Israel has gained a worldwide reputation for helping other countries in crisis, and has a long-standing tradition of coordinating relief missions to help in times of disease, war, and hunger. Sheba, Israel’s largest medical center and one of the world’s top 10 hospitals according to Newsweek Magazine, is often at the forefront of these efforts.
Recognizing the dire medical need in war-torn Ukraine, and working alongside the Israeli Foreign and Health ministries, Sheba established and operated a dedicated field hospital in the small western town of Mostyska, Ukraine.
Serving locals and refugees alike by training local medical teams and providing care to all those in need, The “Shining Star” or “Kohav Meir” field hospital was named after former Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, who was born in Ukraine. Prime Minister Meir founded the Foreign Ministry’s International Development, Cooperation, and Aid program, which oversaw the mission.
“Our goal is to make sure that people from Ukraine know that they are not alone,” said Yoel Har-Even, Director of Sheba Global and head of the Sheba mission, alongside Prof. Elhanan Bar-On, Director of Sheba’s Humanitarian & Disaster Response Center. “We have a clear moral obligation not to look away. As human beings, as medical professionals, and as Jews.”
The 66-bed field hospital included a triage area, an ER ward, men’s, women’s, and children’s wards, labor and delivery facilities, imaging and telehealth technologies, mental health services, a lab, a pharmacy, and an outpatient clinic worked for 24 hours a day from the opening to the last day of operation, six weeks later.
Thanks to a 100-strong staff of doctors, nurses, medical lab workers, medical engineers, and pharmacists, as well as logistics and operational personnel, the Shining Star field hospital was able to cater to 150 patients simultaneously, and treated over 6,000 people from Ukraine during its operation.
“Setting up a field hospital is no easy task. But with agility, dedication, and professionalism, Israel has honed its skills in providing the highest level of medical care in the toughest of places. “
For his part, Prof. Yitzhak Kreiss, Director General of Sheba, added:
“It is our personal and national responsibility to extend a helping hand to every human being, especially since we have the knowledge and capability to carry out this mission.”
At Sheba, we believe that medicine provides hope without boundaries or borders. We came to Ukraine to do just that.