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Sunday, January 16, 2022
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(Courtesy of Soroka Medical Center) Soroka shines for the world as a beacon of peaceful coexistence, hope, healing and innovation. As the sole major medical center for the entire south of Israel, Soroka fulfills its humanitarian role in emergency response of all kinds. Soroka Medical Center is Israel’s leading healthcare institution and the sole major medical center for the Negev region, caring for over 1.2 million people and 400,000 children residing in the Negev.

Soroka is a worldwide leader in research and innovation. For the first time in Israel a rare operation separating Craniopagus twins was successfully performed at Soroka Medical Center in September 2021. The one-year-old twins were born at the hospital in August 2020 with their heads conjoined at the back. Dozens of staff members from the hospital participated in the intense preparations for the separation as well as in the actual procedures. The multidisciplinary team, led by Dr. Mickey Gidon, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Soroka, used three-dimensional (3-D) and virtual reality (VR) models to simulate the complexity of the connection of the blood vessels, meninges, skull bones and skin of the two girls, allowing dozens of simulated repetitions of the most complex aspects of the surgery to prepare for the operation. Following the surgery, the twins spent a month in the pediatric intensive care unit for monitoring and further treatment, and then stepped down to the surgery department until they were released home. The excited parents said goodbye to the staff and thanked everyone for their dedication, work and efforts, with profound joy on their faces as they held their babies. Whereas pre-surgery the simple act of holding each baby alone was impossible, they now launch a new life with a bright and limitless horizon.

Dr. Shlomi Codish, director of Soroka Medical Center, said: “Innovative technologies were deployed to perform such a rare and complex procedure. I am proud of the cooperation of all the medical divisions, sectors and employees who took part in such a complex process. Proper cooperation and leadership inevitably led to the achievement of this milestone.”

Soroka’s new Center for Innovation will occupy an entire floor of the new André Deloro Medical Research Institute, a joint venture of Soroka Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University. At the intersection of science, medicine and biotechnology, research at the institute will be guided by the country’s leading medical professionals in collaboration with additional up-and-coming clinician-scientists. The institute will focus on advancement of personalized medicine and the study, prevention and cure of disease. It will equip Israel’s most promising physician-researchers with the laboratories, resources, guidance and administrative support they need to initiate transformational, patient-centered medical research that benefits the region, the country and the world.

Soroka Medical Center’s stellar reputation and striking setting, coupled with unprecedented opportunities, is once again transforming the south of Israel. Soroka’s strong research orientation prevailed stronger than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic and was the first institution in Israel to open a much-needed COVID-19 care unit, responding quickly to the pandemic. The medical staff at Soroka has been working around the clock, treating, testing and vaccinating hundreds of thousands of individuals. Life-and-death situations relentlessly present themselves at Soroka, with many relying on the hospital to rise to the occasion.

Soroka is also a leader in genetics. The gene behind ADHD was decoded at Soroka last month, paving the way to breakthroughs in new treatments. Soroka is ever ready to provide emergency care, excellent service with cutting-edge medical technology to anyone in need, regardless of their ethnic background, religion or gender. Soroka needs your support for its humanitarian mission, to better care for the medical needs of the Negev. As we welcome a new year, your generosity ensures the continuity of the Negev’s critical lifeline.

Donations are tax-deductible and can be made at www.Soroka.org/Donate. Checks can be mailed to American Friends of Soroka Medical Center, P.O. Box 184-H, Scarsdale, NY 10583. It is through the support of people like yourself that Soroka can continue to face any challenge. Thank you for your kindness and for giving hope to the people of the Negev during these difficult times.

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