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Hillel Yaffe Medical Center During COVID-19 - 3D virtual exhibition by Hadera-Eiron Southeast US Consortium and the Czech Republic

Hillel Yaffe Medical Center During COVID-19

My name is Rafi Koren, I'm 50 years old and am Deputy Administrative Director of Hillel Yaffe Medical Center. In my spare time, I'm a photography instructor. The Coronavirus crisis caught my hospital in the midst of a tremendous period of growth and development including the inauguration of a modern, neonatal intensive care unit, an catheterizations unit, neurological department and general intensive care unit. Our emergency ward also underwent a significant facelift. That's when we were hit by a microscopic virus—COVID-19—that brought with it unprecedented challenges for the country and for our hospital.
On January 30 of this year our Coronavirus 'war room' convened for the first time, bringing together logistical, medical and other professionals relevant for fighting the spread of the virus and its impact. Over the course of the following weeks we found ourselves drawn into major challenges brought on by the Coronavirus, as we sought creative solutions within a short timeframe in a collaborative effort that was truly impressive.
As a photographer accustomed to taking pictures of world cultures and landscapes, I understood that I was being given the chance to capture images of goings-on behind the scenes and document a piece of history. I was able to shine a spotlight on those workers who aren't always visible at the frontlines—laboratory technicians, the staff of the Infection Prevention Unit, technicians, janitors, stretcher bearers, storeroom personnel, cleaners, and more.
My familiarity with the behind the scenes activity at the hospital allowed me to document real-life scenes and especially memorable moments. These include the opening Zoom conference of our 'war room', the first Coronavirus patient to be hospitalized, the moment we were notified of the first patient being removed from the ventilator, a flyover by the Israeli air force in salute to medical staffs around the country (which had us cheering from the hospital rooftop), a baby born during the outbreak with his doting parents and midwife looking on while wearing protective gear, one-of-a-kind remembrance ceremonies, and the hospital director delivering greetings to medical personnel on the occasion of Ramadan—naturally, observing social distancing.
I'm proud to be part of the staff of Hillel Yaffe Medical Center and am happy to have had the opportunity to documented these historic moments.

Rafi Koren – photog-rafi.com

Hillel Yaffe Medical Center - http://hy.health.gov.il/eng/

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