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July 21, 1995 - Image 71

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-07-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Of Farmington Hills

Jewish Hospitals
Lead The Way

Washington (JTA) — In a part-
nership first lady Hillary Rodham
Clinton said should bring "great
pride to Americans and Lat-
vians," the Jewish hospital in
Riga, Latvia, along with two
other local hospitals, has form-
ally agreed to cooperate with
three medical facilities in St.
Louis.
Under the agreement, which
comes partially as a result of ef-
forts by American Jewish orga-
nizations in Latvia, the U.S.
Agency for International Devel-
opment will support educational
trips for Latvian and American
health care workers.
Officials at the Jewish Hospi-
tal of St. Louis, the Barnes Jew-
ish Christian Health System and
the Washington University
School of Medicine will join with
health care professionals at Riga's
City Maternity hospital, the State
Hospital for Children and Bikur
Holim, the city's Jewish hospital,
to share medical knowledge and
skills.
According to Batya Abramson
Goldstein, associate executive di-
rector of the St. Louis Jewish
Community Relations Council,
the American doctors will provide
medical and scientific expertise
to the Latvians. The Americans
will benefit from what Ms. Gold-
stein called "the 'human ap-
proach' which sometimes gets lost
in American medicine."
The St. Louis Jewish commu-
nity has been involved with ef-
forts to improve health care in
Latvia for a long time.
When the historically Jewish
Bikur Holim hospital in Riga was
returned to the city's Jewish pop-
ulation in 1992, the U.S.-based
National Conference for Soviet
Jewry established links between
the Jewish communities in St.
Louis and Riga. The St. Louis
JCRC joined in this partnership,
encouraging individuals to take
an interest in medical conditions
there.
Last July, the Latvian medical
situation gained wider attention
after first lady Clinton visited
Latvia and decided to get the U.S.
government involved. She host-
ed the White House ceremony
last month to formalize the agree-
ment among the six hospitals.
For the Jewish groups that
had labored to build U.S.-Latvia
medical cooperation, the signing
ceremony, which also featured
Latvian first lady Aina Ulmane
and U.S. Agency for Internation-
al Development administrator
Brian Atwood, was an unexpect-
ed surprise. The ceremony also
marked a new beginning, which
organizers say will have an
impact on Jewish communities
both in America and Eastern
Europe.

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