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Hudson Valley Hospital Center Chairman of ER Raises Money for Emergency Services in Israel


Cortlandt Manor, NY - (January 13, 2012) – When Dr. Ron Nutovits is committed to something, he doesn’t fool around. The Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Hudson Valley Hospital Center had never seriously ridden a bicycle before but that didn’t stop him from completing a grueling 300-mile plus bicycle tour across Israel to raise money for emergency services.

“Let’s say it was a real challenge,’’ said Dr. Nutovits, who rode with a group of physicians from the Golan Heights in northern Israel to Eilat in the south November 6-12.   “Some of those hills were really scary, but overall it was amazing, and we were able to raise enough money to purchase a fully-equipped ambulance for United Hatzalah.’’ 

Dr. Nutovits said the 10 people on tour set out to raise funds to help the non-profit, volunteer group purchase a motorcycle ambulance to get to some of the more inaccessible locations in Israel. The primary role of United Hatzalah volunteers - trained and certified as EMTs, Paramedics and MD’s - is to provide an immediate response within 2-4 minutes from the onset of an incident.

Dr. Nutovits said that until a few years ago, Israel had no centralized emergency response agency and relied heavily on volunteers to respond in many areas. Volunteers continue to be on the front lines in this part of the world where terrorist attacks and violence are a frequent occurrence. 

“In some of these areas you are talking about 8 minutes turnaround time,’’ said Dr. Nutovits. “Anything above 5 minutes is poor. Ideally, you want to have the patient stabilized in about 2-4 minutes for the best outcome.’’

As it turned out, raising the money was a lot easier than organizing the logistics of the tour, Dr. Nutovits said. The group had to purchase the bicycles and contact a bicycle touring company which helped them to map out the trip and ferry the supplies. Some of the mountainous terrain in the northern part of Israel made the going rough, but Dr. Nutovits held his own despite not being a serious cyclist.

“I thought I was doing really well when I saw all those miles adding up, but then I found out it was kilometers so I was only doing about half the miles that I thought,’’ he said.

During his trip, Dr. Nutovits also took the opportunity to visit the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv University and the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer to further promote Emergency Medicine as a specialty in health care delivery in Israel.

Dr. Nutovits is certified in internal and emergency medicine. He graduated from the Sachler School of Medicine and completed his internship as well as his internal medicine residency at Montefiore Medical Center. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Hudson Valley Hospital Center has done much to improve emergency services here in Cortlandt Manor, opening the first No-Wait ER in the region in 2005, the same year it was certified as a Stroke Center.