By Alan Rosenbaum
Doron Almog, a military hero and chairman of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, the renowned rehabilitative village that cares for children and adults with severe disabilities, speaks succinctly and directly: “It’s not enough to be a role model, like Ben-Gurion, who moved to the Negev to live in Sde Boker. If you want to build the Negev, you need to attract many people to follow you.”
ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, in keeping with Almog’s directive, is in the midst of building a neuro-orthopedic rehabilitation hospital that will attract more people to live in the area and benefit the existing population of the Negev.
Dr. Itzhak Siev-Ner, medical director of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran and director of the Division of Rehabilitation at the Health Ministry, will be in Plano Feb. 3 to speak at a Jewish National Fund parlor meeting about the 108-bed rehabilitation hospital that is being built adjacent to the existing village. “It will be a real game changer for the southern part of Israel,” he explains.
Siev-Ner notes that the existing rehabilitation facilities that are currently located in the South are minimal, and do not meet the needs of Negev residents who need rehabilitation following accidents, strokes, terrorist attacks or army-related injuries.
Rehabilitation patients in the Negev, including both soldiers and civilians, spend hours traveling to hospitals and rehabilitation centers.
The population of the Negev is expected to reach 800,000 over the next few years, including military personnel, and by 2050 the population of those 70 years of age and higher will triple.
It was clear to the ALEH directorate that there is an urgent need for a rehabilitation hospital, which would advance the ALEH mission of rehabilitation and inclusion, bring quality rehabilitative care to the residents of the South, and create more housing and jobs in the Negev. The government decision to move three IDF bases to the Negev also contributed to the need for a rehabilitation hospital in the area.
The neuro-orthopedic rehabilitation hospital, which will be completed within two years, will make state-of-the-art facilities available to Negev residents, just a short drive from their homes.
“The people in the Negev deserve facilities that are as good as, or better than, those that are available for the people in the center of the country,” says Siev-Ner.
The hospital will house three 36-patient inpatient wards, for treating orthopedic rehabilitation, spinal rehabilitation and neuro-rehabilitation, making it only the third rehabilitation hospital in the country to offer subspecialty treatments (the other two are Sheba and Loewenstein). Currently, a 28-bed facility for outpatient care is already operating in the ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran facilities.
ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran is supported by a combination of private donations, government funding and assistance provided by the Jewish National Fund-USA as part of its “Blueprint Negev” initiative.
Join Jewish National Fund at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, as Dr. Siev-Ner explains why he made the switch from an orthopedic surgeon to rehabilitation services and what makes the Negev a perfect location for this new hospital. Private address in Plano provided upon RSVP. Please RSVP by Jan. 27 to RSVPSouthwest@jnf.org or call 214-433-6600.
By Alan Rosenbaum