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The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust  

Sandor Frankel, a Trustee of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust in New York City, talks about Helmsley’s decision to support Assuta Ashdod Hospital from the early days of its construction: 

“A priority of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Israel Program is to improve access to quality healthcare throughout Israel, particularly in the northern and southern regions.  Supporting the new Assuta hospital in Ashdod – which had been the only one of Israel’s ten largest cities without a hospital – presented a significant way to help the people of Ashdod, while furthering Helmsley’s mission. 

Since 2016, Helmsley has made three grants, totaling $13,156,850, to enable Assuta Ashdod to equip ten new operating rooms with state-of-the-art equipment.  Today, over 14,000 surgeries are performed in these facilities each year, eliminating the need for the growing population of Ashdod and neighboring communities to travel to other parts of the country for treatment. An additional benefit is a significant reduction in the waiting times for elective surgeries. 

Helmsley has also helped Assuta Ashdod purchase two linear accelerators and related equipment for the hospital’s new radiotherapy center.  These sophisticated machines will treat 500 patients each year, and provide alternative treatments for various forms of cancer, eliminating the need for invasive surgeries.

Helping to improve access to quality healthcare is not all that Helmsley does in Israel.  We also support scientific and medical research at all of Israel’s universities, and make grants that will help influential audiences outside of Israel better appreciate the contributions Israel makes to the world and the challenges it faces in the Middle East. 

Since the Helmsley Charitable Trust became active in 2010, it has committed more than $360 million to healthcare, educational, and other institutions in Israel.  Over $160 million of Helmsley's contribution has been directed to expanding access to quality healthcare. 

The need for more and better medical facilities in Israel was painfully obvious  before COVID-19 appeared.  In the best of times, Israel’s healthcare system operates at close to maximum capacity.  We know how overwhelmed the medical staff are at all Israeli hospitals right now, and we thank all the staff of Assuta Ashdod for their tremendous efforts and dedication in combating the pandemic.