We are happy to announce the opening of the new 'Therapeutic Garden', adjacent to the Miryam Bourkis Oncology Outpatient Institute, Galilee Medical Center.

The Therapeutic Garden offers oncology patients and their families a relaxing and natural surrounding before and in-between treatments.  The Garden, planned by landscape architect Hanna Carmi and implemented by "Suf Gardens", includes walking paths, sitting areas suitable for picnics, rich and colorful plants and flowers, and a pergola with a climbing vine and seating area.  The Garden, situated at the northern end of the Oncology Outpatient Institute and overlooking the mountain range of the northern border, preserves the natural beauty of the Western Galilee, with boulders and olive trees that were transferred from their original sites.

The Garden was established by the Friends of Galilee Medical Center, together with contributions from Israel and abroad. The Friends organization, which established Galilee Medical Center's new Oncology Outpatient Institute one year ago, understood the importance of environmental therapy, and raised one-half million shekels to fund the project.  Among the donors were the Bourkis family, the employees union (Haifa and northern region branch) of the Israel Electric Company, and U.S. Jewish Federations.  Alongside the Therapeutic garden, a small cafeteria, funded by the Zoglowek company and run by "Yael" volunteers, will serve visitors to both the Oncology Institute and the nearby Department of Rehabilitation.

Dr. Hadassah Goldberg, Director of the Oncology Outpatient Institute: "Our patients experience physical and emotional stress. The worry and anxiety that accompanies cancer undoubtedly add to the difficulty of healing our patients.  Our Oncology Institute pays special attention to improving our patients' quality of life, with specialists who address physical as well as emotional problems.  We invested a great deal of thought into the new facility that opened just one year ago, in order to create a supportive and positive atmosphere.  Our bright and spacious facility has now been joined by a beautiful garden with rich and colorful vegetation, and sitting areas for comfort and relaxation. Our patients do spend many hours at the Oncology Institute and we want that time to be as relaxing and stress-free as possible."

The Therapeutic Garden is only one of a chain of projects initiated and led by the Friends of Galilee Medical Center. Simultaneously, the Friends organization is busy building departments and acquiring medical equipment. The organization has just completed a project in which more than one million shekels of medical equipment was purchased for the Departments of Neonatology, Anesthesia, Intensive Care, Otorhinolaryngology, and Ophthalmology, and for the Operating Rooms.

According to the CEO of the Board, Mr. Michael Ilouz, during the coming year the Friends of Galilee Medical Center will concentrate on raising funds for a new Cardiology Institute, along with funding currently ongoing projects.

Photographer: Amir yarchi