The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations


Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, New York City.
In the United States, government bodies, the medical community and patients often seek to ensure that education for health care professionals includes learning about religious and cultural differences. Taking these essential criteria into account helps improve patient care.

A dynamic partnership between the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding and the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in New York

Founded in 1992, Tanenbaum promotes mutual respect with practical programs that bridge religions difference and combat prejudice in health care settings, workplaces, schools, and areas of armed conflict. Tanenbaum inaugurated a department devoted to religious diversity in health care in mid-2004 and, in 2008, published a book entitled The Medical Manual for Religio-Cultural Competence.

The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations have committed to partnering the first year of a unique three-year project by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, which is well-known for exemplary quality of patient care and involving parents in the healing process as genuine partners to the medical corps. This project aims to improve how physicians provide health care in an increasingly diverse society.

Supported by the Foundations, Tanenbaum’s strategy is to improve health care by incorporating skills-based training in religio-cultural competence into medical education and into professional development programs for doctors. These initiatives enable health care providers to improve patient-centered care by learning how religious beliefs impact patients’ medical decisions, ways to respectfully solicit pertinent information about their patients’ religious beliefs and practices, and how to respond appropriately.

Tanenbaum will use its action-driven training in religio-cultural diversity to develop and implement new curriculum for New York Medical College’s Pediatric Residency Program at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.

Through this partnership, Tanenbaum will pioneer the development of a new educational model for how medical students, residents and nurses can be trained in religio-cultural competency. The partnership with the Rothschild Foundations will help Tanenbaum develop a customized resident and staff curriculum at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital to incorporate into their existing program, and Tanenbaum staff will train the hospital’s medical faculty to deliver the program to future residents. The ultimate beneficiaries of the Foundations’ partnership with Tanenbaum, New York Medical College and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital are the patients.

> Tanenbaum:

Intercultural dialogue and recognizing religious differences: a priority for the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations

The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations are pleased to contribute to the launching of this pilot program by Tanenbaum . For several years they have worked to develop various projects and suggest alternative paths to encourage intercultural dialogue. This partnership with the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital offers a unique opportunity to explore a new model for inclusion, in this case for the training of health providers.

In our increasingly diverse societies, it is important to encourage respect for diverse beliefs and cultural differences, in particular in the medical world. Health care professionals are thus able to provide care that is better adapted to patients. Understanding other people in our day-to-day lives is a key factor in preserving each person’s dignity.

This partnership has developed a program that is both pragmatic and rigorous, based on motivated and active teams. In three years, the residents’ training curriculum will include an intercultural dimension. Professors will be able to teach this material and 50 residents will have been trained. It will then be possible to replicate this innovation – a realistic, effective model that fosters respect for differing cultural identities – on a large scale.

>  Westchester Medical Center: