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Ensuring the Health of our Camp Community

By: Ashleigh Imerman, Chief Advancement Officer

For decades, the Sinai Medical Staff Foundation has made a difference in ensuring the health and safety of our camp community. We are grateful for the Foundation’s continued generosity and partnership, thanks to a newly funded grant that will support critical medical, first-aid, and clinic supplies this summer!

Like the Fresh Air Society, the Sinai Medical Staff Foundation has a long-standing history of which we can all be very proud. In 1926, thanks to community support, the North End Clinic — named after its location — was built as an outpatient clinic that specialized in treating low-income Jewish patients and training young Jewish doctors. After the North End Clinic opened, a growing number of people agreed that a modern Jewish general hospital would be a great asset to the community. The Jewish community had long desired their own hospital, where kosher food, Jewish clergy, and Jewish cultural traditions would be the norm, rather than the exception. Fundraising began in earnest. In 1953, a group of physicians established Sinai Hospital in Detroit.

Although Sinai was originally founded to serve Jewish patients, it was unique among hospitals in the Detroit area because it always served patients of all races and religions. When it opened in 1953, Sinai was one of the few hospitals that welcomed African American patients, and while the majority of the attending doctors were Jewish, the nurses and technicians came from every race and religion.

Throughout Sinai’s history, about 15% of its patients received indigent care. The doctors decided early on that they would not keep the monies paid to them by the government for the care of these patients. Instead, they donated the money to the Sinai Hospital Education Corporation, which used the money for medical education and research. When Sinai was sold to the Detroit Medical Center in 1997, the Education Corporation became an independent entity. In June of 2000, the organization became the Sinai Medical Staff Foundation.

Since that time, the Foundation has provided more than $3.5 million in grants to medical institutions, scholarship funds for medical students, and patient-support programs. The Foundation remains committed to its mission of improving health outcomes through education, prevention, and access to treatment in our communities. The Foundation has twelve board members, most of whom were physicians at Sinai Hospital in Detroit before it closed in 1999.

“We are delighted to partner with Tamarack Camps and provide support for its Medical Care Program this summer,” says Dr. Robert Michaels, Sinai Medical Staff Foundation Board President. “Children, teens, and staff will benefit from the generosity of the Foundation, whether by receiving medical care in the well-stocked clinic at Camp Maas or having access to vital medical supplies provided to an outpost camp or teen travel trip.”

Please join us in thanking the Sinai Medical Staff Foundation and its dedicated board members for their continued work in improving the health and well-being of our entire Detroit Jewish community!