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Department of Nursing hosts Israel Allied Health Professionals Council

Group of BWFH nurses standing together
From left: Manu Picard, MSN, RN, NP, Rely Alon, PhD, RN, CNM, Robin Shuman, MSN, RN, Phyllis Garr, BSN, RN, Rebecca Mogensen, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC, Robin Kaufman, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, NEA-BC, Nurit Zusman, PhD, RN, Orit Meridan, MA, MPH, RN, Helene Bowen Brady, DNP, MEd, RN, NPD-BC, NEA-BC, Rose LaPlante, MBA, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, and Shelly Bazes, MS, RN, WHNP-BC

In the fall of 2022, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Pre-Op Holding nurse Phyllis Garr, BSN, RN, traveled to Jerusalem where she took part in the Hadassah 100th National Convention. Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is a volunteer organization that inspires a passion for and commitment to the land, the people and the future of Israel. Through education, advocacy and youth development, and its support of medical care and research at Hadassah Medical Organization, Hadassah enhances the health and lives of people in Israel, the United States and worldwide.

Several months after her visit, Garr was contacted by Robin Shuman, MSN, RN, Chair of the Hadassah National Nurses and Allied Health Professional Councils. The Israel Allied Health Professionals Council wanted to visit BWFH! Garr, along with leadership from the Department of Nursing, were happy to host.

The group of representatives from the Israel Allied Health Professionals Council was touring hospitals in the northeast and their stop at BWFH gave them the opportunity to observe best practices in place.

“I was so fortunate to have had an amazing experience in Israel, but I thought I had said goodbye to everyone I met there,” says Garr. “But then I got a phone call from Robin and learned that this group wanted to visit BWFH. They were so gracious and welcoming to me, so I was so happy I was able to return that favor.”

In addition to Shuman, the group was made up of four representatives from the Israel Allied Health Professionals Council: Nurit Zusman, PhD, Head of the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing, Rely Alon, PhD, Director of Nursing and Health Professions for Hadassah Medical Center, Manu Picard, MSN, RN, NP, Director of Nursing at Hadassah Medical Center, and Orit Meridan, MA, MPH, RN, Patient and Family Experience Manager at Hadassah Medical Center.

During their time at BWFH, the group had a lively discussion with members of the Department of Nursing about nurse leadership roles, nursing research and patient experience. They were particularly interested in the role of the nurse practitioner in the acute care setting and had the opportunity to meet with members of the Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Council. They were also treated to a tour of 7 South where they saw the latest technology in action.

“It was such a great experience meeting with the representatives from Israel!” says APP Council member Rebecca Mogensen, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC. “It was very interesting to hear their experiences in their own nursing careers, but to also show them how far we, as NPs, have come in our professional careers here in the United States over the many years. It was wonderful to connect and share our current practice models; sharing with them that we have NPs in many different parts of the hospital from CPE to surgery to medicine to the ICU, and all our subspecialities (cardiology, palliative care, etc.). They were amazed to hear how we practice and were excited to take back all that we shared. I am very much looking forward to connecting with them again in the future and maybe a trip to Israel to learn from them as well.”

The group was incredibly grateful for the opportunity. Alon said of the experience, “It was interesting to learn about the differences between the hospitals, especially with the role of the nurse practitioner in practice. It was wonderful to share ideas to see what we can do differently in our own hospitals.”

Reflecting on the experience, Garr says she is reminded of a quote by Zig Ziglar: Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you.

“It’s about giving goodness,” she says. “This group embraced me when I visited their home. I felt it was my obligation, and privilege, to return that hospitality. And quite frankly, I felt a great sense of pride. BWFH represents the very best in healthcare. To know that others want to learn from us is truly gratifying.”

Dr. Spector’s personal connection

While in Israel, Phyllis Garr, BSN, RN, met Arthur Spector, the architect for the Hadassah hospitals. As it turns out, Mr. Spector is the father of David Spector, MD, Director of Bariatric and Anti-Reflux Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. Garr and Dr. Spector have been colleagues for many years, and she invited him to meet the group visiting from the Israel Allied Health Professionals Council.

Rey Alon and David Spector
Rely Alon, PhD, RN, CNM, with David Spector, MD

Published 6/6/23

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