AFULA, Israel –Betsy Winnick Melamed, a fourth-generation Connecticut native, has joined the leadership team at Emek Medical Center (EMC) as part of its drive to become the premier care facility in northeast Israel, EMC announced.
Winnick Melamed, who grew up in West Haven and immigrated to northern Israel more than 20 years ago after graduating from UCONN, will serve as Chief Development Officer at a critical time in the history of the medical center, which serves more than 700,000 residents in northern Israel.
“We look forward to Betsy advancing our institutional fundraising efforts as we transition from a regional hospital to a tertiary care center, serving one of Israel’s fastest growing regions, said CEO Dr. Ziv Rosenbaum. Winnick Melamed will help implement a masterplan which includes upgrading EMC with a new state-of-the art cancer treatment and research center, a doubling of the number of ICU beds, 10 new state-of-the-art operating rooms, and construction of an urgent care and an integrated psychiatry mental health-care building.
EMC, the largest employer in the region, is part of the Clalit HMO and is a teaching hospital for the Technion Medical School. It is located in Afula, the sister city of the Jewish Federation’s Southern New England Consortium (SNEC).
“Coming from New England which has some of the best healthcare institutions and medical school hospitals in the world, I am inspired by those institutions and excited by the idea of helping to build excellent healthcare in an a peripheral region with a highly diverse and growing population.” said Melamed. “I believe philanthropists and foundations in Israel and abroad will want to play a key role in that vision”.
Northeastern Israel has seen a rise in population as new highways and train links make it a feasible commute to the center of Israel for those seeking to live in less congested, less expensive parts of the country, a trend intensifying as more people work remotely. The catchment area is expected to grow to 1 million residents, a growth of 43 percent during the next 5 years.
The changing demographics have made it imperative to provide more robust healthcare services in a region where for years, residents traveled long distances to other parts of the country for treatment.
“We are committed to assuring that residents in northeast Israel will have more options for treatment with advanced and comprehensive technology and medicine close to home right here in Afula – and with the patient-centered, family-style care for which EMC is known,” said Rosenbaum, who took over the helm at EMC two years ago.