By Deb Silverthorn
The Dallas Chapter of Hadassah’s annual health education event focuses on the “Diabetes Dilemma” from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, at Congregation Beth Torah. The event is open to the community. Dr. Jaime Davidson, clinical professor of medicine at the Touchstone Diabetes Research Center at UT Southwestern Medical School, and Dr. Itamar Raz, director emeritus of the Hadassah Diabetes Center at Hadassah University Medical Center and director of DMC-Diabetes Medical Center in Tel Aviv, will speak about the disease that touches hundreds of millions.
A key component of Hadassah’s mission statement is to enhance the health and lives of people in Israel, the United States and worldwide through education, advocacy and youth development and its support of medical care and research at Hadassah Medical Organization, explained Marjorie Rosenberg, Dallas Chapter of Hadassah president.
“Diabetes has reached epic numbers and the statistics continue to soar. It is our mission locally, to educate and advocate to our community whatever we can about this life-altering disease, To that end, we bring in experts who are local and from Israel to share their expertise,” said Rosenberg.
With more than 422 million people in the world diagnosed with diabetes, types 1 and 2, advancements of education, research and treatment is critical. According to Hadassah University Medical Center, as a result of changing lifestyles and increasing life span, the incidence of diabetes is increasing, approaching epidemic proportions. In the older population, the prevalence of diabetes ranges between 10% and 20%.
“Diabetes, type 2, is indeed becoming more prevalent and we don’t want people to ‘worry’ about it; we want people to ‘do’ something about it. Educate yourself, eat right, exercise and really pay attention,” said Davidson. “With diabetes can come cardiovascular concerns, retinal issues and so much more. It’s a very complicated disease and it’s so much better to keep life simple — simple and healthy.”
Davidson, who wanted to pursue a career in medicine from early childhood, is a master of the American College of Endocrinology, a professor of medicine at Cayetano Heredia University, a fellow of the American College of Physicians and an honorary professor of medicine at the Ibero-American University, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
“We, as a medical community, have, are and will continue doing research to improve the care of patients with diabetes. The last 10 years has seen an explosion of knowledge followed by new medications, glucose meters, devices and more,” said Davidson. He has collaborated with teams at Hadassah on numerous occasions, and lectured there and at many other hospitals in Israel as well as before the Israel Endocrinology Society.
Davidson was born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica. He has been married to his wife Ana, for nearly 53 years, and the couple have sons Maurice, married to Vanesa Schein, and Aaron, who with his wife Michelle Dryjansky has daughters Sasha and Samantha. Davidson and his wife have been members of Tiferet Israel for nearly 50 years. He served on the board of directors of the Aaron Family JCC and was honored with the Bnai Zion Foundation/Texas Region 2014 Distinguished Humanitarian Award.
Davidson has earned many honors and awards within the medical arena. He is a leader of many local and national diabetes-related organizations in research and clinical support; a founding member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists; a member of the American Diabetes Association; an emeritus member of Endocrine Society and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists; and past president of the Worldwide Initiative for Diabetes Education.
“The future of medicine is exciting; it’s why I keep working,” Davidson said.
The Nov. 6 event will also feature a video by Raz, who has spent more than 40 years working at Hadassah. He is responsible for leading several large international outcome diabetes studies involving the heart and kidneys in patients with diabetes.
“Hadassah has always been at the forefront of not only treating the patient but of always learning more and bringing new data, new devices and new treatment. We have developed many achievements, large studies worldwide including research on the diabetic kidney and heart,” said Raz.
In addition to the medical presenters, author Randy Grigsby, whose book “The Labyrinth of Darkness and Light: — The Story of Henrietta Szold” was published this month, will introduce his book and sign and sell copies, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Hadassah.
The event will feature a lunch of kosher diabetes-friendly dishes created by Lynda Markowitz, CBT past-president and caterer.
“November is National Diabetes Month, the right time to share some of the wealth of information that is out there,” said Jo Reingold, Hadassah Dallas chapter fundraising vice president and event organizer. “We’re honored to share the newest information from the highest-rated doctors — here and at Hadassah.
“The support we give to Hadassah Medical Center helps not just their patients; it helps the world,” said Reingold. “As a strong and ardent Zionist, I’ve been proud to work on behalf of Hadassah for many years. It truly is filled with the power of women who ‘do,’ who act and make things happen and who believe that we each have the power to heal our world, to act and to make an impact.”
To RSVP, please call 214-691-1948 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.