The Goshen Project
Alissa Woolf, HA Executive Director talks to Henry Greener on TheShtick.TV about the Goshen Project.
Hadassah Australia initiated and supports a groundbreaking community paediatric program in Israel that is working to improve children’s health services across the country.
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.
Goshen was conceived by Hadassah Australia, which has partnered with Hadassah Hospital, the Israeli Medical Association, the Israeli Ministry of Health, the Health Insurance Services (Kupot), the Hadassah School of Public Health & Community Medicine, the Israeli Ambulatory Pediatrics Association, Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
The project is addressing 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.
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, paediatricians from Israel have travelled to Australia on fellowships to work with Prof Oberklaid. These have been funded in large part by Hadassah Australia. Goshen will also reap benefits for Australian paediatrics through the two-way exchange of intellectual property and ideas between areas of research at Hadassah and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.
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.
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 Goshen Project will:
- Help to redefine paediatric care to focus on the total health and wellbeing of the child
- Introduce community paediatrics into paediatric residency training programs
- Identify and nurture future leaders in community child health from Hadassah Hospital
- Establish centres of excellence for community paediatric care in the periphery, where the need is great
- Generate research demonstrating the benefits of early intervention and treatment to Israeli society
The Return on Investment
The Goshen Project is raising $3 million from donors and institutions, to be matched by an additional $3 million from participating partners (including Government, insurance providers and hospitals). Within the next few years, the Goshen Project will establish 24 new community paediatric clinics; send new fellows on an annual basis to Australia or the US for training in community child health; organize an annual conference on paediatric community health; work with government authorities, hospitals and health insurance agencies to advocate for an increased focus on early childhood and on prevention and early intervention; and publish high-quality scientific papers addressing the benefits of the Goshen Project to Israeli children, families and society.
The Part We Can Play
Your financial support will ensure that all Israeli children will enjoy the same quality of community healthcare in order to realise their potential later in life.