There are many socially-aligned initiatives that are life-changing, but few have achieved the reach or impact of the Goshen Project.

This revolutionary, Australian-inspired paediatric healthcare model was a ‘call to action’ for Israeli doctors, nurses, psychologists, researchers and young families.

Changing entrenched positions is never easy.  This is particularly true of a pioneering band of Israeli paediatricians who challenged the way their colleagues ministered to the behavioural and developmental needs of young children in Israel. 

Their new paradigm was based on the ground-breaking work of Australia’s Prof Frank Oberklaid AM, a world leader in early childhood behaviour and development.

Prof Oberklaid introduced a unique model of paediatric care to Israel that he developed at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital. 

These pioneering Israeli paediatricians set about committing to radical change in early childhood development. Their work has since been embraced by the wider healthcare industry and Government.

“This is all about the children"

“This is all about the children,” says Ron Finkel AM, Chair of Hadassah Australia.  “We know from Frank’s work in Australia and the more recent experiences in Israel, that the wellbeing of society is enhanced dramatically by this new paradigm in early childhood care.”

Formally established in 2014 as an independent not-for-profit organisation, Goshen was inspired by senior paediatricians at Hadassah.

In the space of seven years, its effect on the medical profession has been as remarkable as it has been on families across communities throughout Israel. 

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

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 most recent Goshen Impact Report was released late last month.  It details the programs that Goshen has invested in and the impacts that have resulted. 

Recent Outcomes include:

  • Goshen established a National Leadership Training Program for Tipat Halav nurses. (Tipat Halav is a system of clinics across Israel offering community public health services, primarily to infants and toddlers.  They are staffed by public health nurses with the support of physicians, dieticians, and social workers).
  • Piloted ‘Tiponet’, online parents groups (as part of COVID-19 support).
  • Developed parenting resources for vulnerable communities.
  • Completed a study on The Primary Care Paediatrician’s Role in Psychosocial Health Care Delivery in Israel.
  • Conducted a study on The Role and Identity of Paediatricians in Israel.
  • Imported the USA’s Listen4Good to Israel. (Listen4Good provides resources, coaching, and know-how for direct-service organizations to gain the skills they need to hear from and respond to their clients in a way that’s well-defined, equitable, and systematic).
  • Conducted research on Community Intervention. 

Planned Future Steps

Tipat Halav nurses who participated in the National Leadership Training Program will share knowledge gained with their peers, with the aim of upgrading their skills and supporting system change throughout the service. 

The continued success of the Online Parents Groups will strengthen the advocacy case for government investment in telehealth to complement Tipat Halav services.

Plans are in train to implement the UK’s Peer-Led Parenting Program – Empowering Parents, Empowering Communities (EPEC). Goshen has begun the translation process in order to implement the program in Israel. 

It will shortly undertake community-based research that will document the relationship between health and social mobility and begin to provide an evidence base on interventions to strengthen vulnerable communities.

To much acclaim, Goshen published a paper by Maya Yaari and Idit Schuman-Adatto, ‘How COVID -19 accelerated change: innovations in working with parents in Israel'.

It adapted the Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health’s Family Partnership Model (translated to Hebrew and adapted to an Israeli context).

Media

In July this year, the Australian Jewish News featured an outstanding profile of Goshen which captured its power and possibility for future generations of Israelis.

Read more about Goshen.