Calvary Hosts Visitors from Israel and Palestine
Calvary Hosts Visitors from Israel and Palestine



BRONX, NY, August 2010 – Calvary Hospital’s Palliative Care Institute recently hosted four health care professionals from Israel and Palestine for an intensive two-week visit:

·         Mrs. Merav Ben David, M.D. The Cancer Center, Shiba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel

·         Mrs. Anat Omer, RN, MA, Division of Oncology, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel

·         Mrs. Nemeh Manasrah, RN, MA, Hebron University, Hebron, West Bank, Palestinian Authority

·         Mrs. Maysa Al-Nabulsy, Pharm. MA, AL Quds University, East Jerusalem, Israel

Pictured in front row (left to right) Mrs. Merav Ben David, MD; Mrs. Nemeh Manasrah, RN, MA; Mrs. Maysa Al-Nabulsy, Pharm. MA; and Mrs. Anat Omer, RN, MA.  Pictured in back row (left to right):  Michael J. Brescia, MD, Executive Medical Director, Calvary Hospital, and Robert A. Brescia, MD, Director of the Palliative Care Institute, Calvary Hospital.

The women came to Calvary as a result of their countries’ involvement in the Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC). They all learned about the Calvary model of inpatient palliative care and hospice care during their visit. Upon their return to Palestine, Mrs. Nemeh Manasrah (a nurse who teaches nursing students) and Mrs. Maysa Al-Nabulsy, (a pharmacist) hope to establish an official Palliative Care system that will serve Palestinian cancer patients. Dr. Merav Ben David and Mrs. Anat Omer (a nurse) plan on incorporating the Calvary model of palliative care for Israeli patients.

            Given the ongoing political conflict in the Middle East, the visit to Calvary gave the four women an experience unheard of while at home i.e. getting to know an Israeli or Palestinian one-on-one and spending every single day with them for two weeks.

When asked what single thing people should know about Calvary, their answers included:

1) Calvary is the best hospital to learn palliative care; 2) It is very tough to put a smile on our patients yet Calvary does this all the time; 3) Calvary’s focus on hugging and touching patients is very impressive; 4) There is so much mutual love and understanding between staff and patients; and 5) We honor life in our patients until the very end.

            MECC is an exchange program that was created following the National Cancer Institute’s 2005 designation of Calvary Hospital as an “international center for training in palliative care.” Health care professionals from countries such as the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, Turkey and Egypt visit Calvary for one week to several months to learn about palliative care at Calvary and take that knowledge back to their countries. To date, every MECC member has sent representatives to Calvary.

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 5,500 patients are cared for annually by Calvary’s inpatient, outpatient, home, hospice, nursing home hospice, and wound care services. To learn more or sign up for the e-newsletter, Calvary Life, please go to




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