The following article was originally published in the Hadassah International 2022 Year In Review. To access the complete Hadassah International 2022 Year in Review – click here: Cure. Innovation. Humanity.


“Rehabilitation goes beyond medicine. It is an emotional journey shared by our patients and our staff,” explains Prof. Isabella Schwartz, head of Rehabilitation at Hadassah Mount Scopus. Immensely grateful to the Gandel family for its generous support, she affirms the Gandel Rehabilitation Center will revolutionize rehabilitation services at Hadassah and nationwide. “The Gandels are philanthropists with a mission. Warm, sensitive people with golden hearts, they have become family.”

“With the patient at the center of everything we do, the new Rehabilitation Center has been thoughtfully crafted to provide every aspect of care required,” adds Schwartz. The magnificent eight-story edifice was designed for the diverse needs of Jerusalem’s patient population. Examples of patient-centric care include on-site treatment for dialysis patients and isolation rooms for immunodeficient patients. These convalescents will receive critical rehabilitation therapies without having to leave the facility and even their rooms.

In 2024, Phase I of the Center will be completed with a partial opening of four floors, offering extensive outpatient rehabilitation services and 72 beds for inpatient care, more than doubling the current capacity. Once funding is secured for the next phase, the center will have a total of 132 beds, a fourfold increase in capacity, providing a dramatic improvement in rehabilitation services offered in the region.

The Center will employ 274 staff members, including specialist rehabilitation physicians, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists; psychologists, social workers, dieticians, and administrators. They will work together to restore the independence of patients with complex physical and mental conditions resulting from trauma, disease, and injury. “At the heart of our philosophy is the conviction that successful rehabilitation is the balance and synchronization of therapies – that coordination, integration, and care are one and the same process,” says Schwartz. The department’s services comprise inpatient hospitalization, outpatient care, specialized centers, and clinics. The new Center will offer two hydrotherapy pools; a robotic therapy center; a rooftop healing garden; and a technological incubator, setting a new standard in Israel.

With her expertise in motion and gait, Professor Schwartz has established multiple research collaborations with international partners. In addition, she serves as a coordinator for a notable Horizon research consortium focused on “Fall Prevention.” The consortium includes 20 professional staff members from European countries and is expected to have a significant impact on the field, extending far beyond its initial scope.

Photo caption: Prof. Isabella Schwartz, head, of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation