NOLA medical professionals explore best practices in Israel

Above: Participants in the emergency response mission to Israel are welcomed in Rosh Ha’Ayin, New Orleans’ Partnership2Gether community.

Medical and emergency health care professionals from throughout the New Orleans area are traveling to Israel this month to learn and share best practices for dealing with catastrophic events, from natural disasters to terrorist attacks.

Doctors, nurses, administrators and paramedics are spending Aug. 5 to 12 in Israel as part of an initiative by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans to introduce local medical personnel to Israeli emergency response practices.

The visit is a follow-up to a symposium in December 2013 when Israeli emergency response professionals traveled to New Orleans to participate in discussions on crisis management, operational readiness, emergency response best practices and trauma protocol.

The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans organized both exchanges as part of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership2gether Peoplehood Platform.

New Orleans’ sister city in this partnership is Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel, located near Tel Aviv.

“Emergency response professionals in Israel have established a reputation as experts in quick and effective response to earthquakes, military and terrorist scenarios,” said Federation President Edward Soll. “In New Orleans, medical and health care professionals frequently juggle mass casualty situations. It’s the perfect partnership.”

Plans in Israel include visits to an Israel Defense Force medical corps base and Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s first military hospital, known widely for its clinical research and global training model.

Participants also will take part in a mass casualty simulation at Carmel Hospital in Haifa and ride in an ambulance with Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency medical service.

Participants represent New Orleans EMS, Ochsner Health System, East Jefferson General Health Hospital, Touro Infirmary/LCMC, LSU Health Sciences Center and Ready Responders, which recently won The Big Idea prize at the 2017 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

They include Dr. James Aiken of LSUHSC; Dr. Ryan Bird, Ronnie Landry and Eileen Smith of Touro Infirmary; Captain Adam Brickeen, Dr. Jeff Elder and Cedric Palmisano of New Orleans EMS; Michael Guillot of East Jefferson General Hospital; Benjamin Swig of Ready Responders and Dr. Christopher Voigt of Ochsner.