New Hadassah Director of Emergency Medicine, Ein Kerem Shares his Vision for Hadassah

The population of Jerusalem is highly diverse, requiring sensitivity and a unique understanding. A notable rise in patients turning to ERs for emergency care following the COVID-19 pandemic, together with increased life expectancy in Israel, and many patients suffering from comorbidities, has led to a significant increase in ER admissions over the last five years.

“Emergency Medicine is a challenging and complex specialty, where each day is completely different, and each patient has a different set of needs,” discloses Dr. Ahmad Nama, the new Director of Emergency Medicine at Ein Kerem, succeeding Dr. Jacob (Kobi) Assaf.


Almost all patients who come to the ER arrive at their worst, suffering from pain, and requiring immediate assistance. The medical team must identify patients with a time-critical condition and provide immediate treatment as needed. Using advanced diagnostics and therapeutics, patients admitted to the ER are triaged with a “fast track” for patients with less severe conditions, who are treated quickly and released.


Saving lives is a daily mission and despite full occupancy, the Hadassah Emergency Room turns no one away. On a mission to enhance and innovate, Dr Nama expresses the need to introduce new technologies, refine medical protocols, and ultimately improve patient outcomes, experience, and care.


Dr Nama is pioneering a pain-free department. To alleviate patient suffering while reducing dependence on opioids, together with fellow ER doctors, he introduced the use of nerve blocks especially for the treatment of fractures – a technique he mastered during a fellowship in Australia.


His latest initiative is a new, cutting-edge, ER stroke unit to accelerate diagnosis for victims when every second counts for their survival and recovery.


“We are in a university hospital aspiring to excellence daily,” Nama explains. ”Each doctor at the ER is actively encouraged to pursue a specialty that contributes to the range of medical expertise within the department. The team at Ein Kerem is made up of outstanding professionals with huge hearts and a clear mission. As the new Director, I feel a strong responsibility to maintain the level of clinical excellence,’’ he adds, “Medicine is the only field which truly crosses all boundaries.”


On the Frontline at the Ukraine Border


Drs. Ahmad Nama and Waseem Mujahed, Hadassah Emergency Medicine experts, headed consecutive Hadassah medical emergency mission teams at the Ukraine/Poland border to treat refugees last year, soon after the invasion began.


Nama had an ultrasound machine flown in and established a patient registration protocol and brought Hadassah medical supplies. He collaborated with Lublin Medical University Hospital and trained their medical personnel to use innovative techniques such as administering nerve blocks.


The two teams led by Nama and Mujahed treated about 100 patients per shift. They introduced the “fast track” protocol in all four Hadassah treatment centres, to provide efficient relief for patients with urgent conditions that could be treated quickly. Mujahed coordinated with other NGOs to streamline international relief efforts.


Dr. Mujahed recollects: “Even though we witnessed terrible scenes, it was a privilege to head the Hadassah Medical team because we were able to bring relief to thousands of refugees in dire straits. Back in Ukraine, the refugees had already heard about Hadassah. They came looking for us, ‘Where is the Hadassah clinic?’ they asked. And we turned no one away.”


Editor’s Notes


The following story is an excerpt from an article which was originally published in the Hadassah International Year In Review 2022: Cure. Innovation. Humanity.


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