Israel trip day 9 - 19 December

The Madison Nahariya hotel won the prize with the students for the best dinner and breakfast so far on trip.  We packed up and boarded the bus for a short drive to the Western Galilee Hospital.  We were met by their director Masad Barhoun who shared with us the history and interesting attributes of the hospital.  In contrast to Hasassah Hospital, Western Galilee is a public hospital dependent almost totally on funding from the government. The hospital has 660 beds and is considered a rural hospital despite its size. One other thing of note, is that the hospital is just six miles from the border with Lebanon and came under fire during the 2006 war with Lebanon.  Over 800 rockets fell in the vicinity of the hospital and one struck the ophthalmology wing.  Fortunately no one was killed since the hospital had moved all the patients and staff into a subterranean hospital that had been designed just for this type of event.  We took a tour of the hospital including the new ER which is designed to withstand virtually any type of attack scenario as is the new women's health center and cardiac wing.  One of the things that was emphasized over and over was the drill and training all the staff go through to confront any type of emergency.  This continuous drilling gives the hospital and the staff the resilience to respond to essentially any type of disaster scenario.  How amazing would it be if US hospitals were equally prepared to deal with a disruptive event?

After departing the hospital we, made the short drive to a community clinic run by Clalit, the largest of the four national HMO's in Israel.  We got to meet the director, Dr. Saab Anwar who took us through the organization and operation of Clalit and his clinic in Nahariya. One of the notable attributes to Clalit is their dedication to health and wellness with the focus on the patient first and foremost. We visited with the staff from the pediatric clinic, women's health clinic and pharmacy. Their electronic health record ties together all patient encounters whether with a physician or a hospital.  I think that all of us came away impressed by the passion and dedication shown by all the persons we met at the Nahariya Clalit clinic.

When finished at Nahariya, we drove south into Tel Aviv. With afternoon traffic it took two hours but we would our hotel adjacent to the beach and close to Ben Yehuda Street. Thankfully, there was a coffee shop nearby that had blazing fast internet access since the hotel's router was down and out. 13 shekels for a cappuccino and internet access until they closed at 10:00 is a great deal.