Touro Students, Faculty are Saving Lives Physically and Spiritually During Corona Crisis

A Message from President Kadish

April 08, 2020
Dr. Alan Kadish

In observing how the current pandemic is being addressed by scientists and educators, a quote from the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. comes to mind: “Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.” Since the onset of the coronavirus, Touro has continued to take such steps toward making a difference and maintaining a leadership role in addressing the current crisis. Everyone at Touro—students, faculty and staff—continues to be encouraged and supported in our quest to bring healing to the world. Toward this end, some of our medical students just opted to graduate early. We expect they will have a number of opportunities to join the frontlines of the pandemic battle.

As the world races for the cure, we were proud to see our own Dr. Salomon Amar, Provost for Biomedical Research at Touro College and University System and Vice President for Research at New York Medical College, participate with other institutions in a study sponsored by Regeneron. The research study on the use of Sarilumab as a treatment therapy for COVID-19 sprang into action on March 22, when a record-defying FDA authorization came through. Typically, a large-scale trial of this nature requires Institutional Review Board (IRB) informed consent forms from patients, long discussions with an institution in order to hammer out details, a budget, and of course the proverbial mountain of paperwork that is the cornerstone of any and all research. With the help of the FDA, the processes necessary to approve and complete the study were finished in record time. The study has finished enrollment and we anxiously await the results.

On the West Coast, students from Touro University California helped translate a set of guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which were initially issued March 16 and intended to help people institute “best practices” for reducing the spread of coronavirus. The effort, organized by the school’s chapter of the National Hispanic Pharmacists Association, translated the guidelines into 23 different languages so non-native English speakers could more easily heed the CDC’s recommendations.

As we celebrate the holidays, I am comforted to see how many members of the Touro family—many right in the epicenter of the pandemic—are working together to be part of the solution. I look forward to sharing additional progress with you in the weeks to come.

The Mishna, the foundation stone of rabbinical literature, teaches that when one saves a life, it is as if they saved an entire world. At Touro, we are working toward not only saving lives physically, but also enhancing them spiritually, giving direction, experience and values to our students that will serve as guideposts throughout their lives.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful holiday season of redemption.


Dr. Alan Kadish