on April 26 in New York. The event honored the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust for its generous support of the new Helmsley Health Discovery Tower that is being established in Haifa on the Rambam Campus. Also honored was Prof. Hedvig Hricak, MD, Chair, Dept of Radiology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering who received the Inaugural Scientific Achievement Award for her important contributions to advancing quality health care along with her service on Rambam’s International Advisory Board.
Providing an ideal environment for medical research, discovery, and innovation, the Helmsley Health Discovery Tower will be a hub to foster novel ideas for the transformation of health care at the local, national, and global levels. The Helmsley Health Discovery Tower will enable unique collaboration between University of Haifa, Rambam Health Care Campus, and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and will support strategic partnerships with the medical device, pharmaceutical, and information technology industries.
Professor Rafi Beyar, Director, Rambam Health Care Campus, said, “On behalf of Rambam Health Care Campus, I want to express our great appreciation to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for its extraordinary contribution. The Health Discovery Tower, with its unique combination of medicine, technology, and humanitarian values, will be the cornerstone of our vision moving forward, enabling us to help not only the people of Israel but to impart critical knowledge across the globe. Together with our academic partners, we view this as a landmark project, one that will secure Rambam’s place as a worldwide leader in medical research and health care.”
In one of the most moving moments of the evening, Shani Biton thanked Rambam for the care it gave to her teenage daughter, Sofia, who was critically ill with a rare and deadly virus called La Crosse, contracted via a mosquito bite during a camp stay in the U.S. Shani described the incredibly warm and pluralistic atmosphere at Rambam where her daughter was tended to by Jews, Christians and Muslims and treated “as if she were their own child.” Shani also reminded the crowd that the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where Shani recovered, is also a bomb and chemical weapons shelter. “You are here tonight because you understand the critical and strategic nature of Rambam Hospital. I am here because I owe Rambam my heart as you gave us back our Sofia.”
Added Richard Hirschhaut, CEO of Americans Friends of Rambam Medical Center, “Shani Biton’s words epitomize the unique strength of Rambam as a place of healing and humanity as well as a cornerstone of Israel’s national defense.”