Meet Dr. Julia Kovalenko, Director of Galilee Medical Center's Rehabilitation Department!
Dr. Julia Kovalenko assumed the role of Head of Galilee Medical Center's Rehabilitation Department at the end of 2018.  Dr. Kovalenko, 47, a pediatrician by training, completed her studies in the Ukraine and immigrated to Israel in 2000. She completed her residency in the Rehabilitation Department at the Bnei Zion Medical Center in Haifa where she continued on as a senior physician. In addition, she headed the Rehabilitation Unit at the Bayit B’Lev Geriatric Center in Nesher.

Dr. Kovalenko: “Galilee Medical Center's Rehabilitation Department has twenty beds and provides treatment for patients in need of orthopedic, neurological and general rehabilitation. The department's staff includes medical personnel, nursing staff with geriatric orientation, a social worker, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, a psychologist and a dietician.”

The department serves traffic accident victims, patients after elective joint surgery, those who have experienced strokes, as well as sufferers of chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons disease. The Rehabilitation Department also treats patients who have suffered head or spinal cord injuries.

An interesting project currently being initiated in the department is the “rehabilitation apartment.” This apartment enables patients to practice with a wide variety of equipment that is important to functioning independently at home. Dr. Kovalenko explained, “after practicing in the rehabilitation apartment which provides an appropriate environment for patients with disabilities, patients will feel more enabled and less dependent on others thereby facilitating a more successful return to the community."

Another important department project is upgrading the outpatient rehabilitation program which aims to provide ongoing care for rehabilitated patients after they leave the department.  Dr. Kovalenko noted that “at the moment we have 6-8 patients in outpatient treatment and our goal is to increase that number to 30. The department also offers appropriate guidance for patients who are interested in returning to sexual functioning particularly for patients recovering from a stroke."

Additionally, according to Dr. Kovalenko, a clinic for the treatment of patients suffering from spastic problems opened within the department in conjunction with the Neurology and Neurosurgical Departments. Additional projects under development include a “driving rehab” program for stroke victims in order to facilitate their return to driving independently, and a project that will provide treatment for patients suffering from incontinence.