A large prestigious group gathered at the Boro Park Center in honor of Dr. Yashar Hirshaut upon the opening of his new office in affiliation with Maimonides Medical Center. Members of Chayim Aruchim a Project of Agudath Israel of America and local health care leaders were on hand for the luncheon, which focused on challenges facing providers and patients in the world of modern medicine especially when the patient is seriously ill.
Chayim Aruchim President Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz opened the gathering, welcoming participants, acknowledging Chayim Aruchim Board member Rivie Schwebel, and stressed the importance of addressing the issues in medical care in a culturally sensitive manner. He described Dr Hirshaut as an outstanding expert and brilliant oncologist, with unparalleled devotion and concern for each and every patient. He also thanked him for his guidance, for serving on the Chayim Aruchim Medical Advisory Board since its inception and for always being available to the Rabbonim.
He then introduced Machon Chayim Aruchim’s coordinator, Rabbi Benzion Leser, who also serves as Maimonides Medical Center’s director of pastoral care. In his remarks, Rabbi Leser thanked the administration of Maimonides Medical Center for doing everything in their power to respect the cultural sensitivity of our community, the elderly and infirm which is a rare commodity in today’s medical climate. Because of that, he felt that Dr. Hirshaut’s relationship with Maimonides is “a match made in heaven.”
Upon being introduced, Dr. Yashar Hirshhaut, began his message with encouragement and hope. He spoke about the research he participated in to find a cure for cancer when he began as a medical student and the massive strides that have been made since. He spoke about the tremendous impact immunotherapy has made in extending the lives of cancer patients. Electrifying the room with his strong message , Dr. Hirshaut shared numerous facts and true stories of patients who were saved by continued treatment even when medical staff of major hospitals had given up on them. He explained how today’s treatment options are based on monetary reimbursements, rather than on giving a patient a chance for prolonged lifespan. Because of this, medical staff is quick to give up on a patient, rather than present them with the more treatment options, that do actually exist. Reaching out to second and even third opinions, by private physicians, renowned for aggressive care, can often be the difference between life and death.
A productive Q&A session further emphasized the message of hope, with Dr. Hirshaut sharing additional facts on advances in cancer treatment and their ramifications for the Halacha-observant Jewish community.
The entire event was coordinated by Chayim Aruchim’s tireless patient coordinator, Mrs. Leah Horowitz, Rabbi Berish Fried Chayim Aruchim NYS Project Director in conjunction with Boro Park Center’s David Greenberg, Nachman Feig and Chaim Brull.