What it Means to Be the Head of the Medical Office of Operation Good Neighbor

March 22, 2018
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Syrian children in an Israeli hospital are coloring and playing games.

Thursday, 22 March 2018 | “Out of my entire army service, this position is the most special one that I’ve had. What I do breaks all the rules of the game, all the stereotypes of an army,” explained Maj. Sergey.

Major Sergey has been the head of the medical office of the Good Neighbor Directorate since May 2016. He and his office manage and operate the Mazor Ladach field hospital, but he doesn’t physically work there. In fact, he helps sick and wounded Syrians in various hospitals all around northern Israel. Where he’s needed, he goes. And he has shed some light on what it’s like to be in the thick of the operation as a doctor and leader.

The first step Maj. Sergey and the medical office must take is to try and wrap their heads around the severity of a situation in order to understand the needs of the Syrians in need. From there, through decision-making and action, they find solutions to each challenge.

“A big chunk of the work is the communication that it takes to understand the situation-at-hand and coordinate correctly. We’re continuously working with medical officials and humanitarian aid organizations,” said Maj. Sergey.

Currently, there’s no way for Syrians to receive proper medical care, so Maj. Sergey and his medical team of the Operation Good Neighbor Directorate must make all the crucial decisions. This takes a lot of communicating between army personnel and humanitarian organizations that help equip both members of the directorate and humanitarian aid workers with a sufficient toolbox to successfully take care of wounded Syrians.

No matter what, or how difficult the challenge is, there’s still glimpses of hope and joy that are revealed to Maj. Sergey from time to time.

“When I see a group of children that go into a hospital visit scared at first, but finish their visit with a successful operation, and I see the children playing games, smiling, painting, and talking, I can see they’ve become real children again,” he explained.

“This is the highest, most incredible moral action that we could take, and I’m moved and amazed to be a part of it.”

Posted on March 22, 2018

Source: (Israel Defense Forces originally published this article on 11 March 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces