Volunteering Service and Supplies
Col. Gray Heppner, Jr, MD, MStJ
A Message from Our Hospitaller Regarding Volunteer Service
As Hospitaller of the Priory in the United States of the Most Venerable Order of The Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, I assure you that your continuing generous donations of time and talent directly improve the lives of thousands of patients. With your help, the dedicated medical staff of The St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital safeguards sight, fights blindness and provides hope to the region’s neediest individuals.
Your unrestricted gifts empower the Hospital’s Director, Rod Bull, to effectively apply funds for maximum benefit. Additionally, I encourage you to consider the powerful benefit of directed giving. Donors may directly sponsor a salary for one of the 216 full-time staff members. Whether that staff member is a groundskeeper, cook, nurse or doctor, the “adoption” of a staff member sends a clear message of support, establishes a personal relationship with the Hospital, and provides vitally-needed stability during times of economic uncertainty.
Recruiting Doctors to Serve in Jerusalem
This is a “networking” process. We encourage you to send us names of potential candidates or medical schools that may fit our needs. We are actively seeking ophthalmic surgeons who have finished their “Post Fellowship” training and are now fully licensed to perform eye surgery to serve a six-month or one-year rotation at the Hospital. Recently retired doctors, who make great contributions to the clinics and staff training, are very welcome. All must submit a CV, which is evaluated and sent to The St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital for a final decision.
Over 50 such doctors have done rotations at The St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital over the past decades and all agree that work with the Hospital provided them a career-building opportunity for much more varied ophthalmic surgery than they would have been able to do stateside. These rotations, many of them performed under world-renowned surgeons, usually are a few weeks’ duration and involve surgery and training for St John staff. A comfortable staff apartment is available and spouses are welcome.
Providing Equipment and Medical Supplies
The Hospital maintains a list of current equipment and medical supply needs. We will gladly send you a copy. For decades, major drug companies have been supporting the Hospital with gifts of free prescription medicines, many organized by members of the Priory’s Hospital Committee. Last year, the U.S. contributed a significant new eye surgery machine.
We appreciate the constant flow of offers to accept “used” pieces of hospital equipment. However, these provide issues of training, warranty, parts, ocean transport, and customs valuation. Sadly, we are unable to accept these gifts. Similarly, many churches have in the past generously collected hospital and relief supplies for the Hospital. Unfortunately, due to present customs/import conditions, we are unable at the present to secure entry into Israel for items like this, so we cannot accept these items.
As for now, a financial contribution to the Hospital through The Priory in the U.S. will enable you to make a very significant contribution to the Hospital’s programs. We also welcome suggestions of companies that may be willing to donate new equipment and needed medical supplies.
Adopting a Hospital Staffer
One of the easiest and most productive ways to support St John is to adopt a staff member. Churches, schools and communities all over the world have raised funds to support a doctor, nurse or other staff member of their choice.
These arrangements are made through The Priory in the U.S., according to the Hospital’s needs and the special interests of donors. For example, a church may want to support the eye treatment of children, or a seniors’ community might support a nurse or staffer to work with the elderly.