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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, MD, MPH, recipient of Soroka’s Stateswoman for Health Award.On Tuesday, June 17th, American Friends of Soroka Medical Center hosted its second annual Gala, benefiting their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), at The Palace Hotel, in New York City. Soroka plans to build a new, protected NICU both to meet the increased demand for beds in the unit as well as to provide a reinforced structure to withstand missile attacks and eliminate the need for a high-risk evacuation of the tiny, fragile NICU patients to shelters when Be’er Sheva comes under threat of attack from Gaza. Soroka’s current NICU center is not protected from missile attacks, and the entire unit needs to be relocated when under fire.

Honored guests included Soroka’s CEO Ehud Davidson and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit head, Dr. Agneta Golan. The evening included a live and silent auction. Professor Gabriel Gurman, the “founding father” of Soroka’s anesthesiology and critical care departments, received the hospitals “Distinguished Service Award.”

The event honored Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, M.D., one of the most distinguished leaders in Global Health, who received Soroka’s “Stateswoman for Health Award”. Blumenthal noted that Soroka is a bastion of medical excellence as well as an intensely multi-cultural hospital that serves as a symbol of peaceful co-existence. “Soroka Medical Center has been at the forefront of efforts in translating science into superb clinical care as well as providing training and treating Bedouins and Arabs. As David Ben Gurion once said, "in Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles." Blumenthal called Soroka "a miracle in the Middle East, providing hope for a healthier future for the people of Israel and our world”.

Dr. Agneta Golan remarked: “I want to send a message, from all families in the Negev, to you here in New York , that we are the voices of those who cannot speak, our tiny vulnerable babies,” noting that “I will not rest until our mission is completed. Every family in the Negev deserves a healthy baby at home.” Soroka has undertaken this project to expand the facilities that serve and protect all infants, while providing these precious babies with family-centered intensive, special and recovery care in a safe and secure setting.

Legal Expert and TV personality, Dan Abrams, currently ABC’s Chief Legal Affairs anchor and co-anchor of Nightline, served as Master of Ceremonies. Abrams' commended Soroka’s current Comprehensive Cancer Center project, noting how essential it is for the Negev residents to have access to a superb center for the entire spectrum of cancer care, including prevention, diagnosis, testing, and treatment.

Soroka Medical Center is Israel’s second largest, busiest, and most strategic hospital. It is the sole major medical center for the entire Negev, which comprises 60% of Israel’s land and is Israel’s fastest growing region. It is essential to meeting the medical needs of the IDF.

The evening was a resounding success, raising money and awareness for one of the most profoundly moving and essential projects in Israel today. For additional information about Soroka and the NICU project please contact American friends of Soroka medical center at 914-725-9070 or