HAIFA, ISRAEL – At the Center for Israeli-Palestinian Cooperation in Northern Israel’s largest hospital, not only are Palestinian children receiving advanced medical care, but a group of physicians came earlier this month to Rambam to learn how to care for these young patients when they get home. The Center for Israeli-Palestinian Cooperation was established as part of the vision of American philanthropist Sandy Weill, that sharing advanced medical knowledge and services can advance the cause of regional peace.
Three nephrologists from Gaza hospitals recently spent several days as guests at Rambam Hospital. The doctors, who hold senior positions in Gaza hospitals, specialize in kidney failure in children and adults, came to Rambam to learn about new technologies and treatments.
Over the past two years, since the center was established, Rambam has been taking in an increasing number of children from Gaza who suffer from severe kidney disease, and cannot receive adequate treatment at home. At this point, Rambam has become the preferred hospital for the Palestinian Authority to refer children with kidney disease.
The invitation to host the physicians from Gaza came was the initiative of Dr. Daniella Magen, Director of the Pediatric Nephrology Department at Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital. Opening this professional dialogue, she felt, would improve the care the Palestinian patients would receive upon their return to Gaza.
The visit, which lasted three days, included meetings with the department’s medical and nursing teams, as well as a meeting with Dr. Ran Steinberg, Director of Pediatric Surgery, who has conducted numerous kidney transplants on children from Gaza. The guests also met with Prof. Karl Skorecki, a renowned researcher in the field of nephrology and the genetic factors underlying kidney diseases. In the department, the visiting physicians were introduced to technologies for pediatric dialysis, and received training that could be applied for follow up care.
The encounter between the visiting physicians and their patients, some of whom have spent weeks in Israel, was a highlight of the visit. The doctors were surprised to see that the Israeli and Palestinian children were hospitalized together. “Two years ago, when we opened the Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital, we also inaugurated the Center for Israeli and Palestinian Cooperation,” explained Prof. Rafi Beyar, Director of Rambam Health Care Campus. “It was established as part of the very generous gift from our esteemed friend Sandy Weill, who also supported the establishment of the Pediatric Oncology Department. The professional encounter of the kind we just shared with the physicians from Gaza represents the realization of Sandy Weill’s vision.”
Rambam Health Care Campus is a 1,000-bed academic hospital serving the over 2 million residents of Northern Israel. Providing comprehensive medical services in all medical specialties, Rambam is the tertiary referral center for 12 district hospitals. Rambam Health Care Campus’s garage can be converted into a 2,000-bed full-service underground hospital, the largest in the world. In addition to the citizens of Northern Israel, Rambam serves the Israel Defense Forces Northern Command, UN Peacekeeping Forces, and the US 6th Fleet. Many of Rambam’s physicians participate in cutting-edge research projects to bring new therapies and treatments not only to their patients, but the greater community of the world. Rambam Heath Care Campus proudly believes that everyone deserves the highest quality of care and has always opened its doors to all those in need, regardless of their religious, race, and ethnicity.