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

The Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO), the Jerusalem-based hospital system founded and owned by Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, began the phased opening of its Gandel Rehabilitation Center by welcoming patients to its War-Wounded Department. There, experts in a wide range of therapies will care for military and civilian casualties using the latest equipment and technologies.

When completed, the 323,000-square-foot, eight-story Gandel center will care for 10,000 patients annually in four in-patient units with a total of 140 beds – a 250% increase for HMO – and an out-patient clinic able to serve 250 patients a day. 

The center is named for John and Pauline Gandel of Melbourne, Australia, who head the Gandel Foundation and are the new center’s major donors. Construction of the $132,600,000 facility is being made possible by their generosity and that of other Hadassah donors all over the world, and with the support of the Government of Israel.

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, which HMO’s doctors estimate 70% of rehabilitation patients will have.

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.

The Gandel center sits on HMO’s East Jerusalem campus adjacent to Hadassah’s Mount Scopus hospital, one of HMO’s two Jerusalem hospitals. 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.

“We have long understood Israel’s need for more, and more advanced, rehabilitation services, but no one could have imagined this war and the urgent demand for rehabilitation it would create for so many soldiers and civilians,” said Carol Ann Schwartz, National President, Hadassah. “We are grateful to our donors in the United States and around the world, and to the Israeli government, for enabling us to begin opening the Gandel Rehabilitation Center at this critical time and in keeping with Hadassah’s 112-year commitment to the State of Israel.”

Said Dalia Itzik, Chair, Board of Directors, HMO: “The opening of the first ward, for war casualties, of the Gandel Rehabilitation Center is a national event that will change the rehabilitation map in Israel. Jerusalem residents will no longer have to travel far and wide to undergo rehabilitation care that is in line with care provided by the world’s leading centers. We have launched the first phase with a team whose expertise ensures that patients can progress toward a return to the life they knew prior their injuries.”

“Hadassah began the construction of this large and innovative rehabilitation center several years ago, recognizing the significant need in Israel, as a whole, and in Jerusalem and its surroundings, in particular,” said Dr. Yoram Weiss, Director General, HMO. “The first patients – heroes and heroines to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude – can now begin their journey back to full health with the help of a specially designed department with advanced rehabilitation equipment and systems built and installed especially for them. Later, the center will offer rehabilitation treatments for the entire population – victims of car and other accidents, patients recovering from complex surgery, those with head injuries and more.”