In our previous issue, we explored the new, state-of-the-art maternity ward at Mayanei Hayeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak
The article, After Labor, described how the interior designer, Rachel Zelvitz, a mother herself
who had also given birth at the hospital, created the ward. She managed to incorporate all the comforts,
conveniences and technologies imaginable to ease the beginning of a new mother’s journey into parenthood. Utilizing gentle colors, sound-absorbing materials, comfortable nursing chairs and creative ideas such
as foldable wood partitions in place of curtains to maximize privacy, the new ward was designed to offer mothers and newborns a quiet, safe, and comfortable environment to adjust to their new lives together.
As anyone who has spent any significant amount of time in a hospital knows, however, it’s not the comfortable bed, the pretty curtains or the lovely view from the window that create a positive hospital experience; it’s the staff. The support of a caring, attentive and professional team of doctors and nurses who understand your needs and treat you with respect makes all the di£erence. Mayanei Hayeshua started out as a small community-oriented hospital, and though it has experienced a staggering amount of growth in the 27 years it has been in operation, its staff still operates like a close-knit family.
In this article, we will meet a few of the staff members new parents may encounter during their stay at Mayanei Hayeshua.
Professor Barry Kaplan
DIRECTOR, MATERNITY WARD A
Professor Barry Kaplan is a world-renowned expert in obstetrics and gynecology. Before coming to work at Mayanei Hayeshua, he headed the maternity department at Beilinson for decades, and served as regional manager for the field of gynecology in Klalit, overseeing the operation of eight women’s health clinics
in the Dan region. Along the way, he managed to earn an additional degree in medical management through the University of Haifa. “I take advantage of all the time Hashem has given me. Every minute of it,” he says.
At one point, he opened a women’s health clinic in Bnei Brak. When asked if this influenced him, he replied: “I think so. The first time I arrived in the city of Torah and chassidus, they asked me to visit Rebbe Chaim Grainman zt”l. He summoned me after doing some research on me, to size me up after I opened the clinic on Rabbi Akiva Street. It was a truly awe-inspiring experience; it was like meeting Eliyahu Hanavi,” recalls Professor Kaplan warmly. “My connections with rabbis and world leaders in Torah became
stronger, both professionally and personally.” He elaborates on one particular rare encounter: “When I was managing the delivery rooms at Beilinson, I was sent to the USA to see various models of delivery rooms. On my way, I visited the Lubavitcher Rebbe. I was in his room for at least 10 minutes—and of all
the things I could have asked him, I asked one thing: to be a good doctor and to help many families. He gave me two silver dollars and a dollar bill for tzedakah.” This meeting, too, was seared in his memory. “The Divine presence above him was palpable. It was an incredible experience—even today, when I
think of it, I get goosebumps,” he says. This connection he developed with the charedi community serves him well in his new position at Mayanei. “I updated a number of protocols that were connected to medicine
and halacha, to make the patients who come here more comfortable. Whether it’s a difficult treatment or a routine procedure, my goal is to help the patients. I am committed and I see that as an ideal. My goal
in joining the staff of Mayanei Hayeshua is to integrate my strengths into the staff and help give all the attention I can.”
Professor Kaplan is a member of a number of international medical associations in the USA and Europe, and has lead groundbreaking research on medicine and assistive technology.
Mrs. Tzipi Luria
HEAD NURSE, DELIVERY ROOMS
Mrs. Tzipi Luria is a seasoned nurse-midwife with over 20 years of experience, and has been managing the delivery rooms of Mayanei Hayeshua for a decade. “In truth, I think what is most special about our delivery rooms is how our staff relate to birthing mothers,” says Mrs. Luria. “A mother is not just a number, she’s the patient in room 12. She wants things, she feels things, she asks for things—and we care
about that. Women in labor are in a very vulnerable position, and we are here to help her. She is important to us.”
This approach is particularly impressive considering that Mrs. Luria manages a department with thirteen delivery rooms, eight reception rooms, a staff of over 70 midwives, and more than 40 births per day. “We cover for each other when necessary,” she says. “There is never a situation where a patient languishes on her own because her midwife is helping someone else in active labor in the other room.”
“As we all know, birth is a process that doesn’t ask us when it will be convenient for us,” says Mrs. Luria. “Every day, we have women who come in by themselves for whatever reason—for example, if she went
into labor when the kids needed to be sent to school, and the husband had to stay behind to manage the chaos. Sometimes I find women in the delivery rooms sobbing that they want their doula, mother or husband who for whatever reason were unable to come. If they let me, I try to step into the role of that missing support person. It’s happened more than once that a woman wanted her labor to slow down so her mother would make it, and I suggested that in the meantime, I would be her ‘mother.’ After the birth I’d ask her how I did! Most women are satisfied… there are some women who don’t want that and some who do. We are here for everyone.”
Mrs. Tzofit Meshorer
DIRECTOR, NEW MATERNITY WARD
Mrs. Tzofit Meshorer has worked as a nurse at Mayanei Hayeshua for 27 years. In addition to her training as a nurse, she holds a B.Sc. in Healthcare Management. “I remember when my daughter came here to give birth. Her dream was to have a natural birth, to feel every stage, to feel connected, and of course, ensure the health and safety of her baby. The labor itself was long, but my daughter was completely focused throughout. When the baby was just about to come out, the midwife—who had understood what was important to my daughter—asked if she’d like to help the baby out herself. She wanted to, and the midwife started the process and let my daughter finish it. That positive birth experience has remained forever
associated with the moment the baby came into the world.”
“One of the most notable characteristics of the first few days after birth is the mood swings,” notes Mrs. Meshorer. “The body is still recovering from a stormy experience; the mind still needs to process the birth. Women need to acclimate to the new role of being a mother, and to the fact that their whole
world now revolves around the baby night and day. All this causes the mother’s mood to fluctuate: one minute she’s happy, the next minute she’s sad; one minute she has lots of energy, the next moment she has none; one minute she wants to be with the baby, the next minute she wants to be alone… in our department, we pay attention to her shifting needs and try to constitute a supportive environment during that challenging period.”
“I have the privilege of working with a staff of nurses whose sensitivity and gentleness is unmatched,” says Mrs. Meshorer. “Every woman who comes here is like our daughter. We want the absolute best for her, and the ‘absolute best’ includes assessing her emotional situation and o£ering support.”
“Our secret?… It’s very simple. We love every patient. We don’t only take care of them. We love them. It’s a completely different approach.”
Dr. Ziv Hermati
SENIOR PHYSICIAN, NICU
Dr. Hermati has managed the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Mayanei for the past five years. Before joining the staff of Mayanei, he managed the NICU at Ichilov Hospital for three years and that of Hadassah in Jerusalem for a decade. “The point is not just to help a preemie survive, but to help him leave here without significant injury and with optimal chances of leading a normal and healthy life,” says Dr. Hermati. “The first and second weeks after birth are the most critical in the battle for
the baby’s life and quality of life, and in this battle—like in every battle—we do everything
we can to win.”
“Preemies are very tiny—weighing no more than five-six bars of chocolate. A baby of this weight has a 50% change of surviving without injury. Despite the statistics that claim that the bigger and more developed a preemie is, the greater his chances of survival—we don’t look at the numbers. Each preemie is a person, and what we see before us is the sanctity of life. This means that we will provide treatment even in cases where other medical teams may have given up. We believe every baby is a world unto himself.”
He recalls one particular incident: “I remember that night well, three years ago, when I fought for the life of a tiny preemie who weighed only 600 grams. I informed the parents, who were supporting us with their prayers, that I didn’t know if or how that baby girl will survive. Not long ago, the mother
brought her to visit me; she was running around having fun in the place where she hovered between life and death. That’s what you call seeing the blessing of your labors right in front of your eyes. The satisfaction and joy of those successes give us the strength to get through the more di¡cult moments.”
For more information about Mayanei Hayeshua, visit their website at www.fomhmc.org.