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Israel, U.S. kickoff strategic collaboration in the field of health

First meeting held in Washington, Tel Aviv and broadcast online

From right: Stephanie Hallett, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel; Osnat Luxenburg, Director of Medical Technology, Innovation, Health Information and Research for Israel’s Health Ministry; Oded Rose, CEO of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce; and Mr. Timothy Buckley, the First Secretary for Environment, Science, Technology and Health issues in the US Embassy to Israel. (Photo: Royat Turkia/Courtesy)

The first meeting to launch the strategic plan for cooperation between the United States and Israel in the health field took place last week, with senior health, industry, academic and government officials participating from both sides of the ocean.

"The cooperation between the Israeli Health Ministry and its American counterpart is an important pillar for both countries dealing with global and local health challenges,” said Dr. Osnat Luxenburg, director of medical technology, innovation, health information and research for Israel’s Health Ministry. “The medical technologies developed in Israel and the Israeli health system are a magnet for research and development and international investments, and we see cooperation in this field as a move that will contribute to the advancement of research and medicine in Israel as well as the ability to provide optimal medicine to the citizens of Israel."

The meeting was moderated by Oded Rose, CEO of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce, and was held simultaneously in both Washington and Tel Aviv while streamed online. Dawn O'Connell, assistant secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Asher Salmon, head of the Department of International Relations, were among the leaders who spoke. 

The Health Ministry’s director of Digital Health, Esti Shelly, hosted a special panel on innovation and ecosystem connectivity in the health system in Israel. Health data, protecting health systems against cyber-attacks and preparing those systems for times of emergency were other topics discussed. 

The intergovernmental cooperation agreement was started with funding from the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services. The aim is to strengthen cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli health systems, promoting strategic thinking and, ultimately, solutions in various fields of medicine. 

"Extensive strategic cooperation in the field of health is the order of the hour, certainly in the face of common cyber threats and global pandemics, and we are moving from cooperation on a tactical level to the strategic level,” Rose said. 

Maayan Hoffman is a veteran American-Israeli journalist and strategic communications consultant. She is the former news editor, head of strategy and senior health analyst for the Jerusalem Post, where she launched the outlet's Health & Wellness, Business & Innovation and Christian World portals.

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