This past Sunday, July 23, 2017 Bikur Cholim of Baltimore partnered with Sinai Hospital, Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative, Baltimore Jewish Council, and CHAI to host a free community event entitled “Caring for Elderly Loved Ones and Yourself.” Held at the Edward A. Myerberg Center in Baltimore and endorsed by local Rabbonim, the event hosted over one hundred caregivers looking for help and advice to this ever-growing challenge.
Rabbi Pinchos Rabinowitz, executive director of Bikur Cholim served as the master of ceremonies. In his opening remarks Rabbi Rabinowitz spoke about the importance of gathering and learning from professionals and each other. He explained to the audience the present role of Bikur Cholim. Bikur Cholim serves the needs of people facing illness in the Jewish community, providing ancillary services to hospitalized and homebound patients and their families.
Rabbi Menachem Goldberger, the rav of Tiferes Yisroel, continued and spoke about the halachos, Jewish Laws, involved in caring for the sick and elderly. Rabbi Goldberger mentioned how Bikur Cholim of Baltimore emulates the ways of Hashem (G-d) in the manner of care that they provide for the community-both patients and caregivers.
Community members then split into different workshops that were given by social workers and lawyers: “Signs of Decline: What should I look out for?” was presented by Ms. Janet Kurland, senior care specialist at Jewish Community Services; “How do I navigate the healthcare system?” was presented by Ms. Penny Graff from Ferretto Eldercare Consulting; “How do I help while Juggling Everything?”; and “Legal Considerations: What do I File and Where do I Sign?” co-presented by Ms. Jayme Levy from Jayme Levy Law and Ms. Natalie Grossman Director of Senior Legal Services.
Mr. Lane Levine, project manager, Population Health at Lifebridge Health spoke about the strengthened partnership between Bikur Cholim of Baltimore and the Lifebridge institutions which are working closely together with Sinai Hospital in an effort to obtain continuous feedback from the community in an effort to address patient needs.
Ms. Stephanie Klapper, deputy director of community outreach at the MFHN explained how The Maryland Faith Health Network is partnering with volunteers from Bikur Cholim of Baltimore who will work with each community member and LifeBridge Health System to help community members stay healthy after a person leaves the hospital. This free pilot program will help Bikur Cholim to quickly ascertain who of our community members are hospitalized and in need of services.
Community members expressed their gratitude to all involved in this event and appreciated the topics and much need information provided. The Maryland Faith Health Network, Bikur Cholim of Baltimore, Sinai Hospital, Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative, Baltimore Jewish Council, and CHAI plan to sponsor more educational events throughout the year.
To learn more about Bikur Cholim of Baltmore and The Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative log on to www.baltimorebikurcholim.org.