Friends of Schneider Children’s

of Schneider Children’s
Cycle Challenge to benefit the
children of Schneider Children’s
September 2008
Continuing to Pedal for Children
September 14-16, 2009
Pages 4-5
Transplants … And How!
First in Israel:
Multiple Organ Transplant
Pages 8-9
Research with a View to the
Page 12-15
Friends Activities Abroad
UK, Australia, Italy and more
Prof. Zvi Laron
2009 Israel Prize Laureate for Medical
Magazine of the Association of Friends of Schneider Children’s (Reg. 580168987)
Volume 3, August 2009
Opening Lines
Looking Forward
Everything for our Children
This year, Schneider Children’s Medical Center
of Israel marks its 18th year of practice and
research. Since its inception, Schneider Children’s
has spearheaded pediatric care in the country
based upon medical and nursing excellence,
comprehensive clinical and service-oriented
approaches, development of new fields according
to international standards, advanced medical
technologies and basic and clinical research that
is applied to ongoing treatment. At the same
time, Schneider Children’s serves as a popular clinical training facility
for the next generation of pediatric professionals and represents an
authoritative professional resource for sub-specialization.
Over the past year, and despite difficult global
financial constraints, Friends of Schneider
Children's widened the circle of donors and
friends both in Israel and abroad. Among our
important achievements was the establishment
of "UK Friends of Schneider Children's Hospital"
as a registered charity in the United Kingdom.
Apart from our normal fundraising activities, we
introduced new avenues for sponsorship, such
as the Cycle Challenge, and a Happening in the
Park for children with Williams Syndrome.
The Hospital Administration, together with staff members, is currently
preparing a Strategic Master Plan for the coming decade. The process
examines future directions in child and adolescent care, emerging
technologies, changing demography, and the hospital-community
connection. These directions will be translated into a work plan for
adoption in the coming years.
In order to maintain our leadership and excellence in pediatric care after
18 years of operation, we must move forward with the introduction
of the latest medical technologies, acquisition of new and advanced
equipment, development and upgrade of existing infrastructures for
departments, clinics and units, and an additional new building. These
advances are absolutely vital for the improvement of patient care for
both children and their families, and the enhancement of medical
services. Fundraising efforts are aimed towards these objectives. On
behalf of the hospital management team, I would like to express our
deepest gratitude to all those who assist us in our efforts to mobilize
the resources towards these important goals.
Prof. Joseph Press, MD
Director, Schneider Children’s Medical Center
I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the Members of the Executive
Committee, and to Ziva Caspi and Efrat Ozeri, for their tireless efforts
which contributed so much to the success of our endeavors.
Cycling for Schneider’s Children
On the eve of Rosh Hashana, September 2008, Friends of Schneider
Children's organized the first Cycle Challenge in order to raise both
awareness and funds, and to provide staff with an opportunity to
participate at a different level. Amazingly, the initiative came from
an ardent admirer of Israel in Liverpool, Edward Denmark, and the
Israeli Embassy in London. The three-day cycling event began in
the Upper Galilee, passed through the Judean Hills and ended at
Schneider Children's. Participants included a cyclist from England, a
liver recipient from Switzerland and fifteen doctors and nurses from
Schneider Children's. Some doctors' children also joined in on the
third day. The closing ceremony took place in the presence of the
British Ambassador to Israel, H.E. Tom Phillips, and Prof. Joseph Press.
Two representatives from Claire House Hospice in Liverpool, joint
beneficiary along with Schneider Children's of the event proceeds,
also took part. We wish to convey our warm appreciation to all our
sponsors, in particular BMI.
On the wheels of success of the first Cycle Challenge, the second
cycle ride will take place between September 14-16, 2009. We appeal
to friends, businesses and cycling enthusiasts to participate in the
event, mobilize sponsorships, and in this way help support the
hospital and in turn, sick children.
Happening for Children with Williams Syndrome
A musical happening for children with Williams Syndrome was held in
the Friends Park in Raanana at the initiative of the Behavioral Genetics
Clinic at Schneider Children's headed by Prof. Doron Gothelf, and Beit
Issie Shapiro.
Children with Williams Syndrome have extraordinary music talents,
and the happening gave them an opportunity to meet one another,
improve their social skills through an enjoyable musical experience,
and improve their self-image. The performance of percussionist Chen
Zimbalista, communal dancing of the children and a circle of drummers
contributed towards a wonderful afternoon for children and parents
“Williams Children” drumming at the Happening, Ra’anana Park
Friends | Volume 3, August 2009
Friends of Schneider Children‘s (RO 580168987)
14 Kaplan St., P.O.B 559, Petach Tikva, Israel, 49202
Tel: 972-3-9253481 / 9221748; Fax: 972-3-9210784
Mobile: 972-50-7953638
Editor -in-Chief: Ziva Caspi
Editorial Board: Cynthia Barmor, Riva Shacked, Ronit Singer
Graphics and Production: Orit Mesika
Dr. Aviva Ron
Chairperson, Executive Committee
Friends of Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Israel
President: Israel Makov
Members of the Executive Committee: Dr. Aviva Ron (Chair)
Danny Branitzky • Israel Ben-Yehuda • Frank Giron
Rony Grynholc • Ronen Tov • Yoav Levy • Michal Modai
Dalit Mechtinger • Tami Mildworth • Sarah Meltzer
Zvi Maliniak • Nili Kariv • Ruby Shamir
Interview with the President of Friends
Connecting with a Source of Excellence
Israel Makov, current Chairman of the Board of Directors of “Given Imaging”, Chairman of
Netafim and former Director General of Teva Pharmaceuticals, was elected President in
January 2008 at the Annual General Meeting of the organization of Friends of Schneider
Children’s. In an interview with Mr. Makov for the 2009 magazine, he outlined his philosophy
as President of Friends.
When Dr. Aviva Ron approached you to join the organization,
your response was positive. Why?
Schneider Children’s Medical Center is a center of excellence in the
field of pediatrics. Joining an organization that supports the important
work of the hospital, assists in its development and helps to promote it
as a center of excellence, is what led me to respond positively to their
request. I found that I could lend added value to its achievements.
The Chair of the Executive Committee, its members and activists have
conducted daily operations for years. I cannot compete with this,
but that added value that I am speaking about, and where I hope
to contribute, is in the realm of strategic planning, decision-making,
seeking optimal pathways, opening doors, and maximizing my network
of contacts to benefit the hospital. I deeply admire Schneider Children’s,
its continued medical accomplishments, its dedicated staff and its
devotion to pediatric care.
You have visited the hospital several times and met members
of management, heads of departments and families. Was
there a meeting that was particularly moving?
During one of my visits in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, while listening
to Dr. Ovdi Dagan about the functioning of his unit, a beautiful girl, aged
10, approached me, extended her hand and told me that she wants to
thank me. In the same breath, she asked me if I know how to ski. I said
yes concerning skiing, but waited to hear what she had thanked me
for and why. The girl, Yael Aloni, wished to thank me because Friends
of Schneider Children’s had enabled her to participate in a trip - due to
leave a few days later - to the international ski camp for organ recipients
in Anzėre, Switzerland. A contribution sent to Friends each year supports
the participation of children
with organ transplants in
this camp for one week.
Yael told me that she had
undergone a heart transplant
at Schneider Children’s when
she was 8 years old and that
now she was able to travel
to the camp and learn to ski.
Israel Makov and Dr. Tommy Schonfeld,
Can there be anything more
Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
moving than such a lovely
child with a new heart being able to have fun just like any other healthy
child? This edition of the Friends magazine highlights the subject of
organ transplants in children. Schneider Children’s is a national referral
center for pediatric organ transplantation. This is a prime example of
the excellence with which I wish to connect.
What, in your view, is the role of Friends of Schneider
I believe that Friends of Schneider Children’s must assist the hospital
in maintaining its status as a national center of excellence and the
pioneer in pediatric care. I will do my utmost to contribute towards
this objective. I think that we need to coordinate our efforts. By that I
mean that our activities must connect with children themselves, with
Israel Makov and heart recipient, Yael Aloni
their world inside the hospital and with their activities. An excellent
example is the exhibition of jewelry that took place under the auspices
of Friends last year. I really liked the way students of jewelry design
worked together with hospitalized children over a period of almost a
year, and incorporated their ideas to produce unique pieces of gold- and
silver-plated jewelry. This was an original and creative idea to connect
with the world of the child. The exhibition and sale of the jewelry was
an outstanding and important project for Friends. I was very impressed
to see how a child’s drawing transformed into something very unique
in the skilled hands of designers.
How do you foresee progress and expansion of the
organization’s activities?
I place great importance on publicity and exposure about achievements
of this nature. The right kind of exposure can make the difference. We
should not be modest! We must publicize the organization's activities
much more, particularly when they concern the treatment, recovery
and protection of children’s health.
We need to think of more ways to involve and attract new friends
and supporters to our cause. People connect with success. I will be
honored to become more involved in the future and to contribute
as much as possible to every event organized by Friends on behalf
of the hospital.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the
Management of Schneider Children’s for their superb accomplishments,
to Dr. Aviva Ron for her leadership of the Executive Committee and
her devotion and dedication to the goals of the organization, as well
as to all our volunteers for their efforts on behalf of the hospital for
the past 18 years.
Transplants...and How!
Transplants in Children at Schneider Children’s – FACT!
The vast majority of organ transplants in children in Israel are performed at Schneider Children’s Medical Center. Schneider Children’s is one of
the few children’s hospitals in the world with the capacity to carry out simultaneous, multiple organ transplantations in children. The donation
of organs on the one hand, and the professional skill of the team of transplant surgeons, anesthesiologists, intensivists, follow-up care specialists,
nurses and paramedical staff on the other, give a new chance of life to infants and children needing transplant surgery. The Transplantation
Service comprises a multidisciplinary team of specialists who have undergone advanced training abroad and have gained experience in this
unique arena. Notification of the arrival of suitable organs for transplantation alerts medical teams and the surgical suite to move into action
and prepare for a marathon of surgeries.
Organ transplantation in children enjoys wide coverage in the media. Schneider Children’s believes that it has a vital role to play not only in
performing transplantations but also in raising public awareness about the importance of organ donation in Israel. Over two hundred kidney
transplants and tens of liver and heart transplants have been conducted already at the medical center. Schneider Children’s provides long-term
follow-up care to organ recipients, as well as to those who underwent organ transplantation at other centers in the world.
Just a Few of the Many Transplant Sagas
31 children underwent organ transplantation during the past year and gained new lives.
Among those was the first multi-organ transplant in Israel (see next page)
In 2006, a unique liver transplant was performed in an infant who
suffered from a rare liver disease and was born with transposed internal
organs. This was the first time that surgeons at Schneider Children’s
conducted a transplant in a child with this condition, which required
doctors to prepare for the operation in advance through consultations,
simulations and preplanning of instrumentation needs, placements and
procedural process. The rare operation was documented on film and
broadcast on Israel TV’s Health Channel several weeks later.
In 2008, one of a set of twins who were born in the 27 th week of
pregnancy weighing only 1kg (2.2lbs), suffered from a congenital liver
disease, and needed a new liver to survive. The baby underwent the
transplant at the age of 6 months, and is the youngest liver recipient
in the country.
In 2007, a 5-year-old girl was transferred to the hospital in critical
condition. She urgently needed a liver transplant. Her uncle, a popular
soccer player, was found compatible and agreed without hesitation
to donate a liver lobe. Although he lost the opportunity to sign up as
a player for the Hapoel Ashkelon National League team, he saved his
little niece’s life.
The smallest liver recipient in the country
In 2008, a rare transplant of both liver and pancreas was performed in
a 12-year-old girl who had cystic fibrosis (CF), a multi-system disease
manifesting itself in chronic lung disease, pancreatic dysfunction and
as a result, insulin-dependent diabetes. After her liver deteriorated to
the point of failure and exacerbated by unstable diabetes, the child
had to undergo the complex transplant to save her life. This was the
first transplant in Israel of both liver and pancreas in a child with CF.
There are only 7 other known cases recorded in the world.
The smallest heart recipient in the country
In 2008, a new heart was transplanted into a 13-month-old
infant, who suffered from cardiomyopathy (a potentially
fatal disease of the heart muscle) and urgently needed
a transplant to save her life. She is the youngest heart
recipient in the country.
A rare liver and pancreas transplant in a 12-year-old girl
Transplants...and How!
First in Israel: Multi-Organ Transplant in a 16-Year-Old Girl
The operation included the colon, small intestine, liver, stomach and pancreas
The first National Unit for Colon Transplantation in children is
currently being established at Schneider Children’s, and is aimed
to provide a comprehensive response to children who have already
had colon transplants and for those still waiting in line. The Unit
will provide medical follow-up by gastroenterologists and nursing
specialists as well as preparation for intensive care and specialized
nutritional counseling.
For the first time in Israel, a multi-organ transplant was performed at
Schneider Children’s. The 16-year-old recipient underwent complex
surgery for a new colon, small intestine, liver, stomach and pancreas.
The transplant required special preparation by the medical teams,
which included pediatric transplant surgeons, anesthesiologists,
gastroenterologists, intensivists, nurses and dieticians. Colon
transplantation is very rare and complicated, and demands specific
skills and huge resources that only a few centers in the world can
mobilize. 60% of all colon transplantations worldwide are conducted
in children.
Liraz-Nitzan Lechem, who had most of her colon removed as a small
child, was altogether dependent on intravenous feeding, or TPN (Total
Parenteral Nutrition). As a result of years of TPN, she suffered from
recurrent infections, blood clots and clogging of the main arteries in her
body leading to liver damage. As her health continued to deteriorate,
her only hope for survival became a multi-organ transplant.
Within a day, and mirroring a military operation, the transplant team led by a specialist from the United States - prepared for the complex
Liraz-Nitzan Lechem is discharged from hospital
Until now, Israeli children who needed a colon transplant had to travel
abroad to medical centers in the United States for the surgery, and
return to Israel for follow-up care. In this case, advance preparation
was done by the team in order to coordinate the process, conduct the
complex procedure, and perform post-operative critical care. LiranNitzan was discharged several weeks later.
...and After the Transplant...
Hosted in Pekiin
When Liz Schick, who organizes the ski camp for organ recipients in
Switzerland, visited Israel to participate in the cycle challenge for the
hospital, she and 10 other organ recipients and their families were
hosted by the family of heart recipient, Samah Gadban, in their home in
Pekiin. Hospitality included a traditional Druze lunch, folk dancing and
an interesting presentation about Druze traditions. This was a wonderful
experience for both the children and the guests from abroad.
Ski in Switzerland
For the past four years, a group of Israeli children with organ transplants
have enjoyed a week in a ski camp in Anzére, Switzerland, which hosts
young organ recipients from all over the world. This tradition has been
made possible through the continued generosity of an anonymous
donor to Friends of Schneider Children’s. The group of 6 children was
accompanied by family members and the Transplant Coordinator of the
hospital and nurse, Rachel Bergerin. As they do every year, the children
returned home elated by the wonderful experience and proved once
again that “there is life after a transplant”. Not only that, but life filled
with activity and fun.
The Gift of Life
First in the World: 4-Month-Old Undergoes Defibrillator Implant
A rare operation to implant a defibrillator (an internal resuscitation
device) in a 4-month-old infant weighing 4kg (8.8lbs) was conducted
successfully at Schneider Children’s. The infant suffered from severe
cardiac arrhythmia resulting from cardiomyopathy (a disease of the
heart muscle), and was in danger of losing her life. There are only a
few recorded cases in the world of defibrillator implants in infants
and children weighing less than 20kgs (44lbs), but none of a baby
weighing so little.
The decision to proceed with the implant despite the infant’s age and
weight was made by Dr. Einat Birk, Head of the Pediatric Cardiology
Institute and Dr. Rami Fogelman, Head of the Electrophysiology Unit.
The procedure posed certain technical challenges since the defibrillator
is designed for adults. The producers, Medtronic, had to readjust and
reprogram the device to suit the infant’s age and size.
The two-hour operation was conducted by Dr. Gabi Amir and Dr. George
Frenkel, senior cardiac surgeons at Schneider Children’s, who placed
the defibrillator along the infant’s abdominal wall. Two
electrodes were inserted inside the heart lining and
a third conduction coil next to the perimeter of
the chest cavity. This is contrary to the accepted
procedure in adults where all three electrodes
are placed inside the heart lining.
X-ray showing the defibrillator in place
The defibrillator will track the electrical activity in
the child’s heart and respond automatically to any
life-threatening interference, and where necessary,
send an electric shock to her heart to normalize the heart beat.
Reduced Radiation Imaging
Children are especially prone to the cumulative effects of x-rays and
other ionizing radiation technologies; Schneider Children’s recently
introduced the newest digital device that reduces up to 90% of the
radiation absorbed by the body during screening.
Some x-ray imaging exposes the child to a high amount of radiation
that can harm human tissue and cause minute changes to the DNA,
raising the risk of late cancers. Recently, Schneider Children’s introduced
the use of new digital imaging equipment, which can reduce the
radiation dosage absorbed by the child’s body. The new system is called
Double Density CR technology that doubles the sensitivity detection
of x-ray radiation and reduces exposures to 25% or less. A processor
scans the x-ray image through special laser illumination, which finally
appears as a computerized digital picture that can be viewed and
stored electronically.
At the same time, Schneider Children’s introduced a new diagnostic
imager where the examination area is ‘illuminated’ during real-time
fluoroscopy (screening) through very short pulses of x-ray radiation,
as opposed to continuous radiation with the existing fluoroscopy
machine in use. In this way, radiation to the child is reduced by up to
90% during screening.
“The new detectors, the sophisticated scanner and the digital x-ray
processing contribute to a reduction of radiation by tens of percent,”
said Prof. Gadi Horev, Director of the Institute of Pediatric Imaging at
Schneider Children’s. “This is of critical importance particularly in the
case of premature infants who need to have x-rays almost daily. There
is also the danger that children will absorb greater amounts of radiation
as their sensitivity is ten times higher than adults.”
Schneider Children’s made the complete changeover to digital
technology more than 10 years ago. The new equipment is in keeping
with the directive issued at the beginning of this year by Israel’s Ministry
of Health, which stipulated that exposure to x-ray radiation must be
reduced as far as possible through digital recording media, shorter
exposure times, meticulous use of protective devices, and new machinery
that emits less radiation.
The Gift of Life
HHT Treatment Center
Experts Save the Sight
of Two Children
A unique center for the treatment of HHT
(Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telanglectasia), or
Osler-Weber-Rendu (OWR) named for three
doctors who described HHT, opened at
Schneider Children’s in September 2008 as
part of the Pulmonology Institute headed by
Prof. Hannah Blau. The Unit is the first of its kind
in Israel and serves as a national referral center.
It is one of only 29 centers in the world.
Pediatric ophthalmologists at Schneider
Children’s managed to save the eyesight of
two children who were in danger of losing
their sight following the use of night contact
lenses. The children, aged 9 and 10, arrived
within days of one another at the hospital’s
Emergency Room suffering from acute bacterial
infection which had penetrated the inner eye.
The children were hospitalized and treated
by Dr. Moshe Snir, Director of the Pediatric
Ophthalmology Unit at Schneider Children’s,
and Dr. Ronit Freeling, senior ophthalmologist.
Intravenous antibiotics and antibiotic eyedrops were administered until they recovered.
Both children were discharged a few days
HHT is a genetic disorder where distended
blood vessels connected to the arteries and
veins of the various organs in the body lead
to recurrent hemorrhaging and nosebleeds
(usually familial), and can cause a stroke,
bleeding in the lungs and respiratory failure
in children and adults. The majority of sufferers
do not know that they have the disease
and suspicion is usually aroused when bleeding
is excessive. It is important to note that most
cases of nosebleeds are not connected to
Dr. Moshe Snir
For Peace of Mind
The disease, which can be a “ticking time bomb”,
is prevalent in about 0.02% of the population.
HHT is not always diagnosed because of lack
of knowledge about the anomaly and because
symptoms can appear in different areas and
organs in the body.
Psychologists from Schneider Children’s Go South
Due to the security situation prevailing for years in southern Israel, psychologists from the
Anxiety Clinic, headed by Danny Lotan, extended their activities to villages and towns in
the Negev, and specifically in Sderot. Through use of a targeted technique and biofeedback
methodology to reduce fear and trauma, psychologists provided individual therapy to
children and their families in three kindergartens in the town, and at the psychology center
and the Regional Council of Sdot Negev. The team conducted interventions in shelters
where necessary, in order to treat affected children in real-time.
One of the objectives in establishing an HHT
treatment center at Schneider Children’s is to
raise awareness with the aim of preventing
severe complications that can result from the
disease. The center was established with the
assistance of Dr. Robert White of Yale University,
a renowned specialist in the treatment of
HHT, who seeks to establish other specialized
centers for treatment of the disease around
the world.
The meetings helped children cope with their feelings and understand their physical
reactions such as trembling, stomach aches, headaches and problematic sleep patterns.
Children were taught ways to defend themselves against stress and fear.
The clinical activities of the psychology team in Sderot were made possible through funds
raised by Friends of Schneider Children’s and the organization of friends of the Department
of Psychological Medicine abroad.
International Outreach
Oncology as Far as Uruguay
A delegation of doctors and nurses from Schneider Children’s participated in
the second joint South American-Israel Conference in Pediatric HematologyOncology in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The second joint South American-Israel Conference in Pediatric Oncology
took place last August in Montevideo. The Israeli delegation, led by Dr. Isaac
Yaniv, Director of the Hemato-Oncology Department, included another
six doctors and nurses from the department. During the three days of the
conference, the Israeli delegation made presentations in Pediatric Oncology
based on their experience in Israel and suggested various ideas to improve
the infrastructure and care of children with cancer. The conference, which
took place at the initiative of the Bnai Brith organization and the Israeli Foreign
Ministry, received broad exposure in the local media and concluded with
a festive dinner in honor of the Israeli delegation at the home of the Israeli
Ambassador in Uruguay. Once again, the name of the Hemato-Oncology
Department at Schneider Children’s precedes it.
L-R: Dr. Luis Castillo and Dr. Isaac Yaniv
Research with a View to the Future
Prof. Zvi Laron – 2009 Israel Prize Laureate for Medical Research
Prof. Zvi Laron, founder of the Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes
at Schneider Children’s, was awarded the 2009 Israel Prize for Medical
Research. Prof. Laron was recognized for his groundbreaking studies
on growth hormone activity, which influenced the treatment of
children of short stature. His findings were and are considered medical
milestones to this day.
Prof. Laron was the first person to develop a multidisciplinary model
for the treatment of childhood diabetes, and established and
developed the largest center in the country at Schneider Children’s
for the treatment of childhood diabetes.
In his basic research concerning growth hormone activity, Prof.
Laron identified molecular defects of the pituitary growth hormone
receptor in a certain population of children of short stature which he
later described in 1966. It is known today as the “Laron Syndrome”.
Prof. Laron headed the Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes at
Schneider Children’s until his retirement in 1992. With the opening
of the medical school at Tel Aviv University, Prof. Laron was first
appointed associate professor and then full professor, and participated
in formulating the course in Pediatrics, where he still teaches. Since
1992, Prof. Laron has served in a volunteer capacity as the Director
of the Endocrinology and Diabetes Research Unit at
Schneider Children’s.
Prof. Laron’s work has won him international renown as
well as many awards, among them honorary doctorates
from three universities in the world. He is also a member
of the Scientific Academy in Germany.
At a special ceremony arranged by the hospital’s
management in his honor, Prof. Moshe Phillip, current
Director of the Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes
at Schneider Children’s, paid tribute to the enormous
contribution made by Prof. Laron to the field of pediatric
endocrinology, and the huge acclaim he is accorded by
medical and academic institutions in the world.
L-R: Prof. Zvi Laron and Prof. Joseph Press
A Gift for the Present
with a View to the Future
Schneider Children’s, as a leading pediatric
institution, aspires to new breakthroughs in the
treatment of children with complex diseases
through expansive research studies. The Research
Unit in the hospital, headed by Prof. Shai
Ashkenazi, supports every stage of research – from
proper planning and implementation according
to the highest standards, to data analysis with
advanced statistical tools, and finally, collation of
findings. The Unit has supported many studies,
some of which have resulted in new therapies
for children.
The activities of the Unit, which provides a
research framework for residents and young
investigators in the hospital, is supported by funds
raised by Friends of Schneider Children’s from
several donors including the Bachrach Foundation
in Australia, and Alan Fenton of Switzerland who
donated previously towards the construction of
the Felsenstein Medical Research Center adjacent
to Schneider Children’s.
Prof. Joseph Press, Director of Schneider Children’s, said that
“Schneider Children’s is enormously proud that Prof. Laron
has been awarded the Israel Prize for Medical Research in
recognition of his great achievements. Prof. Laron is the
second laureate from Schneider Children’s. Four years ago,
the late Prof. Rina Zaizov, founder of pediatric hematologyoncology in Israel, was awarded the Israel Prize, and there
can be no greater source of pride for the hospital.”
Yisher Koach Prof. Laron!
The Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes
joins the Prestigious Artificial Pancreas
International Project
The Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes
recently joined the prestigious artificial pancreas
international project following receipt of a oneyear grant of over $3 million from the international
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
The initiative resulted from the collaboration between
the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute headed by
Dr. Lois Jovanovič, from Santa Barbara in California,
and the Diabetes Technology Center (DTC) within
the Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes headed
by Prof. Moshe Phillip.
Prof. Moshe Phillip
The Institute is the only center in Israel that has been
included in this distinguished project. The DTC is staffed by a team of doctors, nurses,
engineers and a research coordinator. Their objective is to “close the loop” between
the sensor used in glucose testing and the insulin pump, so that precise amounts of
insulin will be delivered in real-time as needed without any action by the patient, in
effect creating an “artificial pancreas”. The aim is to free diabetics from glucose testing
and multiple injections, thus significantly improving their quality of life.
Research with a View to the Future
The Sanctity of Life – Second Grant from the Racheli Foundation
Two years ago, the Bezalel Family from Petach Tikvah established an endowment fund for pediatric cancer research through Friends
of Schneider Children’s in memory of their daughter Racheli. The 2008 annual grant was awarded to Dr. Shifra Ash, for her research
on immunology treatment through activating the immune system in Neuroblastoma tumors.
L-R: Members of the Bezalel Family, Prof. Joseph Press, Dr. Shifra Ash, Judge (ret.) Yitzhak and Rina Braz and Dr. Isaac Yaniv
Biennial Research Day
In 1999, Schneider Children’s launched the first Biennial Research
Conference. Colloquially known as “Research Day”, the conferences
are aimed at underscoring Schneider Children’s mission to spearhead
clinical pediatric practice in Israel as well as pediatric research and
A research grant sponsored by Friends of Schneider Children’s
was awarded on Research Day to Dr. Meital Keidar-Ronet for her
research on the Relationship of Endothelial Factors to Aterosklerotic
Disease in Children with Kidney Transplants.
Schneider Children’s fifth Biennial Research Day was dedicated to
the memory of Yehuda Matoth ‫ז"ל‬, one of the pioneers of pediatric
medicine in Israel and founder of the Children’s Department at
Beilinson Hospital, forerunner of Schneider Children’s.
The central theme of Research Day was the encouragement of research
among young investigators. Presentations included advanced and
varied research methods that have been adopted by the hospital
such as progressive molecular technologies in genetic testing,
neurophysiological methods in the study of hearing impairments
and multidisciplinary approaches in bereavement research.
Research Day was organized by the Research Committee headed by
Prof. Doron Gothelf, Director of Outpatient Clinics in the Department
of Psychological Medicine.
L-R: Dr. Aviva Ron, Prof. Joseph Press, Dr. Meital Keidar-Ronet, Prof. Doron Gothelf
First Research Grant from the Major
Udi Winter Endowment Fund
A Research Endowment Fund in memory of Major Udi Winter, who was
killed in the Peace for Galilee War, was established through Friends of
Schneider Children’s. Frieda and the late Efraim Winter are treasured
volunteers of the hospital for many years. Efraim passed away a year
ago following a difficult illness, but Frieda continues their tradition of
volunteer activity with great passion.
The first grant from the Major Udi Winter Endowment Fund was awarded
on Schneider Children’s Research Day to Dr. Yael Gozlan concerning
her research on the Genetic Mutational Influence on the Development
of Diabetes Type MODY. The ceremony was attended by Frieda Winter
and family members.
L-R: Dr. Yael Gozlan, Dr. Aviva Ron, Dani Winter and Prof. Joseph Press
Construction and Development
Revamped Oncology Department
The Oncology Department and the Bone Marrow Transplantation
Unit (BMTU) returned to their permanent location on the 7th
floor of Schneider Children’s in February 2009 following a lengthy
overhaul. Reconstruction included extensive infrastructure work
in order to improve patient safety and upgrade state-of-the-art
conditions for children with cancer. Five new isolation rooms
were built in the BMTU together with showers and washrooms,
where advanced air flow filter systems were installed to protect
immunosuppressed children from infection.
The Department comprises 22 beds. All patient rooms were
renovated; two were transformed into isolation rooms. New
systems for electrical supply and air-conditioning were installed
throughout the Department and a new pharmaceutical room built
that will serve both Oncology and BMT patients. The room applies
the most advanced ergonomic responses for nurses preparing
Reconstruction and the acquisition of new equipment were made
possible by Clalit Health Services and designated contributions
by friends of the hospital. The project also gained the support of
the Israel Company in cooperation with the Variety Club, whose
donation to Friends of Schneider Children’s was directed towards
renovation and equipping the Activity & Education Room in the
The first child enters the new Oncology Department
The new bone marrow laboratory will provide services to Schneider
Children’s and the adjacent adult Davidoff Center. The laboratory
was outfitted with the latest instrumentation and technologies
available today.
Second Cardiac Catheterization Lab
A second catheterization laboratory has been opened in the Pediatric
Cardiology Institute headed by Dr. Einat Birk. The lab has been outfitted
from A to Z with the most advanced equipment for the performance of
cardiac catheterizations and angiographies in children, and will jointly
serve cardiology and invasive radiology needs.
Both cardiac catheterization labs constitute an entity capable of treating
the most complex conditions. The new equipment not only utilizes less
radiation, but also produces quality 3-D images of the vascular system
thus according more precise treatment. The opening of a second
cath lab will also reduce waiting time for cardiac catheterizations and
electrophysiological procedures.
Construction and equipping of the new laboratory was funded mainly
by a large bequest from the United States.
Relocated Day Care Hospitalization
The Day Care Hospitalization Unit, headed by Dr. Avraham Zeharia,
moved this summer to its new location. The Unit offers day care
to children with complex conditions and chronic diseases, infants
with eating and developmental disorders (Failure To Thrive or FTT),
adolescents with eating disorders, and more. The new location
includes a spacious treatment room, a fully equipped activity and
relaxation room for adolescents, and a “picnic room” for children with
FTT . Construction was supported by the hospital’s development
fund and contributions from the United States, including a gift from
the Crown Family Foundation to Friends of Schneider Children’s. The
Crown Foundation has been a steadfast and generous supporter of
the hospital since its inception.
Music in our Hearts
Maestro Muti
Maestro Riccardo Muti was surprised by children
from Schneider Children’s at a concert of the Israel
Philharmonic Orchestra
The Italian conductor, Riccardo Muti, who conducted
a special concert that took place as part of a series of
performances by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in
honor of Israel’s 60th Anniversary, and violinist Vadim Repin
contributed their honoraria from the concert to benefit
children of Schneider Children’s. This was the second
time that Maestro Muti has contributed his honorarium
from the Israel Philharmonic to benefit sick children.
The Maestro was surprised when patients of Schneider
Children’s – liver recipients, Rola Abbas from Julis and
Shai Barkana from Pardes Hanna - came onstage and
presented a certificate and bouquet of flowers to the
Maestro. In a conversation with the children, Maestro
Muti was amazed to hear that Rola has been studying
the piano for the past 7 years and encouraged her to
continue to keep up with her lessons.
Maestro Muti with Rola Abbas and Shai Barkana
From Austria with Love
The “Spirit of Europe”
Chamber Orchestra from Austria
returned to play once again for the
children of Schneider Children’s
and this time to mark the 60th
Anniversary of the State of Israel
Under the patronage of the Austrian Ambassador to Israel, H.E. Michael
Rendi, a Gala Concert featuring the “Spirit of Europe” Chamber Orchestra
from Austria, under the baton of Ronen Nissan, took place in Herzliya to
benefit Schneider Children’s Day Care Rehabilitation Unit. This was the
second performance of the orchestra in Israel on behalf of the medical
center, this time in celebration of Israel's 60th Anniversary.
The special concert was the initiative of Mr. Arad Benko, Director of
the Austrian Cultural Forum at the Austrian Embassy in Israel, Mr.
Yehuda Kassif, former CEO of the Diamond and Gem Exchange, and
Friends of Schneider Children’s. Distinguished guests included Amb.
Rendi, Herzliya Mayor Yael German, and Prof. Joseph Press, Director
of Schneider Children’s.
The “Spirit of Europe” Chamber Orchestra was founded in 2004 to mark
the expanded European Union. The orchestra’s specialty is its inquisitive
and open spirit in the belief that the integration of different cultures
contributes towards the enrichment of citizens everywhere.
The Day Care Rehabilitation Unit at Schneider Children’s treats children
and adolescents who need broad multidisciplinary rehabilitation
following injuries from road accidents, severe illness or complex surgery
and have lost their ability to function. Children undergo rehabilitation
for a pre-determined period at the medical center, without the need
for full hospitalization. This unique framework inside the hospital is
possible due to the immediate accessibility and professional support of
all outpatient clinics and consultants so that youngsters can undergo
rehabilitation while staying at home.
Friends Across the Oceans
The United Kingdom Raises the Banner
London Races Ahead
The road to establishing UK Friends of the hospital
started in London three years ago, when Howard
Sherbourne ran in the London Marathon and raised
money from sponsorships for Schneider Children’s.
In November 2007, also at the initiative of Howard,
Friends of Schneider Children’s in Israel participated
in the Fair organized by the Jewish Federation in
London to mark the 60th Anniversary of the State of
Israel. As a result of encounters and conversations
between representatives of Friends and visitors to
the event, new contacts were made with a number
of people including the four grandparents of a child
undergoing treatment in the Oncology Department
at Schneider Children’s (see accompanying story).
Today, UK Friends of Schneider Children’s Hospital
is a registered charity and all members and activists
are volunteers. Since its founding, UK Friends has
organized five meetings and fundraising events with
substantial income raised for designated objectives,
such as the acquisition of a spectrophotometer for
the Oncology laboratory, three PCAM devices for
the treatment of pain, and infusion pumps, among
Dr. Isaac Yaniv, Director of the Hemato-Oncology Department, members of
UK Friends of Schneider in London, and Ziva Caspi, Coordinator of Friends of
Schneider Children’s, at the Ner Israel Community Hall in Hendon
Young UK Friends
Gabi Tenenblat, who attended the inaugural UK Friends of Schneider evening, was
so motivated by the event that she wanted to start a Young UK Friends committee.
This came to fruition on July 16, 2009 when Gabi and some of her friends held their
first social event at a local wine bar called The Garden Bar in West Hampstead,
London. Young UK Friends of Schneider Children’s Hospital was born.
Over 100 young professionals aged 20 to 30 had a fun social
evening and also learned about the hospital’s activities. A
total of £700 was raised from generous donations including
a raffle for a meal for two at a high-end restaurant. The
evening was a great success despite inclement weather
in true London style. Gabi and her friends intend to host
more events in the future to raise money “for a welldeserved cause”.
As we go to press: Gabi will be running in the upcoming
Adidas Women's 5K run in Hyde Park, on behalf of UK
Friends of Schneider Children’s Hospital.
Friends Across the Oceans
UK Friends of Schneider
Children’s Hospital
In July 2006, we received the devastating news that our
one-year-old grandson Ze’evi who lived in Israel, had
been diagnosed with cancer. From this point on, our
son and daughter’s lives were turned upside down as
they made their often daily visit to Schneider Children’s
Hospital for Ze’evi’s treatment. We made numerous trips
to Israel to visit out grandson during those tumultuous
20 months and spent many days with him at Schneider
Children’s during his treatment. We therefore wanted to
show our appreciation for the hospital and hence the UK
Friends of Schneider Children’s Hospital was born.
The committee was formed in early 2008 when we
and other like-minded and passionate supporters of
the hospital came together to decide how we could
raise money for this worthy cause. We set about
applying for and received charitable status a year
later in February 2009. We held our first function in
November 2008 when over 200 people attended an
art presentation and supper evening. Dr. Isaac Yaniv,
Director of Oncology at Schneider Children’s, was our
guest of honour. We showed a DVD about the hospital
and after an entertaining and informative evening,
successfully raised over £6,000. Our next fundraising
event in May 2009 was a “Just Desserts Evening”. Our
guest was Shmuel Ben Tovim from the Israeli Embassy,
and the evening raised over £3,500. In June 2009, over
200 people attended a very successful supper quiz
raising both awareness about Schneider Children’s and
over £4,000. In addition to these events, a number of
people have chosen to support Schneider Children’s in
lieu of gifts for celebrations; for example, donations to
honour a golden wedding anniversary, a 60th birthday,
a 90th birthday and a ruby wedding anniversary.
From these fundraising initiatives, we have managed to raise enough
money to buy a spectrophotometer costing $22,000 (over £13,000), which
will help in identifying and diagnosing blood disorders. Additionally,
we have raised awareness of Schneider Children’s within the UK and
have started setting up a database of email addresses of interested
Our future plans include contacting Jewish Day Schools in order that
they may consider choosing Schneider Children’s as their charity for
the year and direct their fundraising initiatives towards helping this
worthy cause. We are also planning another fundraising event during
We are pleased that a young UK Friends of Schneider has been formed
under our auspices, and that they had their first event in July at a wine
bar. We are always very happy to welcome new volunteers to join us
in our efforts.
If you are interested in participating on our lively and passionate
committee, or if you just wish to add your details to our database in
order to find out about our upcoming events, please contact:
• Cynthia Roberts
[email protected]
• Zena Berhman
[email protected]
Friends Across the Oceans
Steadfast Support from Australian Friends
Melbourne – Persistence and
Message from Annie Silver
Dear Friends,
I wish to express my warmest appreciation to all our wonderful
supporters and new friends, who shared their happy events
with us and made generous contributions throughout the
year. In so doing, you have shown compassion and caring for
sick children being treated at Schneider Children’s Medical
Center of Israel. Australian Friends is unique among local
charities as it sends 100% of all donations directly to Israel.
We hope to broaden our scope of activities in the coming year and raise even
more funds to fulfill the promise of a better future to sick children in Israel.
With sincere gratitude,
Annie Silver
[email protected]
For the past 8 years, a small but determined group of friends
has been operating in Melbourne headed by Annie Silver,
who avidly raises funds on behalf of Schneider Children’s.
Step by step, Annie has drawn friends to the hospital through
her tireless activities including a breakfast at her home in
honor of Prof. Hannah Blau, Director of the Pulmonology
Institute at Schneider Children’s; distribution of promotional
material; and presentations in schools. Annie has succeeded
in mobilizing tens of thousands of dollars every year towards
designated projects. Perhaps her efforts can best be illustrated
by the contribution of Sascha Lissek, who donated her
Batmitzvah gifts to purchase medical equipment in the
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Schneider Children’s. Sascha,
a pupil at the Bialik College in Melbourne, followed the
example of other students in the school and adults in the
Jewish community, who contributed monetary gifts received
at milestone family events.
Annie also contacted several foundations such as the Bachrach
Foundation, which makes annual contributions to a variety
of needs: social services, children at risk, and the research
unit; the Pe’ula Organization, which made a donation to
the Anxiety Clinic activity in Sderot; and the B’nai B’rith
Lodge & Chapter Aviv which supported the acquisition of
an ophthalmoscope. A generous donation to benefit the
Rehabilitation Unit was made by Mike Raiman from the estate
of his late uncle, Leon Waldman, as a fitting tribute to his
enduring love of children and commitment to Israel.
Schools Program:
Children Helping Children
Sascha Lissek and her mother, Danielle,
alongside an infusion pump donated by Sascha
Kudos to all the school children at Moriah College in Sydney
and Bialik College in Melbourne for their marvelous and
enduring friendship! Our particular gratitude and admiration is
extended to all Bnei Mitzvah who selflessly asked friends and
family to donate to Schneider Children’s in lieu of gifts.
Abraham and Peg Cykiert
Abraham and Peg Cykiert, devoted donors from
Melbourne, passed away this year. Abraham generously
sponsored the acquisition of equipment in the
Pulmonology Institute at Schneider Children’s, in memory
of his family who perished in the Holocaust. Their love
for Schneider’s children and their deep regard for the
medical achievements of the hospital were further
expressed by a handsome bequest they left to the
Abraham Cykiert, a Holocaust survivor, wrote and
lectured at great length about the Holocaust. Among
his writings, he penned a moving account about the Jews
in the Lodz Ghetto. He passed the pages into the loyal
hands of Dr. Aviva Ron, with the request that the story
be printed and published. Proceeds from the sale of the
book will benefit the children of Schneider Children’s.
Abraham Cykiert at the dedication ceremony of the Lung Laboratory
Friends Across the Oceans
On the occasion of her Batmitzvah, Dafna Buchwald donated a
portion of her gifts towards the purchase of an LCD TV for the
Oncology Department.
The Buchwald Family visits Schneider Children's
The Nurses Station in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) was sponsored
through the generous contribution of Tessy and Abraham Attias of
Monterey in Mexico in honor of the 18th birthday of their daughter
Stefani, as an expression of their high ideals about giving to others.
L-R: Dr. Ovdi Dagan, Head of the CICU Unit, Miri Keller, former Head
Nurse in the Unit, Stefani, Abraham and Tessy Attias, Prof. Joseph Press
Additional indispensable pieces of equipment were purchased through the other generous contributions from Mexico: two infusion pumps
for the Oncology Department were donated by the Shemaria family, and instrumentation for the Cardiac Electrophysiology Unit was funded
by members of the Wengrowsky Family.
Yehuda Dichter from Belgium established a Fellowship Fund for Pediatric
Hematology in memory of his wife, Sophie Bronstein-Dichter.
This is the third consecutive year that Torino Friends of Schneider
Children’s, headed by Nora and Aron Bengio, organized a Purim party
where the aim was to have fun but above all, to contribute to the children
of Schneider Children’s. Dr. Aviva Ron, Chair of the Executive Committee,
took part in the celebration. Purim masks, made by hospitalized children,
were distributed to all the guests.
L-R: Prof. Joseph Press, Fanny (granddaughter) and Yehuda Dichter,
and Prof. Hannah Tamary, Director of the Hematology Unit
Torino Friends celebrate Purim
Personalized Certificates
Just as Annie Silver has done so successfully in Australia, other countries
are following suit by issuing personalized certificates in recognition of all
contributions. The certificates not only win us new friends through the
acknowledgement of the donor’s generosity, they also serve as meaningful
and unique greeting cards. That the ultimate benefactors are sick children
in Israel, makes personalized certificates a special gift.
Pedalling for Children
When the idea for the first Cycle Challenge was “thrown” into the air in the summer of 2008, the organizers had no idea
that this event would become a tradition of Schneider Children’s that would repeat itself every year. A small group of
cyclists, among whom were pediatricians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, members of Management, two past employees
of the hospital and children of doctors, joined together for the cycling experience which left them with a taste for more.
Dani Bazner, Director of the Tzimuk Company, promised that the first Cycle Challenge would become
the forerunner of the next, and the one after that. “Just you wait and see”, he said. And he was right! Not only is the
second cycle planned but our cyclists, including Liz Schick from Switzerland, will be participating again.
The second Cycle Challenge will take place between September 14-16, 2009.
As always, the objective of the Cycle Challenge is to serve as a fundraising vehicle
for the children of Schneider Children’s.