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Warren Buffett donates $10 million to Israel’s Rambam Hospital

Posted on:
January 2, 2014
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Medicine
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Haifa's Rambam Hospital. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Haifa’s Rambam Hospital. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

American billionaire investor Warren Buffett has donated $10 million to Rambam Hospital in Haifa

Buffett’s friend Eitan Wertheimer announced the donation at a recent event celebrating the 75th anniversary of the hospital, Globes reported.

Buffett and Wertheimer became close friends after Wertheimer sold his family’s 80-percent share of Israeli precision tool manufacturer Iscar to Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway firm in 2006 for $4 billion. Buffett bought the remaining 20 percent of Iscar for $2.05 billion in May, with the Israeli company becoming Buffet’s largest foreign holding.

Besides Iscar, Buffett has also invested in two other Israeli companies—Agrologic, a company that designs and manufactures systems for agricultural use, and Ray-Q Interconnect, an engineering firm.

Source: JNS.org

Israeli Parliament Passes New Medical Marijuana Law

Posted on:
December 16, 2013
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Medicine
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Israel Marijuana Law

The Knesset on Sunday approved an updated version of Israel’s cannabis law, which will centralize marijuana collection and raise the number of doctors allowed to prescribe cannabis treatment to 31, Israel Hayom reported.

The bill calls for severing the direct link between marijuana growers and patients. The marijuana will now be collected by medical supply company Sarel, and will be packaged and distributed to approved pharmacies.

Marijuana growers and some patients protested centralizing distribution.

“Creating a monopoly without a tender in this field is a fundamental breach of proper governance,” said Eli Zohar, an attorney representing the cannabis growers.

Source: Algemeiner.com

Katie Couric Hosts Event that Raises $1 Million for Magen David Adom

Posted on:
December 12, 2013
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Katie Couric at the Dec. 9 fundraiser for Magen David Adom in New York City. Photo: Howard Wechsler.

Katie Couric at the Dec. 9 fundraiser for Magen David Adom in New York City. Photo: Howard Wechsler.

Television journalist Katie Couric, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor headlined a Dec. 9 dinner in Manhattan that raised $1 million for Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national emergency response, ambulance, and blood services organization.

“MDA’s willingness to help save all lives is something we all should rally behind,” Couric, host of the American Friends of Magen David Adom event, said. “I’ve built a career on the pursuit of a good story. And in a part of the world that’s constantly producing ominous headlines, I’ve clearly found a positive one.”

Bloomberg proclaimed Dec. 9 to be “Magen David Adom Day” in New York City. MDA is an organization that is mandated by the Israeli government but not funded by it, instead relying on private donors.

Source: Algemeiner.com

Covidien buying Given Imaging for $860 million

Posted on:
December 8, 2013
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Camera

Sale of camera-in-a-capsule maker expected to be consummated by March 31.

Medical device maker Covidien is buying Israeli camera-in-a-capsule maker Given Imaging for $30.00 per share in cash, totaling $860 million, the companies said on Sunday.

Given Imaging developed a pioneering technique for non-invasive endoscopy. Its technology for visualising, diagnosing and monitoring the digestive system starts with the PillCam, a capsule containing a miniaturized video camera. Over the years Given Imaging, which operates out of Yokneam, developed a number of versions for the technology, including one for esophageal diagnostics.

Its shares closed at $23.65 on Nasdaq on Friday.

“We believe GI (gastrointestinal) is one of the most attractive specialty procedure areas. Acquiring Given will enable Covidien to significantly expand its presence in a $3 billion GI market,” stated Bryan Hanson, group president for medical devices and the United States at Covidien. “Adding Given’s portfolio of diagnostics to our portfolio accelerates Covidien’s strategy of providing physicians with products that support the patient along the care continuum from diagnosis to treatment.”

The combination of Covidien’s global presence and Given Imaging’s innovative capabilities has the potential to transform this market, said Homi Shamir, chief executive of Given Imaging.

The transaction is expected to be completed by March 31. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the deal, and the boards of Given’s major shareholders, who own 44 percent of Given’s outstanding shares, have approved voting in favor of the transaction.

On Saturday, three units of Israel’s IDB Group – Elron Electronic Industries, Discount Investment Corp and RDC Rafael Development Corp – agreed to sell their stakes in Given Imaging.

Covidien intends to finance the transaction through cash on hand and will report Given Imaging within the medical devices business segment. Covidien expects Given Imaging will add between $40 million and $50 million per quarter in incremental revenue to the medical devices segment.

On a GAAP basis, the transaction is expected to be dilutive to operating margin and earnings per share in fiscal 2014. On an adjusted basis, excluding one-time items and transaction costs, management expects the transaction to be neutral to both operating margin and EPS in fiscal 2014.

The transaction is expected to be accretive to operating margin and EPS both on a U.S. GAAP and on an adjusted basis in fiscal 2015 and beyond.

Covidien said it is not changing any of its guidance as a result of this transaction.

Source: Haaretz.com

VIDEO: Just in time for World AIDS Day, Youtube sensation Idan Matalon takes to the streets of Tel Aviv

Posted on:
November 29, 2013
Category:
LGBTQ, Medicine, Video
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Idan Matalon

Our friend Idan Matalon took to the streets of Tel Aviv to find out what #Israelis know/don’t know about AIDS, and somewhat educated them (ish) lol.

Showing Scotland another side of Israel

Posted on:
November 21, 2013
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Emek Medical Center in Afula. Provides medical training to Arab doctors, surgeons from Jordan  Photo: GPO

Emek Medical Center in Afula. Provides medical training to Arab doctors, surgeons from Jordan Photo: GPO

Coexistence work of Emek Medical Center in Afula, where efforts of Jewish and Arab physicians to heal patients of all backgrounds are part of everyday life, reaches Scottish audiences

The story of Emek Medical Center in Afula is little known within the international community, but the center’s Director of Development and Public Relations Larry Rich is on a mission to change that.

He has traveled across the world to share the story of the hospital, located in Afula in the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel, which in its unique capacity serves half a million Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze from the region.

Most recently, Rich visited Scotland, a country not known for its friendly Israel views. Rich traveled there to talk about the Israel he knows – that seen through the prism of a medical institution, where the efforts of Jewish and Arab physicians to heal patients of all backgrounds are part of everyday life.

Rich told Tazpit News Agency that the reactions to his talks – even from the most hostile of audiences – are largely positive.

“I’m just a guy that works in a hospital – not a politician,” said Rich. “And I share what I see – Arabs and Jews working together and caring for each other in a setting where barriers and stereotypes don’t exist. It’s a reality of Israel that never gets exposure in international media.”

He cites the years of the first and Second Intifada, when Emek Medical Center treated hundreds of Palestinian men, women, and children from Jenin and Judea and Samaria without payment. “Despite the threats that Israel faces, our medical institutions across Israel give equal medical treatment to all.”

Additionally, Emek Medical Center, which is comprised of 500 beds and staffs 300 physicians and 700 nurses as well as support personnel, also provides medical training to Arab doctors and surgeons from Jordan.

‘Anti-Israel activists taken by surprise’

“What makes the Emek hospital so unique is that it is made up of a multi-ethnic staff that services a multi-ethnic population. There is no institution like this in the entire Middle East,” Rich told Tazpit.

“After my talks, I often hear from members of Muslim audiences, who tell me that they have never heard of this kind of story coming out of Israel,” said the American-born Rich, who has also spoken to challenging audiences such as J Street and Muslim activist groups in the United States. “Most anti-Israel activists – when they listen – are taken by complete surprise.”

During the Scotland tour, Rich spoke in several cities including Glasgow and St. Andrews as well as at the Scottish Parliament and at the University of Dundee, where audiences were also filled with anti-Israel hecklers who attempted to disrupt Rich’s talks unsuccessfully.

A noted Scottish doctor involved with the BDS movement gave an anti-Israel rant following Rich’s talk at the Scottish Parliament – but paused to ask if Emek hospital would be willing to provide surgical treatment to a patient who was an acquaintance of his in the region.

“I have a feeling that he was talking about a Palestinian and I gave him my contact information but I haven’t yet heard from the patient since I’ve returned to Israel,” said Rich. “I hope to hear from him soon.”

One of the most important points that Rich imparts to his audiences is that there are different ways to see the Jewish state. “People have a choice – to focus on hatred and divisiveness, or on real life examples of human coexistence. Emek hospital is a story that needs to be on the table.”

Source: Ynetnews.com