«Jewish Observer»
June 2002
5762 Sivan

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May 21 - 23 a conference hall of the Kiev "Hessed - Avot" drew a full house. Over 80 participants from all CIS and Baltic countries took part in the 8th International medical conference held by Kiev institute of social and community workers. Leading Kiev specialists cooperating with the hessed attended the conference together with coordinators of medical programs from other hesseds and doctors-volunteers. For the 8th successive year the event is organized under the leadership of professor Ted Mayers -head medical consultant of "Joint" in New York. His fate completely and unselfishly dedicated to rendering help to the unfortunate is interesting in itself, a model to learn history. He has done medicine since 1948 when he got an education. Nearly 20 years ago T.Mayers and his wife organized in Sudan a hospital for refugees from Ethiopia. This attracted attention of "Joint" which representatives asked him to render medical assistance to Ethiopian Jews. From 1984 till 1991 he was working in Ethiopia until the operation "Shlomo" resulted in Ethiopian Jews' relocating to Israel. For two subsequent years he worked on medical programs in Cuba. Since 1993 T.Mayers organizes medical programs in CIS among which most important to him are annual conferences. Lecturers at this conference became professors from Harvard, Californian and Standford Universities, each of whom can be called a luminary in his field. For example, the name of professor of Standford Medical University Gerald Riven, who entered the history having described a metabolic syndrome, is well-known to all physicians in the world. After D.Riven's report on his latest research works, the head of the chair of Kiev geriatric medical academy Anatoly Tokar said, "We listened to the lecture of a live classic who creates medical science. I have attended many conferences but for the first time I had a chance to hear three world stars at a go". Many participants admired conciseness and, at the same time, huge content and practical value of his lectures.

Coordinator of "Joint" medical programs Vera Sverdlovski said the following about the conference aims. "First, this is an opportunity for doctors from different regions to meet, to discuss their working experience comparing it with the work of highly professional American specialists. Besides, we have invited representatives of Kiev medical institutions to acquaint them with the work of our organizations, with its level to widen cooperation with city organizations. Our aim is to improve the quality of medical service rendered to our clients. For five years the conference is held in Kiev. If at the very beginning it attracted doctors from only one region, then at present 20 regions have sent their representatives. Professor T.Mayers, "I am most impressed by the fact how Jews in Soviet times managed to become doctors, and how today doctors in CIS keep working in such difficult situation. An invitation to the conference testifies to high estimation of the gains of its participants and we expect them to share knowledge received here with colleagues in their communities. For 8 years of my work I've witnessed the following: at first, local doctors were suspicious about Americans, which was conditioned by an unfriendly atmosphere in the relations between the USSR and USA. But in recent years the situation has changed and we talk on an equal footing. The conference is financed by "Joint", but my wife, me and all professors from the USA are volunteers. We do this to help Jews in the former Soviet Union since we all are one Jewish family".


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