Dialog Box

Early Childhood Development - Goshen

Early prevention and intervention programs for children’s developmental problems and to support parents and communities.

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Goshen was conceived by Hadassah Australia to address the treatment of chronic illnesses among children as well as developmental and behavioural problems. Many of the conditions observed in adult life such as diabetes, heart disease and mental health problems, begin in early childhood. 

Israel’s children comprise 30% of the population but they are 100% of our future."

Professor Eitan Kerem

Chairman of the Board, The Goshen Project

A key role for Goshen is to develop training programs, open specialized clinics, promote research and increase awareness to the importance of early prevention and intervention. Since the project was formalised, practitioners from Israel have travelled to Australia on fellowships to work at the Centre for Community Child Health and Prof Oberklaid’s team. These have been funded by Hadassah Australia and AUSiMED. Goshen is now reaping the benefits of the two-way exchange of intellectual property and ideas between areas of research at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and its practitioners. 

Investment in the early years is crucial; it means we can often prevent problems from occurring, or we can intervene to stop them becoming entrenched and much more difficult and expensive to manage later on."

Professor Frank Oberklaid

Director, The Centre for Community Child Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Australia

Prof Oberklaid said that to ensure the well-being of every child, it’s imperative that paediatricians and other health professionals are integral participants in a multi-disciplinary network.

Former Israeli practitioners who completed their two-year fellowships at the Centre for Community Child Health, Royal Children’s Hospital, are now leaders at Goshen in Israel.

Dr Hava Gadassi

Paediatrician, Medical Director

Dr Dafna Idan-Prusak

Paediatrician, Goshen Community Paediatrician, Northern Region

Dr Fuad Alsana

Paediatrician, Goshen Community Paediatrician, Southern Region

Dr Maya Yaari

Research and Evaluation Director 

Dr Einat Martonovich-Landsberg is currently undertaking a Fellowship at the Centre for Community Paediatrics supported by AUSiMED and will take up a paediatric role at Goshen upon her return to Israel. 

The Need

One of the fundamental principles of paediatric medicine is that it needs to adequately address the underlying causes of childhood health disorders.

There was evidence that the Israeli paediatric healthcare system had not adequately evolved to address the contemporary needs of children. It was focused on fighting more serious illnesses that affect a select few, rather than paying attention to more common paediatric problems which cause considerable stress and distress to children and parents. Many Israeli children suffer from conditions that have been termed the ‘New Morbidity’, which have not been treated or managed well by Israeli hospitals or paediatricians. These include obesity, ADHD and learning problems, feeding and eating disorders, enuresis and encopresis (involuntary faecal soiling and wetting) and persistent crying and unsettled infant behaviour.

The Goshen Project is revolutionising paediatric care in Israel, especially among those who are not able to easily access healthcare services.

The Deliverables

The Goshen Project is:

  • Helping to redefine paediatric care to focus on the total health and wellbeing of the child
  • Introducing community paediatrics into paediatric residency training programs
  • Identifying and nurturing future leaders in community child health 
  • Establishing centres of excellence for community paediatric care in the periphery, where the need is great
  • Generating research demonstrating the benefits of early intervention and treatment to Israeli society

Find Goshen’s resources here.

The Goshen Project Appeal

The Goshen Project is based on the pioneering work of Professor Frank Oberklaid, founding director of the Centre for Community Child Health at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. 

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