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Appreciative Parent of Child with Down Syndrome Praises Hadassah Medical Center

A mother of a child with Down Syndrome, who recently immigrated to Israel, shared her great admiration and appreciation for the Hadassah Medical Center's National Center for Down Syndrome.

Dear Dr. Kokia,

I wanted to take a minute to share with you my recent experience at your hospital, Hadassah-Mount Scopus, in the National Center for Down Syndrome.

We are new Olim who arrived here in Eretz Yisroel in October 2012. We have six children, of which our middle child has Down Syndrome. The recommendation for us to visit your Center was made to us by Dr. Irene Anteby, Director of the Center for Pediatric Ophthalmology at Hadassah-Ein Kerem (who as an aside is absolutely amazing). My daughter Ahuva is seeing her for her vision problems and was referred to us by our previous ophthalmologist in the US. Due to the nature of my daughter's eye problems and due to her difficult exam, we need to have an exam under anesthesia. Dr. Anteby suggested the Down Syndrome Center as a place we could go to have my daughter's health fully evaluated.

I have to preface the remainder of my letter by saying that in all honesty, I was skeptical. In the US we had been to a top-rated Down Syndrome Center at a top University Hospital Program and I had been very disappointed by my experience there. The center was one in which all they did was have a pediatrician who specialized in children with Downs evaluate your child and provide you with a list of recommended specialists. It was then up to me, the parent, to find phone numbers, make appointments, and collect the information to then share with the center. Very much a "non- center" and honestly I did not go frequently as I felt it was not worth my time. Adding to my negative experience in the US was our concern regarding quality of care for our daughter once we moved to Israel.

Today, after having our appointment at the Hadassah National Center for Down Syndrome, I have to tell you how thoroughly impressed I am. I am no longer skeptical. Not only did the staff understand my need to be seen in a timely manner (my daughter needs the exam under anesthesia in the next month or two), but it was TRULY a one stop shop. From the time we got to the clinic to the time we left, my daughter and I moved from one specialist to the next, never feeling rushed. I felt that each provider we met, each staff person was courteous, knowledgeable, and truly wanted to help us. I have never seen such a well run system. It was fantastic knowing that my special child was being talked to and treated not as a Down's syndrome child, rather a child with Down's syndrome. Despite my limited spoken Ivrit, the staff was patient and able to answer all my questions.

As a medical provider in the US, I have used my knowledge not only clinically but also my network of medical professionals to seek out top quality doctors to care for my child. This is partly due to my previous experiences of providers not listening to my concerns. I felt that today at the National Center for Down Syndrome, the clinicians were responsive to my concerns, and willing to listen to my ideas. Furthermore, as a medical provider I have not seen such a well run center. In theory all centers should work the way the National Center for Down Syndrome does.

I wanted to take the time to personally thank you for providing such a fantastic service to patients and families like myself. We cannot begin to express how pleased we were today with the services we received. Everyone--from reception to the nurse, Yael, the pediatric pulmonologist, Dr. Malena Cohn, Shifra, the social worker, the physio-therapist, Nama, ENT Dr. Ben Yaakov, the developmental psychologist, Penina and, of course, Dr. Ariel Tenenbaum (head of the Center)-- everyone was amazing. Each one was a top quality medical provider.

My husband and I feel confident that we have found a place that offers quality specialized healthcare for our daughter--Hadassah Hospital. Not only does the Hospital house the National Center for Down Syndrome but with providers like Dr. Irene Anteby, we are certain we are in good hands.

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Date: 1/9/2013 12:00:00 AM

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