Soroka Celebrates the Spirit of Innovation Honoring Lifesaving Work


March 13, 2019, 3:00am

The evening will honor three innovators in their own realms including Dr. Julie Ratner, Ed.D., founder of the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, who will receive the Healthcare Champion Medal of Honor.

The evening will honor three innovators in their own realms including Dr. Julie Ratner, Ed.D., founder of the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, who will receive the Healthcare Champion Medal of Honor.

NEW YORK, March 13, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- American Friends of Soroka Medical Center (AFSMC) will host the Spirit of Innovation at Soroka Gala, during its seventh annual benefit dinner on April 3, 2019, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. More than 400 guests are expected to attend. The event will celebrate Soroka Medical Center's successes in fostering scientific and medical innovation in the service of saving lives, positioning Soroka as a leader amongst Israeli hospitals and worldwide. The Gala will raise funds to support the new Negev BioBank, as well as acquire urgently needed equipment for its Genetics Institute.

Soroka Medical Center is currently working to develop the Negev BioBank (NBB), a joint initiative of the Soroka University Medical Center (SUMC) and the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). This project, which began in November of 2018, is the first large-scale, population-based genetic archive in Israel. The NBB will create valuable research opportunities that are expected to yield powerful insights into early detection, disease prevention, and breakthrough treatments that will save lives in Israel and globally.

"Soroka is a growing force for innovation in cancer care, integrating breakthrough research and technology," remarks Professor Itzhak Avital, head of the Legacy Heritage Oncology Center and the Dr. Larry Norton Institute at Soroka Medical Center, "Soroka's relationship with Ben Gurion University and its proximity to Israel's cyber hub in Be'er Sheva, place it at the center of forward-thinking talent."

The evening will honor three innovators in their own realms. Dr. Julie Ratner, Ed.D. will receive the Healthcare Champion Medal of Honor. Dr. Ratner is the founder of the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, which helps breast cancer patients and their families cope with the physical and emotional aspects of breast cancer. This important foundation serves the East End of Long Island, by advocating for education on early detection and ensuring access to state-of-the-art comprehensive cancer treatment for the underserved.

"We're all here to make the world in a better place," states Dr. Julie Ratner, Ed.D. founder Ellen Hermanson Foundation. "Our collective determination has changed the medical landscape by providing state-of-the-art treatment along side a supportive environment to help women thrive through their recovery, regardless of their means."

Edward A. Oates will receive the Visionary Award for technology and innovation. Mr. Oates co-founder of Oracle Corporation is a pioneer in the technology and music industries. Rock Your Business, his latest endeavor, brings world-class talent to corporations while providing team building and leadership workshops. Jewelry designer Orna Simkhai will receive the Inspired Leadership Award. Ms. Simkhai is the founder of Shema-Or, a jewelry line that incorporates prayer with precious metals and gems. Shema-Or serves as a model for businesses that seek to meld creativity and compassion with a focus on giving back.

Live bidding will provide attendees with a plethora of exciting items to reward their charitable contributions. Limited edition prints will be up for grabs from the History of the Star of David Artwork series, signed by artist and filmmaker Marc Bennett. This engaging art explores the historical evolution of the Star of David as a symbol of perseverance. Bennett has generously committed to donate a percentage of worldwide art sales to support Soroka's lifesaving mission. Soroka Medical Center has commissioned Bennett to create a permanent installation of the History of the Star of David, which will become the focal point for Soroka's new comprehensive cancer center's healing garden, set to be unveiled later this summer.

"The History of the Star of David powerfully reflects the complexity, beauty and strength of Jewish peoplehood and the State of Israel," remarks Ido Aharoni, former Ambassador and Consul General of Israel. "I believe it is more than just an engaging work of art, but will become a timeless and vivid cultural landmark at Soroka Medical Center, serving as a symbol of life and hope for our future."

Other items to be auctioned include; a VIP trip to Israel with a focus on the Negev and a four-day retreat to the exclusive Jumby Bay resort in Antigua. Throughout the evening Silicon Valley rock n' roll sensation CHOC'D will entertain guests, led by honoree Edward A. Oates. Speakers will also highlight other funding opportunities tied to innovations currently underway at Soroka including the establishment of the Legacy Heritage Oncology Center and Dr. Larry Norton Institute at Soroka. With the help of its generous supporters Soroka's new comprehensive cancer center is set to become the most advanced cancer treatment facility in the Middle East. The Gala will conclude with an intimate after-party mixer featuring an opening performance by Mr. Oates and music by renowned DJ and author Hannah Bronfman, who will be signing copies of her book Do What Feels Good.

Tickets are available for purchase at gala(at) via the web at and via email gala(at) or call 914-725-9070


American Friends of Soroka Medical Center is a New York State 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. AFS is a community of individuals, Families, foundations and businesses dedicated to supporting the vision and lifesaving work of the Soroka Medical Center. AFS educates the U.S. public about Soroka's medical treatment, research and global impact and cultivates philanthropic funding to ensure Soroka can achieve its goals.

Soroka Medical Center is Israel's leading healthcare institution. Located in Be'er Sheva, it is the sole medical center in the entire Negev, one of the country's most diverse and fastest-growing areas. Soroka serves over 1.2 million residents, including over 400,000 children, in a region that comprises 60% of Israel's land. With two medical schools, a proven record of producing groundbreaking research and life-saving treatments and an extraordinary staff, Soroka offers exceptional healthcare for all, regardless of race, religion, or politics. This unique institution, founded in 1959, exemplifies a deep commitment to outstanding medical care, peaceful coexistence in action and medical research that has a global impact.

The Comprehensive Cancer Center at Soroka opened in February of 2019, which includes the Legacy Heritage Oncology Center for the Negev and the Dr. Larry Norton Institute now serving more than 18,000 cancer patients every year at Soroka, including 750 children. Soroka's new Comprehensive Cancer Center will ensure that its patients will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities, treatment and technologies. By leveraging Soroka's connection with Ben Gurion University and its location in the burgeoning technology hub of Be'er Sheva, the new comprehensive cancer care center at Soroka is set to be the most advanced cancer treatment facility in the Middle East.


SOURCE American Friends of Soroka Medical Center

Original article:

Julie Ratner