Nineteen years ago on erev (the eve of) Pesach I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in what was then known as Nahariya Hospital. This year as the holiday approached, unfortunately I had to return there with her to the emergency room to see if we could find out why she was suffering from what appeared to be serious virus symptoms. Later that day, following a series of tests and consultations, we received news that she needed to be admitted for care in the Neurosurgery Department.

Fortunately, over the past nineteen years, Nahariya Hospital transformed into the Galilee Medical Center, the second largest hospital in the north of Israel, and one of only seven medical centers in the country that provides the type of advanced procedure that was needed. The GMC’s Neurosurgery Department, established merely two years ago, provides highly specialized treatments to benefit the approximately 600,000 residents who live along our northern border. This state of the art department, as well as many others, reflects the medical advances made over the last years. Today the GMC is staffed by top level physicians with access to up-to-date equipment, and can answer most of the needs of our region’s multicultural and multiethnic population by providing a full spectrum of medical procedures and treatments locally for all who live in the Galilee and Golan.

Upon entering the Galilee Medical Center one is immediately struck by the diversity of the community it serves. The population of our ‘neighborhood’ includes a variety of ethnic groups and faiths including Jews, Moslems, Christians, Druze and others. The diversity of the patients is similarly reflected in the Medical Center’s staff that works as one, side by side, to provide caring and compassionate treatment to all who seek it. During the days that I walked through the GMC, I met other patients’ families, from different walks of life, in the corridors, rooms and sitting areas. We offered each other cups of tea and coffee as well as words of comfort and support. Family members of various patients who I spoke with similarly expressed their own deep appreciation that top level medical care was available here in the Galilee and that we didn’t have to undergo further logistical complications and burdens by having our loved ones hospitalized in Haifa or even further away in the center of the country.

Each time I walked in and out of the GMC’s buildings I noticed its motto, ‘Adam L’Adam – Adam’ (Person to Person – Person) posted on the doors, and felt reinforcement of the Center’s agenda to provide the highest level care to all patients no matter who they are, where they are from, what their background is or their religious affiliation. It’s heartening to see that a leading institution in the Galilee can serve as an example of the best our country has to offer — a many layered and colored mosaic of people working in sync to provide chesed (loving kindness) and top notch medical care to all. As I prepare for Passover, I have a renewed sense of gratitude for life and appreciation for those who work together in their commitment to provide superior medical care for all in the Galilee and beyond.