Helping Children Have the Future They Deserve
Following a serious illness or injury, pediatric rehabilitation enables children to reach and maintain their optimal physical, psychological, and social functional levels. Expert, focused rehabilitation services provide children with the tools they need to attain important independence and become integrated into their schools and communities.
Unfortunately, children and adolescents in Israel’s northern region cannot at this time receive appropriate rehabilitative services close to home, because there is no hospital in this area with a dedicated rehabilitation center. Although there are a total of 79 pediatric rehabilitation beds in Israel – 47 in the Center and 32 in Jerusalem, currently none are in the North.
Instead these children must be sent to hospitals far away from home in the center of the country for treatment. Many times they are put on a waiting list for weeks before they can start the rehabilitation process, which should ideally be undertaken immediately. Rambam and other hospitals in Northern Israel generally transfer just a small fraction of the children requiring rehabilitation to other facilities in the center of the country. Many children never receive rehabilitation treatment because parents cannot afford to take the time away from work to spend hours traveling to another part of the country. Often, these already fragile children cannot be sent to hospitals in the center because they cannot withstand the hardship of separation from their parents; who to stay in the north to work and to care for other family members.
The consequences of failing to obtain necessary rehabilitation services are devastating and lifelong. Children already suffering from life-threatening diseases and severe traumatic injury may never reach their full physical, emotional, and social potential.
How Rambam is Now Changing this Reality
Rambam is very proud to be changing this grim reality. Due to a major founding grant from the Azrieli Foundation, Rambam will soon begin building the Azrieli Foundation Pediatric Rehabilitation Center. The new Center will provide comprehensive services to the hundreds of young patients requiring rehabilitation services from multiple Rambam departments including Oncology, Orthopedics, the Burn Unit, and Pediatric Intensive Care. These children suffer form brain and/ or spinal cord injuries due to cancer, vascular anomalies, stroke, and trauma, as well as severe burns, broken bones, and many other diseases and injuries.
Not only Rambam’s patients will benefit from the new Pediatric Rehabilitation Center.
Rambam is the only primary referral care center in Northern Israel, serving the 12 District Hospitals of this region, and providing virtually every medical specialty to the people of Haifa, the Galilee and all of Northern Israel, including many cities from the “periphery”—economically disadvantaged areas—such as Kiryat Shmona, Carmiel, Nazareth, Hadera, and Safed. There are 2.5 million people in this region, including approximately 850,000 children ages 0-17—approximately 28% of Israel’s total population.
Hospitals in this region frequently send patients to Rambam, whenever there is an area of medical expertise which they are lacking in their own hospitals. This is especially true with regard to pediatric services, where Rambam has expert practitioners who specialize
in the rehabilitative treatment of disabilities such as traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, stroke, cystic fibrosis, congenital cardiac anomalies, and epilepsy.
Not every hospital has the capabilities needed to care for such children. Because of the depth of our expertise in pediatric medicine, hospitals all over the North frequently send their most complex pediatric patients to Rambam and our Children’s Hospital for treatment. The children of Northern Israel will soon be able to receive crucial care at the new Pediatric Rehabilitation Center, which will include comprehensive in-patient and out-patient facilities.
We Need Your Help
However, to make these facilities fully operational, we need the help of generous donors like you to assist us in acquiring sophisticated equipment and medical devices.
With your compassionate support, Rambam will be able to help these children achieve their full potential, and to become independent, productive members of society.