April 12, 2022
Dear Jewish Community,
In the Spring of 2015, San Antonio welcomed Ohr Lanu Foundation as a newcomer to our city. Ohr Lanu, Hebrew for “Our Light,” was created as a Patient Advocacy organization, with the mission to assist patients in navigating our complicated health care system. Born out of the Jewish belief that our people are One; and, as One, we are all responsible for one another’s well-being. Ohr Lanu aimed to assist those struggling with illness and health-related issues. Over the past seven years, we have been able to fulfill that mission, assisting in over 1,600 uniquely complicated cases.
By establishing relationships with top specialists in our city, we were able to ensure that medical needs were met in a timely and coordinated manner. By understanding the complexities and intricacies of medical insurance, we were able to help families receive the services that they needed. In coordinating care among hospitals, home care agencies, Rehab, Skilled Nursing and Hospice, we ensured smooth transitions for our patients. In developing working relationships with Houston, Dallas, and Austin providers, we were able to increase access to care; and when faced with more complicated health situations, we worked with MD Anderson, National Jewish Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, and the Mayo Clinic, assisting families every step of the way. The services that we provided to our community were delivered with confidentiality, dedication, respect, and empathy for our patients.
Given our level of commitment to our mission, it is with heavy hearts that we now write to inform you of Ohr Lanu’s impending closure at the end of this month. Much to our regret, the health care landscape of our country has changed dramatically, and Ohr Lanu is no longer able to deliver the elevated level of care that has been our signature. Please know that we are indebted to this community for the support that we have received from Day 1. The Jewish Federation of San Antonio, through the Community Crisis Campaign during the peak of COVID, and through its annual allocation process, has been a tremendous ally for us. San Antonio Jewish Senior Services (SAJSS) has generously provided us with funding for patient transportation to appointments. Our Rabbis have demonstrated their unwavering support through referrals, and the private donations from this community have allowed us to thrive. We have relied heavily on our team of skilled and dedicated physicians and able, kindhearted volunteers, each of whom deserves and has our deep gratitude.
As we prepare for our departure, we wish to outline some available resources in our community: Jewish Family Services (JFS) will continue to provide Social Services and Mental Health counseling, and San Antonio Jewish Senior Services (SAJSS) will continue to offer seniors transportation for their medical needs. As for Ohr Lanu’s legacy, and the imprint that we wish to leave behind, we have decided to establish a fund within Hebrew Free Loan (HFLA). The “Ohr Lanu Medical Fund” at HFLA will be earmarked for individuals seeking loans to assist with their medical needs. In creating this fund for interest-free lending, we proudly envision its benefits to our community for decades to come.
It has been an honor to work side-by-side with so many families, through some of the most challenging moments of their lives. We recognize that “Health is Everything,” and we thank you for the trust that you have placed in us for the past seven years.
Advisory Board Members:
Stephen Cohen, M.D.
Barry Menick, M.D.
Morris Spector, M.D.