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Goshen, Israel’s Pediatric Community Health Project, Creates Steering Committee and Launches Course for Pediatricians

The Goshen Project, which is spearheading a paradigm shift in the approach to pediatric professional training in Israel, based on the Australian model at the Royal Children's Hospital's Center for Community Child Health in Melbourne, Australia, has now formed its National Steering Committee, with Prof. Eitan Kerem, head of Hadassah's Division of Pediatrics, as Chair, and Prof. Asher Ornoy, head of the Department of Child Development and Rehabilitation at the Israel Ministry of Health, as Chief Executive Officer. It has also launched its first course for pediatricians, with attendees representing the mosaic of Israeli society—Jews and Arabs, secular and Orthodox, as well as urban and rural physicians.

Goshen had its beginnings in mid-2009 at a seminal meeting which took place in Jerusalem between two leaders in global pediatrics: Prof. David Bransky, then Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Hadassah Medical Center, and Prof. Frank Oberklaid, Director of the Center for Community Child Health at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. Ron Finkel, President of Hadassah Australia, relates that "Frank had what David wanted---an Australian model for training pediatricians that delivered closer engagement of these physicians with the community and far better outcomes in early childhood development than were being achieved in Israel."

Prof. Bransky believed that Hadassah had to take the lead in delivering this paradigm shift and the Goshen Project, with the support of Hadassah Australia, was launched in February 2010. The first phase of the Goshen "journey" was the training of Hadassah Physician Dr. Hava Gadassi at the Center for Community Child Health in Melbourne, under Prof. Oberklaid's tutelage. Dr. Gadassi, now back in Jerusalem, will be the founding director of the National Center for Community Child Health at Hadassah Hospital-Mount Scopus.

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