SPHERE: Annual Visit of Russell Berrie Foundation Trustees


A year after the festive launch of The Russell Berrie Galilee Diabetes SPHERE, trustees of The Russell Berrie Foundation, led by the Foundation's president Mrs. Angelica Berrie, visited Israel. On November 15, 2022 they joined the SPHERE team for a day of learning in the city of Shefaraam, one of SPHERE's five pilot cities. The day focused on learning about the implementation of the SPHERE project and the joint work with the local authorities.

Mr. Orsan Yasen, mayor of Shefaraam, and Mr. Omar Al Malak, the Municipality's CEO, welcomed those present and noted the importance of improving the health of the residents and reducing the rate of diabetes in the city. 

Dr. Sharon Goldman, V.P. Resource Development at Bar-Ilan University, emphasized the significant partnerships forged in the field. She noted that SPHERE faithfully represents the vision of Bar-Ilan University to bring research to the field and lead a significant change for the well-being of the community.

Prof. Chaim Putterman, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, emphasized that reducing the gaps in health among the residents of the North was one of the main motives that led to the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine in Safed by Bar-Ilan University and added that SPHERE's work is a clear expression of this concept. He added his hope that "Mishfaram [lit. from Shefaraam, whose name is related to the word Shofar] - will hear the sound of success throughout the Galilee."

Prof. Naim Shehadeh, director of SPHERE, reviewed the alarming data on diabetes in the Galilee and said that "the SPHERE model is a unique model that combines academia, community, health insurance funds, hospitals, local authorities and the private sector. Everyone works together in a true partnership for two main goals: Reducing the disparity in diabetes between the population of the Galilee and the general population and developing new models for the treatment of diabetes adapted for implementation in the periphery."

Dr. Sivan Spitzer, Deputy Director of SPHERE, emphasized the importance of the connection between a person's health outcomes and their place of residence. Based on the unique model she developed, Dr. Spitzer reviewed, before the trustees of The Russell Berrie Foundation, the paradigm shift that SPHERE is leading to assimilating health as part of its activities daily life of the local authority.

After the morning meeting, the participants went on a tour of Shefaraam, in order to see and understand the connection between the structural characteristics of the city and the health of the residents. During the tour, the members of the delegation met the local partners. They spoke with Dr. Rami Abu Rumhin, Director of the Clalit Clinic; Dr. Khaled Mahajna, Director of the Maccabi Clinic; and nurse Ms. Nijmi Abbas about the current challenges in dealing with and treating diabetes in the city. The members of the delegation also met Mr. Hany Jarjoura, the director of the unit for economic development in the municipality, and Ms. Sara Hosary, coordinator of the SPHERE BaRaK (health, authority, community) in the municipality.

Ms. Angelica Berrie concluded the visit with optimism, "It is exciting to see how much the processes are beginning to change in the field and we are looking forward to next year's visit."

Last Updated Date : 27/11/2022