Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Efrat's Mini Hospital? Maxi Enthusiasm!!

I took a tour yesterday of the new Efrat Emergency Medical Center, Efrat's new medical services supermarket (my description, not theirs). Yes, it's going to have everything residents of the Efrat/Gush Etzion region need for their daily regular medical care - general and specialty doctors, x-rays, therapies, urgent care, after-hours-care. It's also going to be a place where medical knowledge can be updated and intensified in workshops and a special program, named in memory of Dr. David Applebaum, HY"D. (More about that in the next issue of Voices Magazine. Stand by.) In fact, the Efrat Emergency Medical Center is patterned after the Terem Emergency Medical Center model, which was founded in 1989 by Dr. Applebaum.
My guide at the Center was the dynamic EEMC Executive Director Rabbi David Marcus. His enthusiasm was absolutely contagious. The building and all its medical possibilities came alive in my eyes. I was so excited about what I saw - not just the building, but the vision behind it - that I went right home, wrote an article about it for Voices Magazine, and immediately began editing a movie about the Center, which will celebrate its Grand Opening on June 20, IY"H.

I wrote:

** "It's our own mini-hospital."
** "It's got oxygen in the walls for every doctor's room."
** "It's got its own birthing room."
** "It's going to have radiology all night."
** "We're hiring a doctor and a nurse for the after-hours care."

I was absolutely bowled over by the facility, which will service patients from Kiryat Arba to Jerusalem. You will be excited too.
Then this morning, Dr. Yitz Glick, Chairman of the Board of the Emergency Medical Center, and a guiding light of the facility, read my first draft. Yitz, who's winner of the President's Prize for Volunteerism, is a very simple and humble guy. "Just the facts, Ma'am." No sparkles. He doesn't like to brag, although there's so much to brag about in this beautiful new facility. He doesn't put on airs. I mean, he wouldn't even put on his doctor's coat for his official portrait with Rabbi David Marcus. He's not so into the PR thing, although he realizes that some is needed in order to fund a modern medical facility.
"Mini-hospital???? A hospital is $300 million. A small hospital is $30 million. Oy, journalists like cute phrases, like mini-hospital. We paid over $3 million. Sharon, it sounds good, but it's not actually reality. This is an urgent care center. Urgent care, not mini-hospital, but okay, leave it if you like it."
"Oxygen in the walls? Of course it's got oxygen in the walls! That's like saying that the house you're building has water in the sink." "But Yitz, I said, 'Wow,' when I heard you had oxygen in the walls. I thought that was fabulous." "You said, 'Wow,' but Efrat's medical personnel will groan. Of course, we've got that!!" "I don't care. About 150 medical folks will groan, but everyone else will say, 'Cool!' I'm writing for folks like me. Let them see how cool the Center is." "Okay, write about the oxygen if you want."
"Birthing room? Okay, we've got a place for birthing, but women should go to the hospital for their babies!! We don't want to encourage women having babies here. That's only in case of emergencies - e-m-e-r-g-e-n-c-i-e-s." "Message received!!" Women, please leave enough time to get to the hospital to delver your babies. :)
"Radiology all night? We didn't even start yet. Let's say we open the radiology department first. It's going to be a great service, but let's start first before we announce all night hours."
"Hiring a doctor and a nurse for the night shift? Well, of course we'll have a doctor. We've already got a doctor. And now we're adding a nurse. You don't have to write that." "Yes, I do, Yitz, that's a wonderful addition to the Center's after-hours care." "Okay, whatever."
"Listen!!" Yitz said, "We're going to have an Urgent Care Center, and when the health services of Maccabee and Meuchedet move in here, they're going to be significantly expanding their services, their specialty doctors and what they can offer members locally. So this Center is greatly adding to the every day medical care of the residents of the region. Residents will be getting as much as they possibly can from their regular and specialty doctors and an urgent care center. That's what's exciting."
Well, I think it's all exciting. The upcoming Voices story, IY"H, will give you loads of details. And, wait until you walk in those doors for the first time (hopefully in good health, and just to look around). You'll be excited too.

In showbiz, when we want to wish someone good luck, we say, "Break a leg." In this case, we'll skip that salutation, or you'll end up in the Efrat Emergency Medical Center as a patient instead of a visitor.
Oh, you want to know what happened to the movie that I worked ten hours on. Well, I think it's got a few changes, if I follow the lead of understated Yitz. We'll keep you posted when we upload a new version.

1 comment:

  1. Sharon, this was a wonderful article! I honestly felt like I was on the tour with you. Yasher Koach to Dr. Leon Reich for his tremendous vision, and unflagging support for this project. We look forward to visiting this new vital addition to the Gush very soon. Lisa Reich