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Pioneering Anesthesiologist Rebecca Twersky Dies at 67

By 07/11/2023 2:51 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


Midway through May, Dr. Rebecca Twersky, 67, passed away.

She had served as the former anesthesia chief at the Josie Robertson Surgery Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The American Society of Anesthesiologists’ ASA Monitor reported on May 18 that “Dr. Twersky was well known for her devotion to her family and friends and her deep religious faith, in addition to her many professional accomplishments.”

Ambulatory (outpatient) anesthesia was pioneered by Twersky.

According to the ASA, “she played a significant part in the development of the ambulatory surgery unit at Long Island College Hospital, widely regarded as a model for other such units.

She was a mentor and advisor to faculty members and residents alike while acting as the department’s vice chair for research.

Before she arrived, there was no ambulatory anesthetic expert. Dr. Kara Barnett, one of Twerksy’s mentees, was reported as saying that she was a pioneer in an article written by Alex Abel, the editor-in-chief of Jew in the City, on July 6.

Twersky, who also went by the name Shani Schreiber, was descended from a sizable Chassidic family. In spite of the fact that Shabbat had already started, she would wait until her last patient was discharged on Fridays, according to Abel.

She was a superb anesthesiologist, but much more.

Dr. Shmuel Roth praised Twersky during a video tribute to her that the Jewish Orthodox Women’s Medical Association held on June 28.

“She was a trailblazer, a role model, and a friend to many,” he said. Several of the presenters, both peers and mentees, recalled eating Shabbat dinners with other conference attendees.

From the surgery room, one person said

One person compared her to a big sister.

Twersky consulted her rabbi before accepting the position at Memorial Sloan Kettering, as Dr. Babak Balakhaneh observed.

It was simply astounding to realize that Torah was so significant to her, especially coming from such a distinguished academic scholar and one of the best anesthesiologists in the nation, he said.

Dr. Sarah Becker, who knew Mrs. Schreiber as the mother of her friend, said, “I don’t actually have a clear memory of when I realized that Mrs. Schreiber had a hidden identity, or a twin existence, as Dr. Twersky said. “As a young child, I didn’t really understand Mrs. Schreiber was anything different at the time.”


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