The field of rehabilitation medicine, whose goal is to decrease disabilities and limitations caused by illness or injury, has been developing rapidly and has increasingly entered the public consciousness. But while the development of society, the continuing improvement in our quality of life, and the successes of modern medicine have contributed to the fact that we are healthier and live longer lives than ever before, we are still subject to diseases and injuries that may be accompanied by disturbances of functioning. For this reason, rehabilitation medicine is now more important than ever before.
Rehabilitation is an intensive, extensive, and dynamic process of diagnosis and treatment that involves multidisciplinary teams of professionals striving to help people deal with the negative functional outcomes of illness or injury, which often include physical, emotional, sensory, and cognitive impairments, to significantly improve their functioning. Rehabilitation has a decisive influence on the quality of life of people who suffer from acute and chronic medical conditions. The ultimate goal of rehabilitation is for these patients to be able to function independently at home and in society and enjoy the best quality of life possible for them. Therefore, a multistep, multi-component plan that combines inpatient rehabilitation in the hospital and rehabilitation in the community is essential for the modern rehabilitation process.
Rehabilitation treatment is provided by unique multidisciplinary teams that operate in an integrated manner to serve patients and promote their wellbeing. Various professions are involved in the rehabilitation system: rehabilitation medicine, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and communication therapy, psychology, social work, and others. Rehabilitation treatment plans are constructed according to a specialized rehabilitation program under the direction of the team leader, a physician whose specialty is rehabilitation medicine.
In its early stage, rehabilitation treatment must be carried out in a center with a welltrained, professional staff that can provide active, intense, and optimal solutions for many of the functional needs of the patient. Rehabilitation that follows serious injuries and illness takes time, and takes place in stages while maintaining continuity of care and the centrality of patients and the people close to them in the process.
In Israel, the professional level of rehabilitative medicine is among the highest in the world, but the rehabilitation system is not optimally organized. Most of the rehabilitation facilities are located in the center of the country. In the South, there is a significant lack of rehabilitation beds. Despite the large population of this region, no inpatient rehabilitation center has existed in the entire region until now. Patients from the Negev who are in need of rehabilitation services, among them many IDF soldiers injured in the line of duty, are hospitalized in distant areas, far from their homes and families. The population of the Southern District of Israel constitutes approximately 15% of the total population of the State of Israel (as of 2011). Yet, the number of hospital beds designated for rehabilitation comprises a mere 0.5% of the country’s total rehabilitation beds. This is an untenable situation. The number of people for whom Soroka is responsible in its capacity as a tertiary hospital is currently over one million. Moreover, according to population growth forecasts in the Beer Sheva sub-district that take into account natural growth and the imminent transfer of Israel Defense Forces military bases to the South, by 2025 the Negev population is expected to reach nearly one million, an increase of 30% from 2011. This rapid increase in population makes the construction of a new a rehabilitation medicine department that will serve the South a crucially important priority for Soroka.
In practice, this dire situation, which has existed for many years, has led to the transfer of rehabilitation patients from the Negev to the center of the country, or, in some particularly unfortunate cases, to patients not receiving any rehabilitative treatment at all due to the hardships involved in hospitalization far from home and the extremely heavy burden placed on the patients’ families in terms of travel time and costs, lost work days, and extreme inconvenience. Rehabilitation after severe injury or illness can be a long and trying process and it is of the utmost importance that it be carried out near the residence of the patient. Family support and involvement are critical to the healing process and significantly ease patients’ return to their homes and natural environments upon completion of the hospitalization phase of the process. Being farfrom home during rehabilitation detracts from its efficacy and adds to the distress of patients and their loved ones. Establishing a rehabilitation service at Soroka will contribute greatly to alleviating the terrible suffering of patients from the Negev and assisting the families who accompany them on their challenging journey to improved functionality and better lives.
In order to bridge the tremendous gap that exists in rehabilitation medicine in the Negev, Soroka will establish a new Rehabilitation Medicine Department. A rehabilitation facility at Soroka Medical Center is essential as a supplementary and continuous service for patients from the Trauma Unit, hospital wards, and outpatient services. Many patients will be referred directly to the Rehabilitation Medicine Department for continued treatment directly from hospital wards, including Neurology, Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, Internal Medicine, and Plastic Surgery (burns).
Preparation for the creation of a rehabilitation medicine service includes two stages. In the first, we will establish a rehabilitation medicine department with 36 hospital beds. The department will cover the entire spectrum of rehabilitation services in the fields of nursing and physician care, physical and occupational therapy, and nutritional support, and will be accompanied by social workers and psychologists in accordance with individually tailored patient care plans.
The proposed rehabilitation department will include 36 in-patient hospital beds in an area of 2,140 square meters (approx. 23,000 square feet).
The total cost of the project is $10,000,000.
In the second stage, the rehabilitation facility will be completed with the addition of an ambulatory service, including an outpatient facility and clinic combined with the abovementioned services.
Donations and Donor Recognition
The establishment of the new Rehabilitation Medicine Department at Soroka will mean that for the very first time, the residents of the Negev will be able to receive the rehabilitation treatment that they need and deserve close to home and family and will no longer be relegated to seeking treatment in distant locations.
You can make a difference. Your gift will help us to make this historic change for the benefit of Negev residents in need of vitally important rehabilitation treatment.
We would be honored to partner with you on this crucial project. Your generosity and our expertise will go far in improving the lives of our patients and those closest to them. Together we can advance the wellbeing of the people of southern Israel by bringing the state-of-the-art rehabilitation care that they deserve close to their homes, to Soroka.
At present, we are in need of funds for the implementation of the first stage of the project.
Total construction costs for the new department are $10,000,000.
The New Rehabilitation Medicine Department will be named in accordance with the wishes of the donor for a gift of $5,000,000, with matching funds provided by Soroka Medical Center. A commitment has been secured.
Full and prominent donor recognition will be provided both in the new department and on Soroka’s Donors’ Wall of Honor. The department will be dedicated at a public ceremony in the presence of the donors.
Rehabilitation can be a very lengthy process, so hospitalizations are longer than they may be in other departments. Following serious injuries, months of hospitalization may be required. In light of this situation, the appearance and structure of the patient rooms are crucially important elements in the success of treatment. Beyond regular hospital equipment, the room must include a comfortable armchair that can be used as a bed (in case a family member needs to stay the night), a small desk, a computerized system above the bed with an option for television viewing and a computer with Internet access, and the possibility of using the same computer at the desk. This is important for leisure activities and also for transmitting messages and announcements to patients regarding their treatment schedules. A voice-activated system for summoning nurses is also required.
Naming Opportunity: Thirty-six patient rooms are available for naming at $50,000 each. The donors’ names will be prominently displayed in or adjacent to the rooms.
Dedicated Spaces for Patient Reception, Nursing Work, and Visitors
Most patients in rehabilitation suffer from numerous chronic illnesses.
The nursing staff takes an active part in stabilizing these patients, tracking their condition, and providing instruction to them and their families. This kind of treatment can prevent recurring events that may lead to further deterioration of the patient’s functional status.
Because patients in rehabilitation are often hospitalized for long periods of time, there is an unusually large number of visitors in the department. There needs to be a large and welcoming space to accommodate these visitors, the friends and family of our patients.
The patient reception area will be spacious, comfortable, and attractive. The area will feature a modern medication room, a work room for nursing staff with computers and a staff rest area, a refrigerator, a microwave oven, a patient and visitors’ reception area, and a training room.
The following dedicated rooms and areas are available for naming:
- Medication room $75,000
- Nurses’ work room $100,000
- Staff rest area $50,000
- Patient and visitors’ reception area $200,000
- Patient training area $1,000,000
The rooms or areas will be named in accordance with the donors’ wishes, and their names will be prominently displayed in or adjacent to each.