Changing the Face of Health Care in Israel

August 18, 2015

Judy Beal Israel

Nursing@Simmons and Meuhedet partner to educate family nurse practitioners

This summer, Judy Beal, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel with Phil Chong, director of Simmons Online, and Dr. Evelyn Lipper ’67, ’00HD. A visionary $3 million gift from Dr. Lipper is allowing Simmons to educate 20 Israeli nurses in the online Nursing@Simmons family nurse practitioner program

Dean Beal kept a travelogue documenting her trip; excerpts are featured below.


Day one: Phil, Evelyn, and I joined Dr. Rinat Cohen for dinner. Dr. Cohen is a pediatrician and director of Primary Care Pediatrics at the Meuhedet Clinics, which is the third largest health firm in Israel with more than 1.2 million patients and 250 clinics throughout the country. During this trip, we will begin collaborating with the Meuhedet family residency directors for the preceptor training program our students will experience in Israel. Advancing these relationships with our partners will be crucial to help us change the face of Israeli health care together. 

Day two: We visited two Meuhedet clinics in the central district of Israel. I recruited students for our program from both clinics!

In the evening, we hosted a ceremony to officially launch the program, which was one of the most moving experiences of my career as a nurse leader. Zeev Wurmbrand, director-general of Meuhedet, said this work is “an important and significant part of a long-term, comprehensive, strategic process aimed at addressing future health care challenges in Israel.” 

He went on to say, “As a doctor and also sometimes a patient, I am the first to acknowledge that empowering nurses is key in facing our future challenges. This program is part of an overarching strategy to diversify the medical staff and redistribute responsibilities and functions so that we can all provide better care for more people over longer periods of time.”  

A major highlight of the celebration for me was when three admitted students thanked Dr. Lipper for making their dreams come true, and for transforming their lives and the lives of Israeli citizens.  

Day three: We visited four Meuhedet clinics and were able to do some sightseeing. I continued my recruitment efforts at each site!

Day four: We went to four clinics in Bnei Brak, one of the poorest and most densely populated cities in Israel. At the end of the day, we heard presentations by the directors of the family residency program at Meuhedet, and we began planning the preceptor process for our students. 

This trip has been an incredible celebration of the start of a great partnership! Meuhedet and Simmons share a vision for an improved health care delivery system through the advancement of nursing, and they are a committed partner who will not only precept our students, but will hire each graduate in the advanced practice role while we seek approvals from the Israeli Departments of Education and Health. 

We will make a difference in Israel – together.