Our history goes back to the late 19th Century when Dr Pacradooni Kaloost Vartan set up a four-bed hospital, the first one in Ottoman Galilee. Currently, the Nazareth Hospital EMMS is the largest healthcare provider in northern Israel, looking after more than 70,000 patients every year.
As we reach such an important milestone, we want to pause and reflect on its meaning and the thousands of individuals who have made it possible. Following Dr Vartan’s mission, all of them dedicated their lives to caring for others and secured the Nazareth Hospital’s future for later generations.
Robert Vartan, great-grandson of Dr P. K. Vartan, reflects on the Nazareth Trust’s long-standing history:
The reason we’re here today is because of them and many others -too many to share-:
We don’t know her name, but we do know what she helped achieve. She paid for Dr Vartan’s meals and accommodation during his medical training in Edinburgh. Without her, would the Nazareth Trust exist?
After working as a translator for the British Army during the Crimean War, he studied medicine and became a missionary doctor. In 1861, he set up an eight-bed clinic in Nazareth, the first one in Ottoman Galilee.
Mary Anne joined Dr Vartan’s medical mission, travelling with him to Nazareth the same day they married. She worked alongside her husband as a nurse. She gave birth to ten children, five of them dying in their infancy.
Dr Scrimgeour always brought two things to the operating table: his distinctive moustache and a pair of gloves. He was the Medical Director of Nazareth Hospital and, in 1924, founded the School of Nursing.
As Dr Scrimgeour’s successor, he managed the Nazareth Hospital during turbulent times, including several epidemic outbreaks of illnesses, along with the personal tragedy of his daughter’s death at the age of 21.
She worked as a Matron at the Nazareth Hospital for 24 years and was also a member of the examination board for nurses in Palestine. Many well-known people attended her retirement tea party, including the Mayor of Nazareth at that time.
Dr Green was passionate about missionary work. After serving at the Nazareth Hospital for one year, he travelled to the West Bank and Africa to continue his work in medical mission. After he died, his son donated his dad’s life-long stamp collection to help fund future hospital projects.
What was meant to be a temporary 6-months position at the Nazareth Hospital ended up in 20 years of service as an obstetrician, gynaecologist and paediatrician. Runa also worked as District Medical Officer at the Israeli Ministry of Health, and once retired, she joined the Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).
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