Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) North Texas Chapter will hold a virtual event on Feb. 10 titled “Medical Heroes Behind COVID-19,” an exclusive briefing from top medical professionals on the current status of the virus in Israel and Texas, in addition to the measures being taken to save lives.

The event, at 12 noon Central Standard Time, will feature the head of critical care for Baylor University Medical Center, Dr. Ariel Modrykamien, and chief innovation officer of the Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps, Dr. Lt. Col. Ariel Furer.

It will touch on the current status of fighting the pandemic, including the newly extended amount of time before patients die of the virus, while highlighting the ongoing challenges that must be confronted to be successful in saving lives in Texas compared to Israel.

At the onset of the pandemic, Modrykamien made changes to his hospital’s organization to better grapple with the novel coronavirus and its ramifications, including for hospital staff.

He looked to an ER doctor who cared for victims of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting—the first to use one ventilator on multiple patients. The result has been that not a single member of the Baylor University Medical Center ICU medical staff has contracted COVID-19.

Furer served as a battalion surgeon in the special forces of the Golani Infantry Brigade and as a combat surgeon in a naval commando unit, leading his unit’s medical branch. After a fellowship in cardiology intervention, he returned to duty as deputy director of the IDF Medical Corps, establishing the Innovation Branch and serving as its first CIO. 

“This year, the North Texas Chapter aims to focus on offering outreach programming that allows the Jewish communities of Texas and Israel to come together in unity to support our Jewish homeland,” said FIDF North Texas director Kathi Ravkind Sebastian.

On Feb. 21, FIDF national director and CEO Rabbi Steven Weil will join Dallas’s Temple Shalom Sisterhood Rosh Chodesh to discuss the importance of women in the IDF.


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