South Florida First Responders Better Prepared for Future Disasters Thanks to Historic Partnership with FAU and Sheba Medical Center

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Fire, medical and rescue crews across South Florida are now better trained for the next wide-scale emergency, due to a historic collaboration between Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer, the most comprehensive and largest hospital in the Middle East, and Florida Atlantic University’s International Center for Emergency Management. A weeklong intensive training program, led by Sheba’s medical experts, taught first responders how to save the most lives during natural disasters and mass casualty incidents.

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Historic Partnership between Florida Atlantic University and Sheba Medical Center

"What FAU benefits from is a partnership with not just any major international hospital, but with the most renowned in the Middle East - Sheba Medical Center - whose experts impart wisdom from a lifetime of disaster response and humanitarian missions across the globe."

South Florida’s first responders now have better skills and training to handle and recover from large-scale emergencies. World-renowned doctors from Israel’s Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer recently taught a weeklong training course at Florida Atlantic University’s International Center for Emergency Management, during which emergency response students learned the best ways to quickly respond and effectively manage disasters.

The participants in the training reviewed after-action reports from the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting and 2017 hurricane season, visited the Palm Beach Emergency Operations Center and took part in interactive drills, focusing on the best ways to handle a variety of emergency scenarios.

FAU is now one of the few universities in the world to partner with an international hospital to develop emergency management training programs that are informed with a global perspective and world-respected expertise.

Leading the intensive course was Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, M.D., former Surgeon General of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Director General of Sheba Medical Center; Prof. Elhanan Bar-On, Director of the Israel Center for Disaster Medicine and Humanitarian Response at Sheba Medical Center; Prof. Kobi Peleg, Director of The National Center for Trauma & Emergency Medicine Research in The Gertner Institute for Health Policy & Epidemiology; Dr. Yoram Klein, Director of Trauma and Acute Surgery at Sheba Medical Center and Dr. Ross Gross, a Senior psychiatrist and PTSD specialist at Sheba. All are renowned experts who have traveled the world administering much-needed care in a wide range of disaster scenarios.

“It was such an incredible opportunity to work with FAU,” said Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, Director General of Sheba Medical Center. “Sheba and FAU share the same vision when it comes to reaching out to the community and the world during catastrophic events. This training program was an inspiring collaboration and we look forward to working together again.”

“What FAU benefits from is a partnership with not just any major international hospital, but with the most renowned in the Middle East, whose experts impart wisdom from a lifetime of disaster response and humanitarian missions across the globe. All the experts from Sheba who led this training were exceptional in their experience and their teaching methods,” said Rebekah Dickinson, Chief Program Officer at FAU.

FAU plans to offer an enhanced version of this training with Sheba next year.

For more information about the ICEM – academics, research, our leadership, events, and to register for training programs, please visit

About Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer
Born together with Israel in 1948, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer is the largest and most comprehensive medical center in the Middle East. Sheba is the only medical center in Israel that combines an acute care hospital and a rehabilitation hospital on one campus, and it is at the forefront of medical treatments, patient care, research and education. As a university teaching hospital affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel-Aviv University, it welcomes people from all over the world indiscriminately. To learn more, visit:

About Florida Atlantic University
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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