Addressing the Heart Saver Award Gala 2018, The Founder and President of Save A Heart Foundation Yzhar Charuzi, MD:
Good evening to all.
SAHF started over 35 years ago at CSMC There were Japanese, Chinese and American fellows but few years later the foundation concentrated on Israeli research fellow. There was ample proof that the Israeli fellows were talented, conscientious and very productive in research. We had limited funding but managed over the years.
We used to have large fundraising events primarily due to the energy and devotion of then the chairman of the board the late Marty Shapiro. 2 of SAHF honorees are here tonight: Dr Dan Berman and Dr Robert Siegel, both notable mentors of a large numbers of the research fellows.
Just to give you an idea, more than 40 research fellows finished their training through the foundation, many of them are in leadership position in Israeli cardiology.
About 12 years ago the foundation went to a lull but was able to support fellow through individual donation from around the world.
The foundation kept a momentum by holding a weekly opera club which is still very much alive and active.
About 4 yrs ago Dr U Elkayam offered an opportunity to train a research fellow at USC.
Ofer Havakuk spent 2 years and returned to Israel to establish a unit of circulatory assist support at Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv. He was replaced by Gahsssan Moadi whom you will meet later.
Three years ago we restarted the fund raising Gala with Dr Elkayam being the honoree.
And here is how Dr Lepor entered the picture. I have known him since the days of his residency and continued to maintain a close professional contact over the years. He has been on the board of directors of the foundation. His political interests led him into a leading position at the 3500 members strong CAACCc. Having a strong sympathy to Israel and being impressed with the quality of Israeli research fellows he came up with a new concept which will adopt the mission of sahf but expend it beyond CSMC and USC also to other prime medical centers in the state of California.
He also thought that in reciprocity California cardiologists will go to Israel to benefit from the impressive technological development there.
When we started to plan this third fundraise in 3 years we thought that it will be just right to have the dreamer himself, Dr Norman Lepor to be our honoree. His first reaction was : “ who is going to come? The answer is here with an oversubscribed glorious event. He started as doing it as a personal favor to me but then realized who the benefactors are and hopefully changed his tone.
Let me pause and say thanks to those who make it possible: the 3rd time in a row chairman of the event the powerhouse Sarit Finkelstein Boim and to the very gracious hosts second time in three years, Dina and jerry Agam.
Money raised through this event and future events will be directed to the CAACC to serve as seed money for implementation of the:”Lepor dream”
SAHF will remain as the engine which will allow the project to grow and flourish.
I wish all of you an enjoyable and gratifying evening. Your continuous support will serve a very good cause.
Hurray to our honoree Dr Norman Lepor and to all of the supporters here and everywhere.
Thanks for the opportunity.