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President’s Message 2018

Dear Friends & Supporters of Medicine in Israel,

As I begin the second year of my two-year tenure as APF’s President, I am very grateful for all the support that APF has received and thankful for all we have accomplished together in 2018. We have further enhanced our visibility and recognition — within Israel and here at home — as the premier organization in North America promoting medical care for all Israelis. Our strong support of medicine in Israel was marked by multiple achievements in 2018, including:

Despite these major successes, I must admit to some concern that there is significantly more to do to meet the challenges of providing high- quality medical care across the breadth of Israel. I was in southern Israel on a late November night in which 300 rockets were fired toward Israel from Gaza over a 3-hour period. Although the Iron Dome stopped many of those rockets mid-flight, several got through, causing deaths and injuries to Israelis. As you can imagine, Emergency Rooms of local hospitals were flooded with victims. In addition to death and serious injury, an even greater number of patients sought ER care for the extreme anxiety of needing to run to shelters multiple times in the middle of a single night. The varied needs of Israeli health care present unique challenges, including responding to terrorism that can and does occur anywhere at any time; caring for a diverse population speaking multiple languages and from a wide range of cultures; providing primary, specialty, and subspecialty care to a population spread across large urban areas and remote villages; and on top of all that, being true to our heritage in reaching out a helping, healing hand even to individuals from countries with which we are at war.

The needs are great, and any delay in helping can be measured in health not restored and in lives lost. I urge you to become involved — to become a member at the highest level possible, to provide a generous donation, to sponsor an Israeli Fellow to come to the U.S. to learn and return, to sign up for the Emergency Volunteer Registry, to register for the Disaster Preparedness Course, and to urge a health care professional student you know to join us on a Birthright trip, The needs are great, the time is now, and the ability to impact the health of all who live in Israel is in our hands.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey M. Devries, MD, MPH
APF President
[JeffreyDevries@apfmed.org]