Professor Rafi Beyar – Different Role, Same Vision
Dear Friends of Rambam,
I have had the honor and great privilege of serving as the Director and CEO of Rambam Health Care Campus for the last thirteen years. In February 2006, after completing an outstanding six-year as Dean of the Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion, I began my new role at Rambam. Together with Eitan and Ariella Wertheimer, my predecessor Professor Moshe Revach, Professor Karl Skorecki, Dr. Esty Golan, and Hospital management, we crafted a new vision and long-term strategic plan for Rambam, one in which humanity “ אדם ” is at the center—both the patient and the caregiver—along with the physician, technology, and the clinical environment, all of which enhance and complement one another.
Only a few months into my tenure, the 2006 Second Lebanon War erupted. Rambam’s staff demonstrated exceptional courage by continuing to provide superb, professional care to soldiers injured in the fierce battles in Lebanon, to civilian casualties in Haifa and Northern Israel, and to our patients who needed urgent and routine care. All of this, while the hospital was under continuous Hezbollah Rocket fire for a full 33 days.
Rambam emerged from the Second Lebanon war stronger and more united than ever. Two years after the war ended, we began major construction of the new Western Cam-pus by digging the foundation for the world’s largest fortified underground hospital, which would be protected against a wide array of lethal threats. After innumerable obstacles, including the need to pump out vast quantities of seawater, and with the help of our extraordinary friends and warm and visionary supporters from around the world, in 2014, the 2,000-bed Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital was completed.
The generous support of our donors and the financial and regulatory support by the Israeli Government helped us build the Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital and the Joseph Fishman Oncology Center. Today, three mighty construction cranes hover over our campus, symbols of our momentum, energy, and determination to bring world-class healthcare to the people of Northern Israel. The Eyal Ofer Heart Hospital and Helmsley Health Discovery Tower are rising out of the earth. The 20-story Helmsley Health Discovery Tower, a unique collaboration between Rambam, the University of Haifa, and the Technion, will serve as a flagship biomedical research and technology hub.
Central to Rambam’s landmark strategic plan is the development of our staff, recruitment of prominent clinician-scientists from around the country and the world, and education of the next generation of leaders in medicine. I am proud of the superb clinical leadership we have developed over the years. We have nurtured medical leaders from within Rambam, recruited outstanding clinicians from around the country and internationally, and Rambam graduates now lead medical departments in Israel’s most prominent hospitals. Over the last decade, we have seen an unprecedented expansion of the hospital’s clinical activities. The demand for our superlative medical care has dramatically increased.
Research and technology are part of Rambam’s DNA and inextricably intertwined with our clinical activities. The Clinical Research Institute at Rambam has markedly grown, and the unique and unprecedented Leaders (ATIDIM), Futures (OFAKIM), and other research programs serve as catalysts for exciting and innovative research for the benefit of our patients. Rambam MedTech was established to bring technology developed in our hospital to the broader public. Following an intensely competitive selection process, Rambam, together with Medtronic, IBM, Pitango, and Impact First Venture Capital, won the governmental tender to create MindUP, a leading hub of digital health innovation in Israel, with the goal of transforming the delivery and quality of health-care worldwide. Clearly, Rambam is on the vanguard of international and scientific healthcare innovation, and with our stellar physician-researchers, I am certain that we will continue to lead.
The Friends of Rambam in Israel, and around the world, are an inseparable part of our accomplishments. With your ingenuity, commitment, and generosity, you have been our partners in making this landmark strategic development plan a reality. I and the people of Israel are deeply grateful for all that you have done, and all that you will continue to do.
Nevertheless, there is much work that remains to be done and I am not leaving Rambam. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you in my new role as President of the International Friends Organizations.
As of the beginning of March, with the freshness of spring, my successor, Dr. Michael Halberthal, has assumed leadership of this preeminent institution. I wish him great success in his new role. I know that under Dr. Halberthal’s capable guidance, and the support and help of our friends around the world, Rambam will continue to grow and flourish.
With warmest regards,