About Us

Our History

After suffering the untimely loss of two immediate family members due to medical causes, Rabbi Hershel Grunfeld was increasingly called upon for assistance by community members grappling with medical issues of their own. He utilised the knowledge and contacts he had amassed to occasionally attend appointments with patients to explain medical terminology, and often functioned as a liaison between patients and their doctors, filling an obvious need. With the demand for assistance quickly exceeding Rabbi Grunfeld’s resources, MARS was founded in 2012. Rabbi Grunfeld hadn’t planned to establish an official organisation, and certainly couldn’t predict its development over the following years, but there was clearly no way back.

Our Development

Today MARS is a registered charity providing patients with comprehensive medical and financial support. Rabbi Grunfeld and his team of 6 employees and 10 volunteers provide guidance on medical cases ranging from minor to major, earning trust and respect from the local and medical community. MARS is the reassuring voice at the other end of the line for 500 weekly callers, working alongside an extensive database of hundreds of doctors  across all medical fields. Our database is constantly expanding as we reach out to doctors specialising in treating diverse or rare conditions presented by patients.

Our Mission

MARS was founded with a first-hand understanding of how bewildering sickness is for patients and their families. We ease this by ensuring patients access the best team in the first instance, explaining treatment options, demystifying medical terminology, and ultimately helping patients make informed decisions. Our team is also available to liaise with patients’ doctors, research treatment options, facilitate transfers, arrange funding, and accompany patients to appointments, arming them with the soundest strategies and getting the best players onto their team.

500

Calls a week

150

Out of hours emergency
calls a month

360

Open Cases

280

Doctors on our database

The unique need and benefits of our services

We predominantly serve the local Jewish community, although we are certainly willing to assist anyone in need. The Jewish community have a unique mind-set and set of values, and many cultural sensitivities, which can understandably be very perplexing to doctors. This can easily lead to tension and misunderstandings between the medical team and the patient’s family. MARS is in the unique position of being able to communicate in an effective, relatable manner with both the medical team and the patient and their family. This enables us to serve as an invaluable liaison, armed with medical knowledge and cultural awareness to greatly benefit both the doctor and the patient.

For the patient, having somebody who is similar to them breaking down the jargon, explaining the options, and relaying the doctor’s view in a manner they can easily understand, makes it more acceptable to them and enables them to proceed with complete peace of mind and trust in the medical team.

For the doctor, MARS removes the need to repeatedly detail the options to several family members who do not have much medical knowledge; and also clearly relays the patient’s concerns to the doctor – and likewise, the doctor’s view to the patient, clarifying information and ironing out cultural differences.

Overall, once MARS are involved, clarity is attained, views are aligned, tensions are diffused, trust is restored, and there are no misunderstandings on either side. We have no doubt that doctors’ intentions are always the best, and we are here to help patients recognise this and proceed with confidence by communicating effectively, facilitating a better experience for everyone involved.