Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW)
Following an evening of heavy rocket fire across southern and central Israel, Health Minister, Yuli Edelstein, visited Shamir Medical Centre (Assaf Harofeh) emergency teams. The Director General of the Hospital, Dr. Osnat Levzion-Korach, guided the Minister through the state-of-the-art Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit that are currently treating an influx of patients injured during last night’s outbreak of violence and the state of emergency declared in the nearby city of Lod.
Shamir Medical Centre, located just south of Tel Aviv, is the fourth largest hospital in Israel and serves one of the largest most diverse catchment areas in the country.
Olina is a third-year student in The DAN Department for Creative Human Design at Hadassah Academic College (HAC), where she is following her dream to find a career in a creative field. For students like Olina, trying to complete her post-secondary education during a pandemic, it can be difficult to remain optimistic and continue working hard. When COVID-19 first hit, Olina feared for her future, worried she would never reach her goals.
Olina’s worries were all alleviated when HAC launched emergency initiatives to assist students. HAC is providing full assistance to students, so they can access classes online, as well as receive emotional counselling and financial aid. Throughout the pandemic, HAC has continued to adapt to the changing realities to ensure students can advance their studies in a safe and supportive environment.
Now that restrictions have been eased, The DAN Department of Creative Human Design currently operates a hybrid mix of online and in-person classes, allowing students to take advantage of the cutting-edge facilities and advanced technologies on campus, including 3D printers and computer systems.
Olina, who also works in the computer lab to assist students, shared, “It’s been a very difficult year, but we’re all helping each other. We’re studying in small capsules so we can take turns accessing the studios and equipment we rely on. We also set up a service desk where students can send in their files and we then take turns printing the designs and delivering them to the front gate for pick-up. Learning in such a supportive and creative environment has made all the difference.”
The ongoing support has also ensured that graduating students can successfully complete their final year without compromising the quality or design of their projects. For the first time in the history of HAC, the year-end design exhibition was launched exclusively as a virtual, on-line exhibition. Titled ‘Human First’ the exhibition highlighted innovative design solutions to address medical, neurological, and social challenges through a variety of applications, technologies, and wearable devices.
Whether empowering people with dementia and children with allergies or transforming urban spaces into safer and healthier environments, DAN Department students like Olina are on track to become the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs making the world a better place for all humankind.
*some details were changed to protect the privacy of the family
Little Alma woke up in the middle of the night crying in anguish. Her mother, Jana, tried everything to soothe her cries, but nothing seemed to help the severe stomach pain Alma was experiencing. Alma had always been a healthy and happy toddler, so as her condition worsened, Jana feared the worst. Jana wrapped her daughter in a blanket and rushed her to the emergency room at Shamir Medical Centre.
Alma was immediately admitted to the CHW Debbie Eisenberg and Gary Levene Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), where the experienced medical team were quickly able to stabilize her. After a series of tests in the new, state-of-the-art facilities, an ultrasound of the abdomen revealed that Alma had swallowed five small magnetic balls, pieces from a toy recently given to her older sister.
Dr. Adi Kanushi (see image), one of Alma’s pediatric surgeons, said, “This was a life-threatening medical condition that could worsen to the point of creating a hole in the intestine and a widespread infection in the entire abdomen.”
Lucky for Alma, the surgical team at the CHW PICU was able to successfully remove all the magnets, leaving the little girl with no permanent damage.
With the ordeal now behind them, Jana was relieved to share:
“We had no idea that Alma swallowed anything; let alone something so hazardous. It was the scariest night of our lives, but we felt reassured the minute we walked into the CHW PICU. We knew that our daughter was in the most caring and capable hands. As parents, we’re so grateful to the entire team for their life-saving work.”
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Georgia is smiling – and for good reason. At the age of 12, she got a fresh start at CHW Nahalal Children and Youth Village. She feels supported after years of struggling at school. Thanks to a tailored program that targets at-risk children, Georgia is receiving the emotional and learning support she needs to thrive.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia found her happy place at the Therapeutic Riding Stable, where she enjoys one-on-one coaching and works alongside peers to care for horses.
“I started coming here during lockdown. At first, I was afraid of getting close to a horse, and now I’m riding on my own! I’m learning to take charge and believe in myself.”
Professional instructors help students set personal goals and overcome challenges through riding and caring for horses, which help to reinforce self-confidence, promote teamwork and enhance social and communication skills.
Rebekka Dullman Britain, Head of the program, reflects on the unprecedented period;
“The stable felt like the only island of sanity We stepped up our efforts to help students reduce the anxiety and stress brought on by the pandemic. Lockdown was an opportunity to also get them more involved and I could see how relived they were to be in a safe place. The daily routine and support we provided helped them cope better with the chaos and build resiliency.”