|Calvary Doctors Travel to Middle East to Share Expertise in Palliative Care|
BRONX, NY, April 5, 2012 – For the first time in history, Calvary Hospital was represented at the Annual Conference – “Crossing Borders for Palliative Care” – sponsored by The Israel Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) in Tel Aviv on February 29, 2012. The 17th annual event, which was held in association with the Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC), the Israeli Pain Society, and the Israeli Neurological Society, drew more than 700 doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals from throughout the Middle East.
Dr. Michael Brescia, Calvary’s Executive Medical Director, and Dr. Robert Brescia, Director of the Palliative Care Institute and Director of Psychiatric Services, were guest lecturers at the conference and spoke about Calvary’s model of palliative care. The following day they were invited to The Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, a 1,700-bed university-affiliated hospital that serves as Israel's national medical center.
While in Israel they also were guests of Rambam Medical Center, the Italian Hospital in Haifa and Al-Sadeel in Bethlehem. Al-Sadeel is the first organization to offer palliative services to dying patients in Palestine. It was founded by husband and wife nurses, Amal Dweib-Kheif and Mohammad Khleif, as a direct result of their training at Calvary.
“Palliative care as a medical discipline in the Middle East is relatively new. Calvary’s attendance at this leading conference helped validate the excellent work being done on palliative and end-of-life care in this region of the world,” said Dr. Michael Brescia.
“Through our Palliative Care Institute, founded in 1985, we are able to teach the Calvary model of patient care with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals from more than 30 countries to date, from across the globe. We are delighted to have an impact on how end-of-life care is being delivered to people who need it so much in this part of the world.”
Founded during the Clinton administration, the Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC) is a collaboration between the United States and the ministries of health of Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority. Its goal is to relieve the cancer burden in the Middle East. In 2005, the National Cancer Institute designated Calvary Hospital “an international center for training in palliative care” and sponsors physicians and nurses from throughout the Middle East to train at Calvary for up to six months. During their 10-day trip, the Drs. Brescia were greeted by over a dozen former MECC trainees who spent time at Calvary and now consider themselves part of Calvary’s “extended family.”
Founded in 1983, The Israel Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) is the largest non-profit organization in Israel devoted to promoting the practice of palliative care.
Calvary Hospital is the nation’s only fully accredited acute care specialty hospital devoted exclusively to providing palliative care to adult advanced cancer patients. A 225-bed facility with locations in the Bronx and Brooklyn, Calvary is the model for the relief of cancer pain and symptoms for more than a century. More than 5,700 patients are cared for annually by Calvary’s inpatient, outpatient, homecare, hospice, nursing home hospice, and wound care services. To learn more or sign up for the e-newsletter, Calvary Life, please go to www.calvaryhospital.org.
At the 17th Annual conference - “Crossing Borders for Palliative Care” – sponsored by The Israel Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) in Tel Aviv on February 29, 2012, Dr. Michael Brescia and Dr Robert Brescia from Calvary Hospital were featured speakers.
Pictured: Dr. Michael Brescia (2nd from left) and Dr. Robert Brescia (3rd from right), with Palestinian nurses and a pharmacist who visited Calvary’s Palliative Care Institute several years ago to learn our model of palliative care to take back to their community.
During their trip to Israel to attend the 17th Annual conference - “Crossing Borders for Palliative Care” – sponsored by The Israel Association of Palliative Care (IAPC), Dr. Michael Brescia and Dr. Robert Brescia from Calvary Hospital, visited the Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor near the Sea of Galilee with Sr. Emanuela Verdecchia, Director of the Italian Hospital in Haifa, Israel. Sr. Emanuela has studied at Calvary within the past few years.
Pictured (left to right): Dr. Michael Brescia, Sr. Emanuela Verdecchia, and Dr. Robert Brescia.