Rabbi Nadia Siritsky
As we prepare for the High Holy Days, the Jewish community begins a process of introspection, prayer and teshuvah (repentance and healing).
At the end of this festival period, we conclude with the reading of the book of Ecclesiastes, which contains the famous words: “There is nothing new under the sun.”
It is a stark contrast between our prayers for newness and our reminder that beneath change is the constancy of G-d’s enduring presence and blessing.
For Jewish Hospital, this year is especially transformational, as we prepare for our sale to the University of Louisville, with help from Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation.
And yet, even as we prepare for this significant change, which will occur on Nov. 1, we also trust that there will be a continued and renewed emphasis on our age-old mission to bring tikkun olam, a deep healing to our community.
It is therefore with great excitement that KentuckyOne Health was designated by Louisville Metro to be one of a select few backbone agencies that will work with the mayor and the University of Louisville to create a “trauma-resilient community” over the next five years. This new initiative builds upon work that KentuckyOne Health helped to spearhead five years ago, as it participated in the Bounce Coalition – a community initiative to improve the future health children by addressing the root causes of poor health in the most vulnerable of young people – training those working with children who had experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in order to help them gain resilience and improved coping skills.
Recent public health research demonstrates clearly that adults who experienced ACEs are at a significantly higher risk for heart disease, lung disease and neurological problems later in life. Therefore, it is critical to intervene early in order to promote health and well-being later, for individuals and communities.
The Trauma Resilient Communities Initiative is a city-wide program, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and managed by the Louisville Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods. It seeks to promote resilience and equity for Louisville’s youth and families disproportionately affected by trauma, race-based trauma, systemic inequities, violence, and civil unrest. KentuckyOne Health’s Jewish Hospital, Our Lady of Peace, Frazier Rehab Institute and Sts. Mary’s & Elizabeth Hospital were all selected to play a leading role in preparing our city to become one of the first in our nation to have all nonprofit care providers trained in an evidence-based approach to reduce the impact of trauma and improve well-being.
The initial training for this grant will take place in September and October, and enable us to do sacred tikkun olam during the High Holy Days. May this season inspire each of us to work for justice and healing, peace and renewal, and may the new year of 5780 bring blessing to us all.
(Rabbi Nadia Siritsky is vice president of mission at KentuckyOne Health.)