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Rambam-Stanford Collaboration Going Strong During Impactful Meeting in Palo Alto

Publication Date: 4/2/2024 9:00 AM

Rambam combines superb medical care with engineering and science-based research. The Stanford- Rambam Collaboration agreement was founded with the concept that the two institutions share similar values and missions, including Trauma Medicine and Preparedness, Research and Innovations, Data and AI Challenges in Modern Medicine and specific research topics in cardiovascular, oncology and other disciplines.

Rambam and Stanford Participants at Stanford. Photography: Rambam HCC.
Rambam and Stanford Participants at Stanford. Photography: Rambam HCC.

Members of the leadership of Rambam Health Care Campus (Rambam) in Haifa, Israel, returned last week after a successful three-day mission to the distinguished Stanford University (Stanford) in California, USA, to solidify their five-year plan. American Friends of Rambam coordinated the mission.

Rambam combines superb medical care with engineering and science-based research. The hospital is a world leader in mass trauma and disaster treatment. Stanford is a pioneer in emerging medicine, science, and engineering, and together a strategic alliance was established in 2018, paving the way for groundbreaking innovation in healthcare. This partnership has led to creative solutions to medical challenges.

Professor Michael Halberthal, MD, MHA, Clinical Associate Professor, and Director General of Rambam led the 10-person delegation of key personnel together with Professor Rafi Beyar, President of Rambam International Friends Organizations, and Dr. Michal Mekel, Deputy Director. Lloyd B. Minor, MD Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean of the School of Medicine, Vice President for Medical Affairs, Stanford University; Thomas Montine, MD, PhD, Stanford Medicine Professor of Pathology, Stanford’s senior management, physician-scientists, and the Rambam delegation immersed themselves and discussed their shared values and missions; future strategies, and specific clinical research needs. The teams also addressed their differences and challenges with infrastructure, data and AI, economics, and the best ways to learn from one another.

Rambam-Stanford Meeting

Meeting participants at Stanford. Photography: Rambam HCC

Rambam’s Dr. Hany Bahouth, Director of Emergency Medicine and Trauma System and Gila Hyams, Director of Nursing and Director of the Teaching Center for Trauma, Emergency and MCS shared their expertise in trauma medicine and preparedness with Martha Meredith Masters, Clinical Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine at Stanford Medicine.

Professor Halberthal said, “This was an outstanding visit securing the superb relationship between Rambam and Stanford Medicine in advancing medicine in both institutions. We were welcomed with enthusiasm and respect, and we established plans for the future. Professor Rafi Beyar spoke of the seven-year Rambam-Stanford collaboration, “The partnership has withstood the major challenges of the Covid-19 epidemic and remains strong. The shared excellence of these institutions in medicine, engineering, and innovation is the basis for this continued collaboration.”

Professor Halberthal speaking at Stanford

Professor Michael Halberthal. Photography: Rambam HCC.

Professor Lior Gepstein, Director of both the Department of Cardiology and the Division of Research had a fruitful exchange of ideas with the members of the Rambam delegation and the Stanford specialists and presented a lecture on his expertise on the topics of stem cell biology, early cardiac tissue development, and of novel gene and cell-based strategies for the treatment of different cardiac disorders.

Professor Irit Ben Aharon, Director of the Joseph Fishman Oncology Center at Rambam, a world-authority in cancer, shared insights into latest oncology developments and delivered an impactful lecture on early-onset cancer at the campus.

Dr. Ronit Almog, Director of the Epidemiology Unit and Rambam’s BioBank, who was at Stanford for a month last year, shared her specialized knowledge and talked about the institutions combined aim and efforts to develop personalized medicines based on biobank data.

Based on the “Stanford Biodesign for Innovation” model, the Israel Biodesign project directed by Dr. Yona Vaisbuch, was one of the first pillars of collaboration between Rambam and Stanford. This venture aims to create an efficient, cost-effective healthcare system by bringing technological solutions to clinical needs. Israel Biodesign will continue to train excellent physicians, engineers, nurses, and enterprising individuals to become innovators and entrepreneurs and will continue to work closely with Stanford Biodesign and its satellites around the world.

The Stanford team also included Michael A Pfeffer, MD, FACP, Chief Information Officer and Associate Dean, Technology and Digital Solutions, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medice; Alison Kerr, Chief Administrative Officer, Clinical Operations Vice President, Orthopedics and Neurosciences; Reed Sprague, Executive Director, IRDH, Industry Relations, Stanford; John Lugo, Industry Relationship Manager, Industry Relations, Stanford; and Danielle Kuryshev, Project Manager of Industry Relations, Stanford Medicine.

Rambam delegation with their colleagues

Rambam delegation with their colleagues. Photography: Rambam HCC.

This unique partnership for the next five years will focus on:

  • Data and AI-based research—Both Stanford and Rambam have excellent data systems and analytical abilities, and will address the need to merge data for research and development and the deployment of innovative AI-based tools.
  • Trauma, disaster preparedness, and mass casualty situations are common threats, researching, and developing the most effective approaches to handling this and major trauma incidents will be pursued.
  • Future projects include cardiovascular disease, oncology, neurology, and other disciplines.

Article based on a publication in the Jerusalem Post.