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Jewish Journal

The Circuit

by Michael Aushenker

May 31, 2001 | 8:00 pm

Welcome to a very special edition of The Circuit...

For those who believe that our medical professionals go about their daily business as unsung heroes -- consider them sung! This week's Circuit focuses on the movers-and-shakers in Los Angeles' Jewish health care community, promoting good will, good health and advances in medical science for all. So, to quote Olivia Newton-John, "Let's get physical!"

Some Enchanted Evening

More than 150 friends, colleagues, patients and family members gathered at a private reception in the home of Drs. Susan and Howard Mandel to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Dr. Saar Porrath, an oncologist who pioneered the development of noninvasive needle biopsies for the breast and other organs. Porrath opened the first breast diagnostic center in Los Angeles in 1975, and by 1983 he had founded the Woman's Breast Center, an independent multimodality diagnostic breast center that became a model for others in the medical industry.

Before he died of plasma cell leukemia in 1999, Porrath and his wife, Dr. Toni Bernay, founded the nonprofit Porrath Foundation for Patient Advocacy (PFPA) to provide programs where cancer patients and their caregivers can access professional advocates.

Emmy Award-winning TV writer/producer Bernie West ("All in the Family," ) emceed the tribute, while Mallory Lewis and celebrity sock puppet Lamb Chop provided entertainment, as did musician Bill Burnett. Also attending was actor Christopher Lloyd, best known as Rev. Jim Ignatowski on "Taxi." the evening raised more than $100,000 toward the PFPA's Cancer Patient Advocate Training Program.

Keeping Hope Alive

Gil Schwartzberg, president and CEO of City of Hope, has announced two new appointments: Steve Solton is the new president and CEO of City of Hope Development Group, while Alan S. Levey will join as the Development Group's executive vice president.

Chair Leader

Dr. Behrooz Sharifi has been named holder of the Dorothy and E. Phillip Lyon Chair in Molecular Cardiology. In 1989, Sharifi joined the newly formed vascular biology program in Cedars-Sinai's Cardiology Division.

Totally Committed

Cedars-Sinai Research for Women's Cancers, a fundraising group of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, has made a $9-million commitment to create an endowment fund focusing on research in gynecologic and breast cancers. The announcement was made by Cedars-Sinai's President and CEO Thomas Priselac. Women's Cancers was founded in 1995 by Executive Chairs Anne Douglas, Marion Laurie, Sandra Krause, Renette Ezralow and Margie Petersen.

Meanwhile, the Women's Guild of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center recently connected the New Jersey-based Foundation for Diabetes Research with Cedars-Sinai's diabetes department. As a result, the Foundation for Diabetes Research will donate $200,000 toward Cedars-Sinai's diabetes research.

Teen Crush

In conjunction with its 20th anniversary celebration, Cedars-Sinai's Teen Line department honored longtime "Loveline" co-host "Dr. Drew" Pinsky with its annual Teen Line Humanitarian Award. The luncheon also showcased three new public service announcements that will hit California stations to reach out to troubled teens.

Fashion Plates

The United Hostesses' Charities (UHC) 59th Annual Membership Luncheon was a vintage fashion show presented by Rita Watnick and Lily et Cie at the Regent Beverly Wilshire.

UHC has raised more than $10 million in support of the department of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai since its formation and also supports Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center.

Official Dedication

Israel Humanitarian Foundation (IHF) tells us that the IHF Geriatric Center at Moshav Ahiezer was dedicated on May 2 as a centerpiece of its 2001 Paris-Israel Mission. Senior officials of the Israeli government at the dedication included Deputy Prime Minister of Israel and Interior Minister Eli Yishai; Minister of Health Nissim Dahan; and Minister of Labor and Welfare Shlomo Benizri.

Prized Profession

American Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev reports that the university's Dr. Tuvia Friling was awarded the Prime Minister's Prize (which commemorates the memory of the late Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion) for his work directing the university's Ben-Gurion Research Center, which provides a diversity of curriculums and consultation. American Associates also informed The Circuit that Ben-Gurion University will become the site for Israel's second school of pharmacy, opening in the fall of 2001.

Go With the Flaw

Rabbi Mark Borovitz, spiritual leader of Beit T'Shuvah, spoke about "Judaism's Response to Human Imperfections" at a meeting of University of Judaism's University Women. Borovitz and Beit T'Shuvah's downtown facility are dedicated to helping Jews and non-Jews alike recover from addiction and restart their lives.

Fund at the Races

Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) will host an evening of cancer awareness with La Jolla Institute immunology expert Dr. Douglas Green on June 4 at Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel in Westwood. On June 10, ICRF will hold its Day at the Races Event at Hollywood Park, where Blanche and Jack Howard will be honored for their philanthropic efforts. ICRF's Day at the Races will be chaired by Cathy and Lou Rosenmayer and will be funded by the ICRF Patty Franklin Fellowship for breast cancer research, established by the Leo Bromberg family. For more information on both events, call the ICRF Los Angeles chapter at (323) 651-1200.

Good For Your Health

Temple Israel of Hollywood invites the community to come celebrate its 75th anniversary on June 1 and 2. For more information, call (323) 876-8330.

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