Director's Message

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Director's Message

“As the newly appointed general director of Rambam Health Care Campus, I’m proud to be the first that performed all of my training here.”

Michael Halberthal, MD, NHA
General Director, Rambam Health Care Campus

I often wonder about the twists and turns of life – how they affect both our personal master plan and provide us with insight. For me, the first such event reinforced my decision to become a pediatric intensive care practitioner, not something I had planned in advance.

But first, a little background information. I received my medical degree from the Technion’ s Faculty of Medicine in Haifa, and conducted my internship at Rambam in 1986, after which I continued with two specializations, one in pediatrics and one in pediatric intensive care. Eventually I became the director of Rambam’s Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Unit.

The first event that shaped my professional path occurred in 1998, while doing a fellowship at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. One morning I was called to the ER where two critically injured babies were brought in after a car accident. I soon realized that those babies were my daughter Hadas and her cousin Lita. I will not bother you with the events that followed, but the professional knowledge that I had acquired as a specialist in pediatric intensive care and head injuries played a significant role in why both of these precious girls are here with us today.

In 2009 I was privileged to be invited to join Rambam's executive leadership. Beyond the tremendous opportunity to learn a new profession, I was fortunate enough to meet an incredible group of people who had a mission: commitment to patient care, public medicine, and the advancement of medical education and medicine in general.

Now, after nearly 33 years at Rambam, I am experiencing a second defining event, which I also did not plan to happen. However, at this point, the picture is now clearer and clarifies, at least for me, the path I’ve taken over the past ten years to achieve this exciting role – the huge challenge to lead Rambam Medical Center in the coming years.

In my opinion, medicine is not a profession, but a vocation — a way of life. Those of us who practice medicine have made a commitment to our patients. A commitment that has always been and always will be our — and my — guiding light.

The challenges facing Israel’s healthcare system in general and Rambam in particular, are endless. However, these challenges will not deter us. On the contrary, they will strengthen us and our resolve to continue to advocate for our patients and for public health.

In this challenging journey, three partners will accompany me. First is the amazing leadership team at Rambam: Medical Deputy Directors Dr. Avi Weisman and Dr. Michal Mekel; Mrs. Gila Hyams, director of nursing; Mr. Nissim Haim deputy director for the administration, Professor Yehuda Chowers, director of research and the Clinical Research Institute at Rambam, Dr. Esty Golan director of International Relations & Resource Development, and Mrs. Zahava Talmor my administrative assistant.

Second are our partners and friends throughout the world. Ariela and Eitan Wertheimer — the forefathers of the Vision of Adam, Mr. Sari Greidinger, chairman of the Israeli Friends of Rambam, Mr. Adam Emmerich , President of the American Friends of Rambam, and Mr. David Green, president of the Canadian friends of Rambam, and the other leaders of our dedicated Friends organizations in the UK, France, Spain, India, and Australia.

Third is our devoted staff, which wakes up every morning, focused on treating patients in our public healthcare system, and who push the envelope in medical research, innovation, and the education of the next generation. Rambam's staff are the hospital’s driving force and I am privileged to work together with them to meet each and every challenge.

I want to thank Professor Rafi Beyar for his years of service to Rambam—as a cardiologist, a director, a visionary, a teacher, and a friend. I pledge to follow the example he has set, to continue to promote medicine, the staff, teaching, research, and innovation for the benefit of our patients, our nation, and the world of medicine.

Last but not least, I would like to thank my dear wife Marlene, our children, our grandchildren, and my dear brother Rubi, all of whom consist the circle of support that has surrounded me throughout life, and from whom I gain my strength.

Thank you all for being our partner friends in this amazing journey for excellence.

Finally, I would like to extend an invitation for you to visit us and see the extensive campus development here, and to become a member of the Rambam family.