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SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 18, 2019) – Dignity Health St. Mary’s Medical Center will host a team of physicians October 25-27, 2019 conducting biennial medical examinations of Japanese and Korean American survivors of the World War II atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Approximately 36 survivors will receive free comprehensive medical examinations and follow-up evaluations at this event, which St. Mary’s has hosted since 1995.
“St. Mary’s is honored to be the San Francisco host site for this important mission,” said Sr. Mary Kieffer, vice president of mission integration at St. Mary’s Medical Center. “These biennial medical visits have proven to be comforting and educational for the survivors.”
The health examinations in San Francisco will cover the following: general hematology tests, urinalysis, and biochemical testing such as liver function tests, diabetes screening, thyroid gland function testing and serum cholesterol. Also included in the exams are blood pressure screening, weight and height measurements, consultations with Japanese medical team physicians and interviews with prefectural representatives from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“The mission provides World War II survivors in North America access to doctors who specialize in the effects of radiation, and who can explain the survivors’ medical conditions in their own language— especially Hiroshima and Nagasaki dialects,” said David Klein, MD, MBA, St. Mary’s Medical Center president and chief executive officer. “These examinations provide an opportunity for us to continue to help relieve the survivors’ concerns about the after-effects of the atomic bomb, and to promote overall health.”
Since 1977, the Hiroshima Medical Prefectural Association (HMPA) has sponsored official biennial medical missions for the benefit of American survivors living in the United States who face continuing medical problems due to their exposure to radiation in the 1945 bombings. This year’s examinations and event are primarily sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, with examinations in four cities—Honolulu, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco.
The mission is also supported by Radiation Effects Research Foundation, A-Bomb Casualty Council of Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture and City offices, and local medical organizations and representatives from the prefecture and city of Nagasaki.
The Japanese medical mission receives volunteer support from dedicated groups and individuals throughout the United States. The biennial medical examinations are conducted through the support of local medical associations affiliated within the cities in which the medical examinations are conducted. It is this spirit of cooperation and the humanitarian efforts expressed by1all involved in the biennial medical visits which help to make it a truly worthy and meaningful endeavor.
Dignity Health St. Mary's Medical Center is an accredited, not-for-profit community hospital that has been caring for the people of San Francisco since 1857. Located across from Golden Gate Park, it is the longest continually running hospital in San Francisco. St. Mary’s was recognized as one of the Top 100 Orthopedic Programs nationally by Becker’s Hospital Review and is a Certified Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. St. Mary’s state-of-the-art Cancer Center offers the full-range of oncology, radiation, and imaging services. Offering the most comprehensive breast imaging services in San Francisco, St. Mary’s has been designated as a Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, a recognition that represents the national gold standard. Beyond clinical care, St. Mary's is committed to furthering the healing ministry, and to providing high-quality, affordable healthcare to the community it serves. For more information, call 855.970.2938 or visit Dignityhealth.org/StMarys.
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1 Supporting organizations and institutions for the San Francisco medical mission include the following:
The San Francisco-Marin Medical Society has had a long-standing sister relationship with the Hiroshima Prefectural Medical Association since 1981 and continues to support the biennial medical visits to San Francisco
St. Mary’s Medical Center has been involved with the biennial medical mission providing invaluable resources as a community partner since 1995. Previous supporting institutions have included the UCSF Ambulatory Care Center and the California Pacific Medical Center.
The Committee of Atomic Bomb Survivors in the United States was established in 1971 as a support group for atomic bomb survivors residing in the United States.
The Friends of Hibakusha is a volunteer organization formed in 1981 to provide volunteer support for atomic bomb survivors and to the biennial medical visits to San Francisco.
Volunteer support is also being provided by the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco as well as other Bay Area organizations and individuals.
Christine McMurry, Communications Manager