Annual Report 2011

Executive Chair’s Report to Annual General Meeting, 13th July 2011

Since the last Annual General Meeting, the Association has been involved in a wide range of charitable activities in pursuit of our charitable aims:

Prof David Isenberg, in a Presidential address, told the Association about the history of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, about clinic-pathological correlates in this disease, and about emerging translational advances in the field. He illustrated his talk with case studies, some of which posed serious ethical issues.

All medical schools are notified at the start of the academic year about the scholarship scheme, and students actively involved in the affairs of the Association are also very aware of the scheme. Nine elective bursaries were awarded (August 2010 – July 2011) to medical students for electives, many of which were for periods of study in Israel, but also including placements in Ghana, Zimbabwe and Australia.

Medical schools are also notified by the Association about Jewish festivals in order to avoid timetable clashes, particularly with examinations.

Four Israeli medical students did electives at Newham Hospital (Barts and the London Medical School) in summer 2010, and four Israeli medical students will be taking part in this scheme in summer 2011.

The medical student groups have held many social events in both London and Birmingham, and ran a second successful winter ski vacation.

Dr Ilan Bank, from Tel Aviv, delivered the second Sam Cohen Memorial Lecture. Dr Bank told the Association about his memories of the late Prof Cohen, and then described his work in Immunology, where he has been involved in the identification of a subgroup of lymphocytes that are now in clinical trials in anti-cancer therapy.

Several members took part in the Medical Ethics and Jewish Law meeting in Copenhagen, where the exhibition on the theme “Jews in Medicine”, compiled by Dr Simon Cohen, was on display.

Mr Norman Lebrecht, author of a recent new interpretation of the life and work of Gustav Mahler, spoke to the Association about Mahler’s medical history. He used excerpts from music to demonstrate how medicine and illness had been an important influence on the composer.

Sixteen Israeli colorectal surgeons visited the UK for a training course, and took part in a discussion about surgical training in the two countries. This was chaired by Prof Irving Taylor and Drs Alex Deutsch (who initiates and organizes these visits from Israel) and Mark Ornstein took part.

A panel discussion on the theme of Invention and Innovation in Israeli Biomedicine was chaired by Prof Daniel Hochhauser. The talks all covered areas of translational medicine. Speakers were Prof Barenholz (Hebrew University),  Prof Cohen (Ben Gurion University), Prof Revel (formerly of the Weizmann Institute).

The Annual Dinner took place on 23rd March 2011. The guest speaker was Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the International Institute for Society and Health and MRC Research Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London. Sir Michael gave an entertaining and thoughtful talk, explaining how his identity as a Jewish physician interdigitated with his interest in health inequalities, and how these should be tackled as a priority by the medical profession.

Prof Sir Michael Rawlins, Henry Cohen Visiting Professor for 2011, founding Chairman of the National Institute for (Health and) Clinical Excellence (NICE), and Honorary Professor,  London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, visited Israel in May 2011. In Jerusalem he visited Hadassah / Hebrew University where he was welcomed by Prof Leon Epstein, and gave a seminar at the Braun School of Public Health, chaired by Prof Orly Manor. He also met with Prof Jonathan Halevy and colleagues at Shaarei Zedek Hospital. Later he was hosted at a dinner by Dr Gamzu, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Health, where the Chief Scientist, Prof Avi Yisraeli was also present. While in Jerusalem Prof Rawlins also had an opportunity to see historical and cultural sites and visit Yad Vashem.

The following day Sir Michael started with a visit to Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariyah to meet the director, Dr Masad Barhoum. In Haifa he visited the Rapaport School of Medicine and Rambam Hospital, and then the main Technion campus to see the Bioengineering Unit and meet with Prof Lavie. The UK Ambassador to Israel, Mr Matthew Gould, hosted a dinner for leading members of medical academics and hospital director, including Prof Ruth Arnon of the Weizmann Institute, President of the Israeli Academy of Sciences. In addition the Ambassador hosted a breakfast for Sir Michael to meet with leading representatives of the Israeli medical equipment and biotechnology industries. His final visit was to the rehabilitation and clinical skills centres at Sheba Medical Centre, where he also met with Dr Zeev Feldman and colleagues of the International Section of the Israeli Medical Association.

During the past year there have also been several important internal changes have been made to the way that the Association is run.

The Association website was launched in late 2010, and Dr Simon Woldman has taken on the unenviable task of co-ordination and administration. This site is already accessed frequently, and proving an invaluable active resource as well as a record.

Anna Walton, who has given several years of friendly service to the Association as administrator, left us in April. Her place has been taken by Hilary Cane, who has already played a valuable role in the arrangements for the Annual General Meeting, and is planning to start her task by surveying our membership over the coming months in order to identify better our needs and interests.

Finally several Jewish Medical Association (UK) members have continued to provide expert advice to the Board of Deputies and other Jewish organisations about professional issues on many occasions during the year.  Unfortunately this has once again included countering attempts to damage the links between British and Israeli medicine. On a more positive note, it has also included several interfaith discussions which will be pursued further during the coming year.

Scholarships and Electives – August 2010 to July 2011

From the UK:

Meardad Amirian (Southampton)

Dept of Cardiology, Hadassah – Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Samuel Borin (Barts and the London)

Dept of Ophthalmology, HaEmek Hospital, Afula, Israel

Naomi Bratt (KCL)

Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Medicine, Tamale Regional Hospital and Shekhinah Clinic, Ghana

Hannah Lipman (UCL)

General Medicine, Victoria Hospital, St Lucia

Miriam Lopian (KCL)

Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Shaarei Zedek Hospital, Jerusalem; and Dept of Paediatric Cardiology, Wolfson Hospital, Holon, Israel

Dalia Nelson (KCL)

Emergency Medicine, Monash Medical Centre; and Respiratory Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia

Jonathan Reiner (UCL)

Dept of Neurology, Ichilov-Sourasky Hospital, Tel Aviv, Israel

Emma Shall (UCL)

Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ichilov-Sourasky Hospital, Tel Aviv, Israel

Naomi Tomlinson (Birmingham)

Paediatric HIV, Mutare, Zimbabwe

 

From Israel to UK (Newham Hospital):

Yossi Ben-Sheetrit (Tel Aviv University Medical School)

Shira Rabinowicz (Tel Aviv University Medical School)

Yuval Schachaf (Technion – Rapaport Medical School, Haifa)

Michael Yoshpa (Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem)

 

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