Free JScreen Available

Through the end of 2016, the National Gaucher Foundation is working with Emory-based JScreen to provide testing for more than 100 genetic diseases at no out-of-pocket expense.

The National Gaucher Foundation will cover any costs for the spit test and follow-up genetic counseling that are not covered by insurance. The usual cost of the screen is $149.

To take advantage of the offer, open to people ages 18 to 45, sign up for the genetic spit test at www.gaucherdisease.org/screening instead of the usual jscreen.org. The National Gaucher Foundation is promoting the testing with its Spit Happens campaign.

One in 10 Ashkenazi Jews carries the gene for Gaucher disease.

Blakely Celebrates Healthy Moms at Grady

Jewish Atlanta entrepreneur Sara Blakely hosted a baby shower for new and expectant mothers Friday, Nov. 18, at Grady Memorial Hospital.

The event also celebrated the Spanx founder’s new book, “The Belly Art Project,” whose proceeds support efforts to ensure safe and healthy births for mothers throughout the world.

The Sara Blakely Foundation supported the Grady baby shower with a $100,000 grant.

The Sara Blakely Foundation supported the Grady baby shower with a $100,000 grant.

“I am thrilled to celebrate motherhood with the launch of my newest labor of love, ‘The Belly Art Project.’ Access to medical care is critical to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth for both mothers and babies. Grady fills that role for thousands of new and growing families every year,” Blakely said. “As an organization committed to empowering women, we are proud to add to the incredible support these mothers are receiving and help them celebrate this special time.”

Nearly 90 new and expectant mothers participated in the celebration, during which Blakely talked about her experiences as a mother of four young children, the inspiration for her book.

Mothers received gifts including a combination baby stroller/car seat underwritten by a $100,000 donation from the Sara Blakely Foundation, which will sponsor two Grady baby showers in 2017.

“We are grateful for the generous commitment made by the Sara Blakely Foundation to support new mothers here at Grady. Friday afternoon’s event was a wonderful celebration of all that motherhood can and should be. It was also an important reminder to the women attending that they are not alone,” said Renay Blumenthal, the president of the Grady Health Foundation. “Whether a mother and baby are here because they needed the services of our neonatal intensive care unit or after experiencing a normal birth, we are committed to providing a safe, caring environment that gives them the best possible chance for a healthy start.”

More than 3,000 babies were delivered last year at Grady, whose Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit receives patients from over 40 counties across North Georgia.

“The Belly Art Project,” (www.bellyartproject.org) released in October, features over 100 photos of celebrity and everyday mothers whose pregnant bellies have been transformed into “billboards of hope.”

Israeli Spine Surgeon Visits Hadassah

Hadassah Greater Atlanta hosted surgeon Joshua Schroeder from the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem, who spoke at a dessert reception at Congregation Or Hadash on Monday night, Nov. 14.

Schroeder is an expert in spinal robotics and the use of stem cells to speed healing. As the lead surgeon in multidisciplinary spine surgeries, he operates at Hadassah’s Ein Kerem and Mount Scopus campuses.

Joshua Schroeder talks during the Hadassah dessert reception.

Joshua Schroeder talks during the Hadassah dessert reception.

He stressed the importance of doing robotic surgery, which he said is the future of surgery because of its precision.

“Robots are able to peel a grape. Their dexterity far outmatches a human,” Schroeder said.

He also said that orthopedic surgery involves radiation exposure to the operating room staff, surgeons and patients. Robotic surgery diminishes the occupational health risk for the medical staff.

Schroeder said he flew to the Republic of Georgia on Yom Kippur eve to bring back a severely injured mother and child involved in an automobile accident. Time was of the essence, but Schroeder successfully operated on the mother at Ein Kerem. The mother and child and other family members are recovering.

Sybil Ginsburg, who chaired the event with Marni Hoffman, described Schroeder as “hamish and youthful” and said he graciously answered a lot of questions from the audience.

Also at the event was Marcie Natan, the immediate past president of National Hadassah. She spoke of her friendship with Schroeder’s mother, Barbara Sofer, and lauded the beautiful and efficient new Hadassah hospital tower in Israel.