2020 Impact Statement
Abraham Lincoln is credited with the famous statement, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
At the beginning of 2020, no one could have imagined the impact that COVID-19 would have on our lives. By the spring, our primary concern was the lack of information regarding how the virus would affect children in general, and children on ventilators in particular.
Nevertheless, despite COVID-19, three separate lockdowns and temporary closures of some of our services, during 2020 ALYN Hospital still treated more than 3000 children, similar to previous years.
In fact, with your help and the ingenuity of our staff, we were even able to expand our services and activities, as follows:
- Expanded use of the electroencephalogram (EEG), which ALYN Hospital was able to acquire in 2020 through donations, for detecting epileptic seizures and brain injury to include identifying causes of problems with children on ventilators who are having difficulties with being weaned. No other facility in the world is using the EEG tracings for this purpose.
- Conducted a great deal of hospital- and community-based research in pediatric medicine and rehabilitation in nearly all areas of pediatric rehabilitation, including feeding disorders, alternative communications, long-term follow-up of children with brain injuries, role of social work in supporting pediatric rehabilitation, virtual gaming, simulator for powered mobility for children with severe disabilities, remote therapy, motion analysis and many others.
- Wrote policy papers in cooperation with leading institutions in Israel, established protocols for educational institutions to return children on ventilators to school safely, and codified internal practices for identifying and reporting instances of domestic violence.
- Added remote therapy to the basket of ways that we treat children, including video conferencing, which has become a normal part of our activities in interacting with health professionals across Israel and around the world.
- Held remote training through our Educational Center for health care, education and welfare professionals across Israel on a variety of topics, including highly successful webinars on feeding and swallowing rehabilitation, providing emotional support for children in rehabilitation and others.
- Participated in many planned in-person conferences and forums that pivoted to be remote.
- Began using the Motion Analysis Laboratory in collaboration with surgeons for more precise planning of surgeries, and we are now leveraging that data for a number of research studies. We have started using Zoom so that the post-assessment discussion can include anyone who works with the child, which has helped tremendously with coordination and more fully understanding the child’s issues in all environments.
- Raised awareness about brain injuries, both among our staff as well as at the Ministry of Health.
- ALYNnovation doubled the number of portfolio companies in 2020 and PELE developed more than 200 solutions for the day-to-day challenges of children with disabilities.
- Opened new branches of the Maslul Afterschool Therapeutic Sports in northern Jerusalem and are planning to open in East Jerusalem as well.
Some of the temporary measures we took in response to the pandemic are now becoming permanent features:
- Moving the Respiratory Rehabilitation Department to the main floor of the Hospital has proven to have many advantages for both the families and for the staff, and plans are now in the works to renovate and make this a permanent home for the Department.
- Remote therapies will continue to be leveraged, especially as outpatient treatment for children from communities in which the treatment they need is not available.
- Our Education Center will continue to offer webinars, which have proven to be successful due to the convenience they offer to the presenters and participants alike, allowing for greater participation and a wider range of programs. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged us to use our core strengths – our expertise, our innovation and our commitment to the children – to stay focused on our mission to be a leader in the field of pediatric rehabilitation.
In 2020, we faced unprecedented financial pressures that we expect will continue into 2021.
Thanks to you, our loyal supporters and friends, ALYN Hospital IS creating the future. We are creating a future in which health, education and welfare professionals across Israel understand the importance of pediatric rehabilitation for children with complex medical conditions and are empowered to act for their benefit. We are creating a future in which doctors and therapists have access to both the most innovative technologies available and to the most acclaimed experts in the field. Most importantly, we are creating a future in which children with special needs are able to develop and thrive as full participants in society.
Our new branding says it all:
Dr. Maurit Beeri
Director General, ALYN Hospital