An Introduction to Augusta Victoria Hospital, Jerusalem
SSG Chev. Kenneth W. Fraley, Sr. GOTJ
Grand Aumonier

During the 2019 pilgrimage to the Holy Land our Grand Prior and the advance party received a tour of the Augusta Victoria Hospital, located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Moved by the dedicated and compassionate care they saw provided to the patients and their families, a proposal was made to add the hospital to the list of recipients supported by the Order through the Jerusalem Mite.

Dedicated in 1910 as a hospice and rest home, the hospital redirected its focus in 1950 under the management of the World Lutheran Federation to meet the needs of Palestinian refugees displaced by the war of 1948. Licensed for 164 beds with five medical units, including oncology, dialysis, and pediatrics. It is the only hospital in Palestine that provides radiation therapy. The size of the hospital belies the population it serves, which numbered 12,605 patients in 2016, 22,716 dialysis treatments, 20,088 chemotherapy treatments, and 20,585 radiation sessions.

Additionally, school-age patients receiving long-term care are able to enroll in an on-site school to maintain their education. This is the only school of its nature in the domain of the Palestinian Authority.

The hospital also adopted a strategy to reach the local community through community programs, including mammogram and diabetes mobile clinics. Currently the hospital runs the following care centers.

  1. Cancer Care Center: radiation oncology, medical oncology, and mobile breast cancer screening program.
  2. Skilled nursing and long-term care center: subacute care, geriatric care, pain control, and palliative care.
  3. The Diabetes Care Center: specialized clinical practices, nutrition, diabetic foot care, eye screening, and outreach community-based mobile clinic.
  4. Surgical and ENT Care Center.
  5. Specialized Child Care Center: Pediatric hematology-oncology and pediatric kidney dialysis.
  6. Clinical Support Care Center: intensive care unit, operating rooms, anesthesiology, medical diagnosis laboratory, and diagnostic and therapeutic radiology.
  7. Kidney Care Center: adult dialysis, hematology, and bone marrow transplant center.

During the coronavirus pandemic an isolation Ward has been set up in anticipation of the need to treat COVID-19 patients.

Those are some of the details. Of equal value are the stories of how lives are touched and changed through our support. Grand Master David Appleby shares the following that took place when he visited the Holy Land with other Templars in 2002. A tradition of GM Appleby’s home Priory of St. Norbert was to distribute teddy bears embroidered with the patriarchal cross and crown on the foot to hospitalized children as a source of comfort. In anticipation of a visit to the hospital while on pilgrimage, the Priory shipped teddy bears in advance of their travels. The bears arrived and were distributed the day before the pilgrims made a tour of the hospital. The Grand Master writes: “I recall in the dialysis unit three young children had the bears--a Palestinian Christian, a Jewish child and a Muslim child. This in itself sent a strong message.” In addition to the embroidered cross was a tag attached to the bear that read, “God loves you.” Appleby goes on to say, “The clearly Templar/Christian symbol did not seem to matter to the children or their parents as the message was by far more important.”

The addition of this charitable organization as one of our SMOTJ grant recipients is a result of the movement of the Spirit and will of God. It is an additional opportunity for the Order to support and protect Christians at risk in the Holy Land, coming to the aid of a healthcare organization dedicated to the holistic care of the individuals they treat.

I hope my fellow Templars will join me in pledging your support for this newly adopted charitable organization, adding to our legacy of accomplishments that align with our mission.

May the Lord bless and keep you, and may he wrap his loving arms around you as we strive to get through this pandemic together and help the world come through a stronger, more unified, peaceful place.


July/August 2020
Regular publication of SMOTJ GPUSA

In This Issue

  Words from the Grand Prior

  World Week of Peace

  Grand Chirurgeon: An Introduction

  Royal Patron Significance

  Augusta Victoria Hospital

  True Templar Giving

  OSMTH Bridge Building

  Hagia Sophia Concern

  Support Holy Land Christians: How?

  Always Forward

  In Disguise

  GPUSA Calendar

  Calling All Templar Poets

Priory of St. David of Wales in New England June 2020 Newsletter

Commandery of St. Mary the Virgin June 2020 Newsletter

Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis, Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam ®

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