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June 1, 2003     Jewish News
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June 4,2003 Southeastern Virginia Jewish News 7 Nine days medical mission in Moldova "a life changing experience" For Robert Lehman, a Norfolk pediatrician, spending nine days in Moldova on a Jewish Healthcare International medical mission was a life changing experience. "It was heartbreaking to see sick children in such a poor medical environment," say Dr. Lehman. Many of the things we te for granted just aren't available. There is no IV therapy lor babies, no infant formula. I now have more empathy and more connection to those who have less." Dr. Lehman took 'almost two suitcases of medicines to Moldova, a country with few medical resources. "Health care in Moldova is bleak and sporadic," comments Dr. Lehman. For a routine urinaly- sis patients must be admitted to the hospital. Alternative medicine is Widely practiced because traditional naedicine is not available. Physi- cians are paid $30 a month. There is no continuing medical education and medical technology is outdat- Dr. Lehman took almost two suitcases of medicines to Moldova, a country with few ...dical resources. The Feb. 2-11 mission was Jew- ish Healthcare International's fn'st Pediatric mission. With Dr. Lehman Vere a RN cardiac specialist, an Anaerican cardiologist, an Israeli Pediatric nephrologist, an Israeli COlogist and an RN from the li Ministry of Health. The medical team saw patients at home and in the hospital. They hthmet with local physicians and care workers to help them Work through the existing infra- Strueture. Life in the former Soviet Union Untry is difficult. The Moldova et Consists primarily of potatoes, ts, cabbage, and radishes. The e bruary weather was cold and Wtdy with grey skies and freezing Dr. Lehman was in Kishinev, the capital of Moldova. He discovered aCtive, thriving Jewish commu- mty. "I was surprised how vibrant al Well accepted the Jewish com- ty is. There are many youth vities/arts and crafts programs, zrner bands, Jewish plays and , and museums. It is amazing ; w integrated the Jewish culture is the general society. They could aeh us something about Jewish |tler|tity.,, j_ Dr. Lehman first heard about Vlsh Healthcare International urn Dr. Alan Wagner, a Virginia ach opthalmolgist, who is the president of the Atlanta based orga- nization. Only four years old, JHI aims to help serve the medical needs of tbrmer Soviet Union coun- tries, including Belarus,Ukraine and Lithuania. JHI is a cooperative effort between Israeli and American med- ical professionals. Participants pay their own costs including trans- portation to the mission location. "Our goal is to be the central address for Jewish international healthcare volunteers," says Wagn- er. "We are extremely proud of Dr. Lehman and his leadership in start- ing a JHI pediatric program." For Dr. Lehman the time he spent in Moldova is a vivid memo- ry. In the midst of his busy life with his wile and three children he often remembers the people he worked with and the people he met. "I hope I made a small contribution to help- ing the Moldovians.This was one of the best experiences of my lit. It made me proud to be Jewish." Dr. Robert Lehman at Holocaust Memorial in Kishinev Dr. Robert Lehman with 13 year-old FTF-Eugenii F Catch these aiffares before they fly away Fly romadtrip to Israel on EL AL betwtn August 1 and September 6, 20[B and save with thtae sptciat low airfares. Children under the age. of t2 pay ""' s849 Nor00,o00 fromJFK & Newark s929 from Chicago 969 from Miami s102500---" from Los Angeles (the only direct s_,ice) I betwee n June 20 and July 31, 2003 , Save even more on EL AL Family Flights this summer. ...... r n,am inn'natic. Ci'IJ] vt,Rlr travd agesat or ELAL at (8001223-6700 or (212) 76-92111. Also ask about our :'i> .......  atlractivdy pritd .%ght vation packages at a ane.' ot popular lx,e m LraeL