News and Events

“I Came From Home to Fight for my Homeland”

Publication Date: 11/6/2023 8:00 AM

On Saturday morning, October 7, the lives of all Israelis changed beyond recognition. Worldwide, the international Jewish and Israeli communities watched in horror as the terrorist organization, Hamas massacred 1,400 civilians and kidnapped more than 240. One month later, the war is having a tremendous impact on the healthcare system with many medical professionals serving in the military reserves.

Dr. Maxim Novikov at Rambam. Photography: Rambam HCC.Dr. Maxim Novikov at Rambam. Photography: Rambam HCC.

Numerous medical professionals with a strong connection to The State of Israel answered their personal calling to provide urgent medical assistance in Israel’s hospitals. One such professional who came to Rambam Health Care Campus (Rambam) in Haifa, Israel is Dr. Maxim Novikov.

Novikov, a fifty-year-old anesthesiologist at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania, realized that giving of his experience and expertise was paramount and decided that Rambam was the hospital he wanted to contribute his time and effort.

“I sat in front of the television and watched the events unfold,” recalls Novikov “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I thought war would break out immediately and as an anesthesiologist, I felt that I needed to be in Israel and help care for the injured. There was no other option.”

Novikov had originally immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union in 1990 and served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces. However, 10 years later, family constraints led to his move to the US where he has established himself as a prominent anesthesiologist. He travels to Israel frequently to visit his son and still serves as an officer in the reserves. “I always felt that I needed to do more and that I should be contributing. The October 7th event was a clear call for me. Within a few days, I managed to find a plane ticket, get a release from my work duties, and landed in Israel.” Novikov arrived at Rambam with one mission, “to help with what was needed and however much was needed.”

Far away, but always close

“In the past, I encountered many demonstrations of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiments,” says Dr. Novikov. “At the time, it was my Lebanese-Christian colleagues who defended me. Today, the environment I live in is more inclusive and more pro-Israeli, so I encounter it less frequently. Novikov in one of several medical professionals from abroad who answered a personal calling and came to Rambam.

Rambam is deeply touched by the support of these medical professionals—leaving their homes to fight for their ‘homeland.’

Watch on YouTube: Doctor Novikov speaks out about his need to help in the war effort.