JHF Board Convenes for August 2021

Dr. José-Alain Sahel presented on digital twin technology and advances in ophthalmology care and research.

On August 30, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation Board of Trustees convened. JHF Board Chair Debra L. Caplan, MPA, called the meeting to order and JHF President and CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein introduced new staff members Emily Franke, LSW, MSW, Lisa George, MPH, CHES, Bridget Jordan, and Maureen Saxon-Gioia, MSHSA, BSN, RN.

Mike Ginsberg, JD, Carole Bailey, CPA, and Geoff Gerber, JD, gave reports from the Finance & Audit Committee and the Investment Committee. Caplan and Jim Rogal gave additional reports from the Distribution Committee and the Communications Committee, respectively.

Special guest speaker José-Alain Sahel, MD, distinguished professor and chairman of the department of ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, exceptional class professor at Sorbonne Université of Paris, and the endowed chair of the Eye and Ear Foundation, gave a presentation on digital twin technology and advances in research and care for ophthalmology.

A novel approach in health, digital twin technology can be used to inform diagnoses and prescription and treatment decision-making for better, safer care, Dr. Sahel said. The patient-centered "digital twin" technology creates a model of an individual patient that can simulate diagnostics and outcomes of various therapies, to provide individualized treatment and safety monitoring. This is possible due to innovative imaging technology, combined with an artificial intelligence model, which can analyze and predict an outcome for the patient. This can inform decisions of both the clinician and the patient and contribute to a data pool that benefits each subsequent patient who would use the technology. Dr. Sahel's team were the first in the U.S. to use this approach and are starting to treat patients in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Sahel emphasized the importance of focusing on vision and health, noting that the proportion of vision-related conditions is rising globally over time with an aging population. He shared that the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC have made ophthalmology a top priority, investing in a new state of the art facility and model of care. The UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Hospital, currently being constructed next to UPMC Mercy, will take a humanistic approach to caring for people and will be a cornerstone for an integrated multidisciplinary research approach to address visual system disorders, supporting both clinical and research advances.

Feinstein and JHF staff then gave a special presentation of the latest ROOTS publication, An Unconventional Bloom: The Jewish Healthcare Foundation Confronts a Pandemic.

Feinstein then gave the President's Report, and operational updates and announcements.

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