Media Contact: Anita Roark Telephone: 310-855-4767 Anita.Roark@cshs.org
LOS ANGELES (April 16, 1999) -- A unique historical mural depicting "Jewish Contributions to Medicine" will be unveiled and dedicated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Sunday, May 2, 1999, announced Steven D. Broidy, chairman of the Medical Center's Board of Directors. The mural, measuring a monumental 12 ft. high and 71 ft. long, is mounted on the main wall of the Harvey Morse Auditorium, the center of Cedars-Sinai educational activity.
In a panoramic representation of Jewish contributions to medicine, award-winning muralist Terry Schoonhoven depicts 42 major concepts and physicians dating from Biblical times to the present, including Maimonides, Paul Ehrlich, Elie Metchnikoff, Albert Sabin, and Jonas Salk. The many Jewish Nobel laureates pictured include Rosalyn Sussman, Gertrude Elion, and Rita Levi-Montalcini.
Dr. Levi-Montalcini shared the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine with Stanley Cohen, for their discovery of the nerve growth hormone. Dr. Cohen, a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Chemistry at Vanderbilt University whose further career has been devoted to the development of epidermal growth factor and other important mechanisms, will be the dedication's special guest of honor.
Artist Terry Schoonhoven has executed over 35 murals, and his works are exhibited in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Australian National Gallery in Canberra, the Museum of American Art and the Smithsonian Institution, among others. Here, Schoonhoven has captured the feeling and dedication of Jewish physicians who have made enormous contributions to medicine despite their struggles against anti-Semitism throughout the ages. The mural was commissioned by former Board Chairman Joseph Mitchell and his wife, Beverly, and donated to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "I felt that there was a strong need to portray the history of contributions made by Jewish physicians throughout the ages," Mitchell said, "and I am excited and thrilled to see this dream coming to fruition. It is a magnificent work of art and history that will be here for generations to come."
The project was guided by Advisory Council for the Arts Chairman Stanley Grinstein and Mural Committee Chairman Leon Morgenstern, M.D. "In doing our research, we were amazed at the wealth of unknown contributions made by Jewish physicians throughout the ages," Morgenstern said. "We discovered over 100 significant contributors, but had to limit it to the thirty or so who seemed the most influential. We plan to develop a book, for later publication, that is based on our research and will include some of the other contributors as well as those depicted in the mural."
While Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is known worldwide as a leading-edge research and treatment facility, it also houses a remarkable art program and collection, according to Board Chairman Broidy. In keeping with the Cedars-Sinai philosophy that art plays an important role in creating a healing environment, videos on the arts are shown on the Medical Center's in-house Art & Relaxation Channel for patients, and original artwork is displayed throughout the facility.
"The 'Jewish Contributions to Medicine' mural will be the latest addition to Cedars-Sinai's extensive, museum-quality art collection, which, with more than 3,000 works, is one of the largest of any medical center in the country," Grinstein said.
The public is invited to view the mural 2 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 4, and by appointment thereafter, by calling the Cedars-Sinai Art Council at (310) 855-3672.
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ABOUT CEDARS-SINAI. . .
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is one of the largest and finest nonprofit hospitals in the Western United States. For the fifth straight two-year period, Cedars-Sinai has been named Southern California's gold standard in healthcare in an independent survey.
Cedars-Sinai is internationally renowned for its diagnostic and treatment capabilities and its broad spectrum of programs and services, as well as breakthrough biomedical research and superlative medical education. The Medical Center ranks among the top 12 non-university hospitals in the nation for its research activities. Many of its scientific breakthroughs,such as the use of the excimer laser for clearing clogged arteries and the Swan-Ganz catherer for monitoring the condition of cardiac patients at bedside, have changed the practice of medicine worldwide.
Almost a century old, the Cedars-Sinai tradition of service began in 1902 with the founding of the 12-bed Kaspare Cohn Hospital (later to become Cedars of Lebanon) in Los Angeles, followed by the opening of the eight-bed precursor to Mount Sinai Hospital in Boyle Heights. The two hospitals merged in 1961 to establish one pre-eminent healthcare facility on a 25-acre site. Cedars-Sinai opened at its present location in 1976 and the Medical Center has provided care for more than two million patients since then, serving one of the largest, most diverse population centers in the world.
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MEDIA PREVIEW AND INTERVIEWS: Media are invited to preview the "Jewish Contributions to Medicine" mural from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 2, immediately prior to the mural dedication ceremony. Key players involved in the mural's creation will be available for interviews, including muralist Terry Schoonhoven, Leon Morgenstern, M.D., who spearheaded the selection of the historical figures and concepts to be depicted, Stanley Grinstein, chairman of the Cedars-Sinai Advisory Council for the Arts, and patron Joseph Mitchell, who inspired the creation of the monumental mural.
To arrange a media interview, please call 1-310-855-4767 (Please do not publish this number in stories).