Dr. Chedva Levin, a leading instructor in Internal Medicine at the Jerusalem College of Technology’s (JCT) Department of Nursing and an intensive care nurse at Sheba Medical Center, is among the recipients of a newly announced award from Israel’s Ministry of Health that recognizes health professionals’ outstanding contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The award ceremony will take place on May 12, which coincides with International Nurses Day.

Levin, a mother of six who lives in Talmon, was temporarily moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) from her usual position in Sheba’s vascular surgery department due to the surge in urgent COVID-19 cases. On a daily basis in the ICU, she treated dozens of patients, including many who needed to be placed on ventilators and ECMO machines.

At JCT, Levin is slated to head the nursing program’s new master’s track in Internal Medicine, which is designed for nurses with a bachelor’s degree who work in hospital departments of neurology, respiratory medicine, intensive care, infectious diseases, and others. Internal medicine has taken on unprecedented importance during the pandemic, as rising demand for specialist care to treat patients with complex illness has caused the overcrowding of internal medicine wards. Further, many coronavirus patients who arrive at the hospital who are in moderate or mild condition already have other illnesses, which can cause their condition to rapidly deteriorate. Accordingly, hospitals have substantial need for nurses who possess the varied knowledge and skill set of an internal medicine background, which equips them to assess and care for those with complicated illness.

When the Israeli Health Ministry asked nursing schools across the country to train their students in care of COVID-19 patients in March 2020, JCT swiftly answered the call by training 600 third- and fourth-year nursing students within a week. The following month, more than 30 JCT nursing students started training in nursing homes nationwide.