Gandel Rehabilitation Centre at Hadassah Mount Scopus begins phased opening


The sounds of Hadassah representatives clapping and singing “Shalom Aleichem” welcomed the first patients into the Gandel Rehabilitation Centre at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus on January 15, part of a phased opening of the new facility.

These initial 12 patients in the War-Wounded Department will have the opportunity to heal using state-of-the-art equipment.

The surge in number of severely wounded in the current war has focused efforts to bring urgently needed rehabilitation facilities on-line as soon as possible.

In response to the pressing need, the Hadassah Medical Organization has brought forward the phased opening of its 140-bed, state-of-the-art, Gandel Rehabilitation Centre (GRC) at Mount Scopus.

The Centre, which has been under construction for several years due to unmet needs for rehab services in the Jerusalem area, is named after John and Pauline Gandel of Melbourne who head the Gandel Foundation and are the new Centre’s principal donors. Construction of the US$132,600,000 facility is being made possible by their generosity and that of many other Hadassah donors all over the world, as well as the support of the Government of Israel.

Ron Finkel AM, President of Hadassah Australia, noted that “the foresight and vision of the Gandel Family has paved the way for the Australian Jewish community to participate in the ongoing enterprise of building a better, more comprehensive and more inclusive health system in Israel. At this critical time in Israel’s history, Australian Jewry has stepped up and we are just so proud to be making a meaningful and very impactful contribution”.

Critically wounded and injured patients are now being treated in the War-Wounded Department of the GRC. There, experts in a wide range of therapies are caring for military and civilian casualties using the latest equipment and technologies.

“We have long understood Israel’s need for more, and more advanced, rehabilitation services, but no one could have imagined this war and the urgent demand for rehabilitation it would create for so many soldiers and civilians,” said Dalia Itzik, Chair, Board of Directors, Hadassah Medical Organization. “We are grateful to our donors around the world, and to the Israeli government, for enabling us to begin opening the Gandel Rehabilitation Center at this critical time and in keeping with Hadassah’s 112-year commitment to the State of Israel.”

“Hadassah began the construction of this large and innovative rehabilitation Centre several years ago, recognizing the significant gap that exists in Israel as a whole, and in Jerusalem and its surroundings, in particular,” said Prof Yoram Weiss, Director General, Hadassah Medical Organization. “The first patients – including heroes and heroines to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude – can now begin their journey back to full health with the help of a specially designed department with advanced rehabilitation equipment and systems built and installed especially for them. Later, the Centre will offer rehabilitation treatments for the entire population – victims of car and other accidents, patients recovering from complex surgery, those with head injuries and more.”

Prof Weiss added that fundraising is ongoing in order to make the entire Centre operational.

Said Dr Tamar Elram, Director of Hadassah Mount Scopus, “The opening of the first ward, for war casualties, of the Gandel Rehabilitation Centre is a national event that will change the rehabilitation map in Israel. Jerusalem residents will no longer have to travel far and wide to undergo rehabilitation care that is in line with care provided by the world’s leading centres. We have launched the first phase with a team whose expertise ensures that patients can progress toward a return to the life they knew prior to their injuries.”

About the Gandel Rehabilitation Centre

The Gandel Rehabilitation Centre sits on Hadassah’s East Jerusalem campus adjacent to Hadassah’s Mount Scopus hospital. A freestanding structure with a separate entrance, the new Centre will enable rehabilitation patients to come and go without having to pass through the hospital. The Centre has been designed to create a modern, hotel-like feeling that ensures patients will be as comfortable and relaxed as possible while undergoing treatment.

When completed, the 26,000 square metre, eight-story Gandel Rehabilitation Centre will care for 10,000 patients annually in four in-patient units with a total of 140 beds – a 250% increase for HMO – and an out-patient clinic able to serve 250 patients a day.

The Gandel Centre will offer a host of latest and most advanced specialist treatments along with physical and occupational therapy, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and respiratory and orthopaedic rehabilitation. There will be a PTSD centre and rehabilitation for neurological problems caused by brain, spinal cord and nervous system injuries, which HMO’s doctors estimate 70% of rehabilitation patients will have.

Among the state-of-the-art advances the Gandel Centre will offer are walking labs (also known as gait labs), which use computers to analyse motion and detect problems not always apparent in clinical exams, and a therapeutic swimming pool with a modular floor that adapts to each patient’s individual needs.