Celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month

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May is Jewish American Heritage Month, and Overlake is proud to pay tribute to generations of Jewish Americans who helped form the fabric of American history, culture and society. In honor of this month, we asked Chief Medical Officer David Knoepfler, MD, MBA, FACP, FHM, what his heritage means to him, how it impacts his work and what insights he’d like to share with others.

Why is Jewish American Heritage Month important? What do you want to share with others?

“Jewish American Heritage Month is a time of remembrance of a culture and a people, as well as a way of life that has profoundly impacted the world. A remembrance of more recent events (that are fading, unfortunately) of what can happen with religious persecution, scapegoating and blaming a group of people for your misfortunes. We all share the same desires, wants, fears, concerns and spirituality (in any form) and this can be a method of coming together, rather than pulling apart. Together, we are so strong and powerful and if history has taught us anything, it's when we are "one" that we progress in all realms: science, literature, arts, philosophy, inclusion and health.” 

Why do you think diversity and inclusion in the healthcare workforce are important? How do greater diversity and inclusion affect the patient experience?

“Broadening one's interpersonal connections minimizes distance in every dimension rather than increasing it. Even as differences become more apparent, when face to face, we find ways to overcome them and understand why the other person may have the feelings or beliefs they do.” 

What brings you joy about your heritage and culture? 

“The promotion of information transferwhether a good discussion, lamenting, crying or celebrationas well as emotional connections. These are essential to human well-being.” 

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