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Heartland Story: Protecting Unborn Babies

It was a moving ceremony! Cutting the ribbon were Yossi Dagan, Mayor of the Samaria Regional Municipality, and Sondra Oster Baras, CFOIC Heartland director, flanked by the dedicated staff of the Samaria Urgent Care and Regional Medical Center. Between them stood a brand new, state-of-the-art ultrasound machine. It was the realization of a dream come true, but it only happened thanks to you – our generous CFOIC Heartland donors.

Living in an isolated and remote location should not be a barrier to accessing quality health care. While basic medical services are available in Judea and Samaria, specialized services, including critical prenatal care and highly specialized ultrasound scans, are not readily available. And thankfully, there are many pregnancies and births each year in the region. Add to that, the need for a local urgent care center, which enables
minor emergencies to be handled locally — a trip to the closest hospital, can take over an hour by private car and over two hours by bus, each way!

The dream seemed out of reach – creating a local urgent care center and specialized medical clinic in the heart of Samaria! And the need seemed to be greatest for pre-natal care. The arduous journey for specialized ultra-sounds, usually performed at least twice during a normal pregnancy and more often for high-risk pregnancies and fertility treatments, takes its toll – patients would need to take a day off from work to travel
to the ultrasound appointment, making arrangements for their other children during their long absence from home. Fatigue and nausea make it all more difficult. But a four-hour commute on a bus on single-lane, winding roads, often targeted by hostile local Arabs throwing rocks or Molotov Cocktails, carjacking, or worse, is too difficult to manage. Sadly, many local women would choose to skip critical medical care altogether because of these hardships.

The Samaria Urgent Care and Regional Medical Center was established to meet the medical needs of its growing population. But there was one piece missing. They needed sophisticated equipment and an obstetrician specializing in reproductive health.

Enter Dr. Hila Hochler! She is a leading women’s health specialist, working at a prestigious Jerusalem hospital with a thriving private practice near Jerusalem. When Ravit Zagir, manager of the Samaria Medical Center approached Dr. Hochler, she prepared herself for rejection. But having treated numerous women from Samaria in her clinic over the years, Dr. Hochler was familiar with their plight. A strong Zionist herself, Dr. Hochler is deeply committed to the return of Jewish pioneers to their Land, in fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy. “Providing highquality medical care for pregnant women would be a tremendous step forward in
enriching the quality of life in Samaria and attracting many more families to settle there,” explained Dr. Hochler. She agreed to join the clinic in Samaria, but on one condition: the clinic would have to purchase a Level-2 Ultrasound Machine. At the end of last year, after having exhausted numerous other financial sources, the Samaria Regional Municipality turned to CFOIC Heartland for help with this expensive piece of medical equipment. And you – our generous donors – gave generously! Whether you donated in honor of Mother’s Day in the United States or wanted to ensure the health and safety of the unborn children of these steadfast pioneers, CFOIC Heartland donors singlehandedly made this project a reality.

Since its arrival in July, several women have already received treatment at the new women’s clinic, and more are booked in the coming weeks. Having a detailed scan available locally is especially beneficial to women undergoing fertility treatments, who must undergo three ultrasound scans on consecutive days, early in the morning, followed by blood tests. Additionally, this machine holds great promise for medical care in Samaria. With the purchase of additional accessories in the future, the clinic will be able to expand its medical services and diagnose bone fractures, pneumonia, gall bladder stones, and more. “It has already saved pregnant women time and hardship. It is truly a game changer for all types of medical care in Samaria,” says Ravit Zagir.

Mr. Yossi Dagan, Mayor of the Samaria Regional Municipality, was effusive in his gratitude for CFOIC Heartland’s extensive assistance to Jewish communities in Judea & Samaria in general, and for this project in particular: “Your help today with vital medical equipment will truly save lives. You are real partners with us in Samaria! May God reward you greatly for your contribution.