Jewish Hospital has a long and illustrious history, serving the Louisville community as a resource for quality health care for all, long before other hospitals admitted African Americans or Jews, and continuing today, delivering cutting edge services in areas like transplantation and cardiac care.
On Sunday, August 21, the Louisville Historical League sponsored a program at the Rudd Heart and Lung Conference Center celebrating that heritage, “Jewish Hospital: Past, Present, Future.”
After welcoming remarks from Steve Wiser from the Louisville Historical League and Joe Gilene, president of Jewish Hospital, Dr. Morris Weiss of KentuckyOne Health Cardiology Associates presented a pictorial history of Jewish Hospital’s past. His presentation documented past facilities and showcased the people who were instrumental in making Jewish Hospital what it is today.
Dr. Weiss is passionate about preserving Jewish Hospital’s history and has made great efforts to preserve its documentation and old photographs. He shared the hospital’s historic commitment to caring for all people, regardless of race, religion or ability to pay – a commitment that continues to guide it to this very day.
For many in the room, the photos brought back fond memories of their relatives who had worked at the hospital, and in some cases, their own efforts.
Richard Schultz, president of the KentuckyOne Health Board of Directors, picked up the story and reviewed why Jewish Hospital chose to merge with Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare and Catholic Health Initiatives and partner with University of Louisville Hospital.
Rabbi Dr. Nadia Siritsky, vice president of mission for Jewish Hospital, shared some of the initiatives the hospital is involved in today like PACT in Action and Arise to Safety that can help people threatened by interpersonal violence, Pivot to Peace which provides a year of case management and counseling for people who have suffered gunshot or knife wounds, and health screenings at places like the Kentucky State Fair to make health care more accessible to those who face challenges getting the help they need.
After making the disclaimer that he really has no way to see into the future, Dr. Jeffrey Goldberg, Jewish Hospital’s chief medical officer, said that Jewish Hospital, motivated by tikkun olam, the drive to make the world a better place, would continue to be an innovator and will change the world through its effectiveness and efficiency, its commitment to inclusion and health equity, delivering high quality care that involves the patient in the process and puts patient safety first.
Rabbi Siritsky closed the program by inviting those who want to be part of preserving this historic legacy and ensuring the hospital’s future, to either support Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Foundation, or volunteer, mentioning in particular, a special program, Nobody Dies Alone, which ensures that at the end of life, if a patient has no one to be with him or her during the final hours, a volunteer will stay at that person’s side. She encouraged people to contact her if they want to volunteer.