Desert in Bloom Virtual Gala


American Friends of Soroka Medical Center​ ​(AFSMC) will host the Desert in Bloom Virtual Gala on October 18 at 12 pm ET. Their 8t​h​ annual gala will feature a unique musical and philanthropic experience with more than 500 guests expected to participate. The event will celebrate Soroka Medical Center’s successes in fostering scientific and medical innovation in the service of saving lives, positioning Soroka as a leader amongst Israeli hospitals and worldwide. The program weaves together Broadway talent produced by Oscar, Grammy, Tony, and Golden Globe Award-winning songwriter ​Benj Pasek.​ The Gala will raise funds to support Clinical Research at Soroka. From bench to bedside, clinical research at Soroka Medical Center saves lives in Israel and around the world.

Soroka is affiliated with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and is the primary teaching hospital for all programs in BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences. The physical and organizational connections between Soroka and BGU foster fruitful scientific cooperation among researchers at both institutions, and there are myriad collaborations in fields ranging from biology and medical sciences to behavioral sciences and engineering. These close connections facilitate the seamless development of research programs that cover the bench-to-bedside continuum, increasing our understanding of important disease processes and translating basic scientific findings into innovative therapeutic interventions. “Clinical Research is crucial for us at Soroka” states ​Dr. Shlomi Codish​, Director General of Soroka Medical Center, “Groundbreaking research in Genetics, Autism, Geriatric Issues, Environmental Health, and Digital Health have led to innovative treatments and medications for patients with advanced diseases.”

Dr. Michael Hayden

The Desert in Bloom Virtual Gala​ ​will honor two important innovators. ​Dr. Michael Hayden​ will receive the David Dubinsky Humanitarian Award. The Killam Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia, Hayden is best known for his research in Huntington disease. He was the former CMO of TEVA Pharmaceuticals and is currently Program Director of the Translational Laboratory in Genetic Medicine, Singapore. Dr Michael Hayden is a champion of using the arts to educate and communicate with the public about complex scientific breakthroughs.

Marc Bennett​

Marc Bennett​, who has spent his life creating powerful images and stories in print and on film, will be receiving Soroka’s Healing Arts Award. “I am committed to art and film as visual languages that can entertain, inspire, educate and enlighten” remarks Marc Bennett, “as well as be vehicles for positive change and philanthropy worldwide.” Bennett’s ​The History of the Star of David​ is a time capsule that invites us to discover the centuries-long evolution of the six-pointed star. ​The History of the Star of David​ will soon become the focal point for Soroka’s new Comprehensive Cancer Center’s healing garden. It evokes a sense of survival and determination, as well as a celebration of Jewish culture, tradition and faith.

As part of our Desert in Bloom Virtual Gala festivities, AFSMC will present both live and silent auctions featuring a VIP trip to Israel, Explore Aspen Experience, a retreat to the exclusive Jumby Bay resort in Antigua, Kistler wine, fine jewelry and much more. Speakers will also highlight other funding opportunities tied to innovations currently underway at Soroka.

With the help of its generous supporters, Clinical Research at Soroka is set to become the most advanced research center championing global and innovative health.

For more information, visit Soroka.org/Gala​ to purchase tickets Soroka.org/Desert_in_Bloom​ to view auction items.

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