We're Working For a Better Future

Working for a Better Future

Mediscope offers members a study day with state-of-the-art lectures on medicine and medical research from the top doctors at Hadassah Hospital.

Hadassah Mediscope 2020
Four lectures were presented on Zoom, in Hebrew, followed by the same lecture in English.
Below are short descriptions of each lecture with links to the lecture recordings. 

Nov. 9th:  Dr. Tamar Sela
Director of the Marlene Greenbaum Diagnostic Breast Imaging Center, Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem
Dr. Sela spoke about the Center which includes a team of physicians, including oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, and radiologists.  She has a special interest
in breast MRI for high-risk women, especially those who are BRCA gene carriers. She is dedicated to improving the diagnosis and clinical care of breast cancer patients, as well as advancing research in this field.

English Recording
Hebrew Recording 

Nov. 16th:  Professor Tamir Ben Hur
Chair of the Brain Division of Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center
Prof. Ben Hur's clinical interests are in general Neurology and Neuro-immunology.  His scientific research focuses mainly on the therapeutic properties of stem cells.  His lecture on Alzheimer's and the latest research and treatment available was very informative.

English Recording
Hebrew Recording

Nov. 23rd: Dr. Donna Zfat
Director of the Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Center for Women
The Center works to prevent heart disease and to promote women's heart health, health equity, and well-being.  She spoke of the warning signs, and how we can reduce and prevent heart disease.

English Recording
Hebrew Recording

Nov. 30th:  Dr. Itay Lavy
Senior Ophthalmologist and Surgeon at Hadassah Hospital
Dr. Lavy is one of Israel's leading Cornea specialists.  His lecture gave us insight into a look at Corneal transplantation/surgery.  He spoke, after the lecture, about the Eye Bank at Hadassah Hospital.

English Recording
Hebrew Recording

Hadassah Mediscope 2019

In a session about the Hadassah school, we heard about the framework in which short and long term child patients have the opportunity to continue their education during their hospitalization, either in a classroom, or at their bedside. We heard about the collaboration necessary with teachers and hospital personnel. As well as the medical problems, they strive to recognize the child’s emotional and mental state and give the child the confidence to feel normal and belonging in the world. Parents of various cultures and religions are accepted equally at the hospital and interact together for the sake of their sick children’s well-being and in turn the children learn to get to know and understand children of different cultures and religions, and with different ways of life.

Dr Isabella Schwartz, head of the Rehabilitation Department at Hadassah Mount Scopus told us about plans for a new Rehabilitation Centre with improved facilities, and especially designed for rehabilitating patients that will take 3-6 years to be built. At present this department has not changed in the last 20 years, and there is still a shortage of electric beds. The Modi’in chapters recently raised enough money to donate 30 more beds.

Dr Shachar Frankel, a specialist in ocular oncology gave a detailed overview of the department that he heads – pathology, laboratory and clinical research into the various branches and sub-specialities concerning the eye. These include cell biology and genetics. He told us about the important Michaelson factor X which promotes the growth of blood vessels around the eye. VJF injections are given to prevent oxygen getting into any cancerous tumor in the eye. A tumor starved of oxygen will die. But the importance of this is to keep the heart working in good order. Their order of priority is to save lives first, then eyes, then vision.

Professor Alon Moses, Director of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, spoke extensively about the spread of germs such as MRSA, a HAI – Hospital Acquired Infection, and the importance of hand washing on entering a hospital ward, and approaching and leaving a patient’s bed. Room cleaning after discharge of a patient is imperative in preventing disease from spreading. It is very difficult to prevent resistant bacteria, which can be found anywhere, and the number of known cases is only the tip of the iceberg. There should be a clear atmosphere of infection control based upon 3 main points: education, guidelines, surveillance. Since 2006 there has been a National Infection Control Committee and good results and improvements are seen in the statistics. There are still not specific anti-biotics, because as he claims, pharmaceutical companies are less interested in patients getting better than patients with chronic conditions who will continue to need medication.

Professor Eitan Kerem, Head of the Pediatrics Division, was most interesting. He told us that children are 30% of the population and 100% of our future and the best investment is to ensure their good health. Changes have led to improvements in children with chronic diseases and better chances of survival for such as extreme premature babies, leukemia, HIV, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart disease. But there are also new epidemics that have developed out of modern living such as obesity, ADHD, depression. A child cancer survivor, who is cured, may never fully recover from the emotional scars. Babies who are premature may grow older with various challenges such as learning and academic limitations, motor skill problems, deafness etc. The process continues throughout the children’s lives because they must undergo continual check-ups, and monitoring, which in turn means time off school. Some parents may try to hide details from the child instead of explaining and answering questions, and the child may feel that the illness is something to be ashamed of, feel rejected, and ask ‘Why me?’, even a fear of death. Professor Kerem showed a number of slides describing the psychological impact that lead to varying different attitudes of people in the child’s family and friend’s circle. This was a real eye opener to help understanding of what children and their families go through in times of serious illness. To end, he quoted an IDF soldier with Aspergers who succeeded in being recruited: “I have no difficulties – I have only challenges”.

Hadassah Mediscope 2018

The first speaker at the English speaking session was Dr. Stephen Frank, senior physician in the Department of Oncology, who spoke about how the treatment for most melanoma cancers has changed from debilitating, and not always successful, chemotherapy to a version of immunotherapy that was developed at the Weizmann Institute. He discussed how immunotherapy works, how doctors have learned how to regulate dosages, and the success rates, as well as the maintenance of the patient’s quality of life.

Dr. Imbar Tal, Director of the Fertility Preservation Service in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, told us about how awareness was raised to the wider public by a group of young women aged 23-44, who had been cured of their cancers, but their chances of becoming pregnant with healthy babies had dropped drastically by around 60%, because the chemotherapy was killing their eggs. Preservation of their eggs before their treatment would have been a way to increase their chances of having healthy normal children. He said that Israel is unique in preservation of fertility when there is an early diagnosis of cancer, and explained to us the procedure undertaken.

Professor Rifat Safdie, Director of Gastroenterology and Liver Department, gave us some idea of the causes of liver disease, and told us that the liver is a filter for all we eat and absorb, and how blood flows through the liver on its way to the heart. When we eat the wrong foods or drink the wrong kind of drink, such as alcohol, many illnesses and negative conditions can result. He told us about the various treatments that have been developed, that can help to keep the illnesses at bay, but he stressed that eating and drinking healthily for the liver’s function are an important factor in staying healthy.

Dr. Josh Schroeder is a spine surgeon in the department of orthopedic surgery. He spoke about spinal cord injuries. These are very difficult injuries to recover from. The newest research is being done with putting stem cells into the spinal cord for regeneration. It's very important to treat these injuries as quickly as possible. Rehabilitation is very important. Hadassah's Rehabilitation department employs the latest technology to stimulate the nerves and help get movement back.

Professor Ben Hur Tamir spoke to the Hebrew speaking group on the fascinating topic concerning ‘memory. As Director of the Brain Health and Neurology Department in Hadassah, his field is neurobiology. He told the audience that Dementia, and indeed Alzheimer’s is an illness that causes a loss of brain function due to sections of the brain being eaten away. In addition, depression or fear affect mental function. Once a patient is ready to admit to this, often memory improves. Alzheimer’s disease is not genetic, and it usually appears later in life. However one gene has been identified, and some genes carry risks. The illness can be triggered by other conditions such as blood pressure levels, Parkinsons, diabetes. There are various tests that show whether a patient has the illness, as well as MRI scans, and there are medications that can remove antibodies, but by the time the antibodies are discovered it is too late to be effective. Early detection of dementia or Alzheimer’s is the current key to thinking logically. Professor Ben Hur told us of research on a tribe in South America that showed that early hints of the disease show some 15 years before western testing can confirm its existence. The sooner the illness is found, symptoms can be attacked. Professor Shachar Arzi has developed a test that can be turned into an APP, and Professor Ruth Gabizon is working on oxidisation damage because weak anti-oxidants do not reach the brain. He briefly suggested the use of Omega 3, Vitamin B and exercise to help protect against development of these illnesses.

 

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