New Gandel Rehab Center Welcomes First Patients

January 19, 2024

New Gandel Rehab Center Welcomes First Patients

The sounds of Hadassah representatives clapping and singing "Shalom Aleichem" welcomed the first patients into the Gandel Rehabilitation Center 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, including 1st Sgt. Yotam, who was the first to come through the doors.

"The first patients, all of whom were wounded in the war — heroes and heroines to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude — begin their journey in the new center in a designated department with advanced equipment and systems that were built and installed especially for them," said Prof. Yoram Weiss, director general of the Hadassah Medical Organization.

The Gandel center will offer a host of special treatments along with physical and occupational therapy, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and respiratory and orthopedic rehabilitation. There will be a PTSD center and rehabilitation for neurological problems caused by brain, spinal cord and nervous system injuries. When construction is complete, the 323,000-square-foot eight-story center, named for John Gandel and Pauline Gandel of the Gandel Foundation in Melbourne, Australia, will care for 10,000 patients annually. The center will feature 140 in-patient beds — a 250 percent increase for the Hadassah Medical Organization — and an out-patient clinic able to serve 250 patients a day.

"The need to establish a new and advanced rehabilitation center in Jerusalem has existed for a long time, and we have worked for years to create it. This need became paramount in light of the war, for many soldiers and citizens in Israel," Hadassah National President Carol Ann Schwartz said.

"The Gandel Rehabilitation Center at Hadassah Mount Scopus will provide a response at this critical time and its opening is possible thanks to large-scale fundraising by Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America," Schwartz continued. "This is part of the organization's 112-year commitment to the State of Israel in general and to Jerusalem in particular."

Dalia Itzik, chair of the Hadassah Medical Organization's Board of Directors, led the hospital in its effort "to establish a rehabilitation center that would operate at the highest standards, in line with leading centers in the world."

"Today we made history," Itzik said. "The opening of the first ward at the rehabilitation center is nothing less than a national event that will change the rehabilitation map in Israel."

Plans for the rehabilitation center began years ago, but construction was greatly accelerated following the terrorist attacks of October 7. "Right now, we are facing a real crisis in the State of Israel that has only intensified given the many war wounded who need rehabilitation," Prof. Weiss said. "It is important to understand that each wounded person requires prolonged rehabilitation, a period of at least several weeks — if not many months."

Among the state-of-the-art advances the Gandel center will offer are walking labs (also known as gait labs), which use computers to analyze 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 needs.

A freestanding structure with a separate entrance, the new center will enable rehabilitation patients to come and go without having to pass through the hospital. The center has been designed to create a hotel-like feeling that ensures patients will be as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

Prof. Weiss added that fundraising is ongoing in order to make the entire center operational. Construction of the $132,600,000 facility is being made possible by the generosity of the Gandels and other Hadassah donors all over the world, with the support of the Government of Israel.

"We are in the midst of fundraising to complete the operation of the entire center, and I am confident that we will reach our goal within the next few months, thanks to the joint efforts of Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America; Hadassah International; and the State of Israel," Prof Weiss said.

Read More

Jerusalem Post: Hadassah Medical Center Opens Larger Rehabilitation Center for War Wounded

Hadassah’s Solidarity Mission Includes Visit to New Gandel Center

Press Release: Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Organization Begins Phased Opening of New Rehabilitation Center by Offering Treatment for War Casualties

eJewishPhilanthropy Tours New Gandel Rehab Center

JNS: Wounded Warriors Find Ways to Heal at Hadassah’s New Rehab Center

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