Hadassah’s New PR Approach: Sue Those Who Disagree With Us

from today’s The Jerusalem Post:

Mor-Yosef wants to remain Hadassah head

Hadassah Medical Organization director-general Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef – who was told two months ago by its owners, the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America, that his contract will not be extended beyond December – has officially stated for the first time that he is ready to serve another two years and participate in the opening of the Ein Kerem branch’s monumental hospitalization tower that he has long planned and developed.

In a letter sent on Monday to HWZOA national president Nancy Falchuk and HMO board chairman Yossi Nitzani, Mor-Yosef said he would like to continue in the post and that in the time since the board voted not to renew his contract and he subsequently announced he would leave at the end of 2010, “both you and I have received many reactions from all segments of the Israeli public – including employees from all sectors, leading figures in the health care system, members of Knesset, government ministers, Israeli members of the HMO board, residents of Jerusalem – as well as from friends of Hadassah throughout the world.”

He did not receive a response to his letter.

… On Wednesday, a registered letter from Shemer & Co. Law Offices in Tel Aviv, representing Falchuk and HWZOA, was sent to senior Hadassah anesthesiologist Prof. Yoel Donchin, threatening him with a libel suit a week after the Globes financial newspaper printed a letter he wrote bemoaning the decision not to renew Mor-Yosef’s tenure. Donchin called Mor-Yosef “one of the country’s most talented managers [who] created an outstanding medical culture and led HMO to significant achievements even amidst the global economic crisis.”

Donchin – who is head of the patient safety unit in the Hadassah University Medical Center’s department of anesthesiology and critical care medicine – said in response to the lawyer’s warning that he “looked forward to meeting them in court.”

A spokesman for the union of senior HMO physicians and others who oppose the action against Mor-Yosef said that the threatened lawsuit – “an attempt to frighten us,” was “ridiculous and childish and only strengthens our belief in the justice of our cause.”

The published letter, titled “From Henrietta to Nancy,” referred to HWZOA’s pioneering founder and first president, Henrietta Szold, and to the current national president. In the letter, Donchin described Falchuk as “an energetic and dynamic president who immediately replied to messages on her BlackBerry.”

But her “approach changed” after the rift with Mor-Yosef and the staff began, he said. Donchin went on that “the current president appears to be behaving as if she were the CEO of a profit-making corporation that views its overseas workers as if they were statistical data in need of updating (and perhaps should be used only for fund-raising purposes). Thus, in this view, if the board is displeased with the director-general, despite his success and his clear suitability to run a medical organization in Israel, he must be replaced as if he were the manager of a factory.”

The HWZOA’s lawyer maintained that the Donchin letter was “brutal” and “defamatory,” and demanded a “letter of apology written in a way that will be coordinated” with the lawyer and published as an ad in Globes declaring that the things he had written or hinted at were “false and misleading.”