Guatemala’s pledge to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could one day lead to a collaboration with New York Medical College in Valhalla.
The connection between those seemingly disparate countries and the college is Dr. Benjamin Chouake, an Englewood Cliffs physician who heads a pro-Israel political action committee and who is on the medical school’s board of trustees.
The college invited Guatemala President Jimmy Morales to tour the facilities on Friday. It was Morales who in December formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a deed that Chouake described as an example of moral clarity.
Dr. Edward Halperin, the college’s chancellor and CEO, showed the Guatemalan entourage the biotechnology incubator program, medical training simulators and new dental school.
The point of the tour was to demonstrate that such facilities and technologies can be adapted and scaled to a country that wants to break into the biotech industry or employ more effective health care education.
Whereas biotech has traditionally been the province of large pharmaceutical and medical device companies, the incubator model enables small companies and inventors to afford costly testing.
The lesson was not lost on Morales.
“It’s a formidable idea,” he said, “to be able to generate opportunities for small entrepreneurs who have good ideas.”
He said the college’s use of health care simulators could show Guatemala how to take better care of children and provide more effective first aid.
“The other thing that was amazing to me,” Morales said, “was visiting the state-of-the-art dental clinic.”
The ideas are worth analyzing, he said, to see “if we can reach a certain cooperation with public universities or private universities in Guatemala.”