Innovative nonprofit transforms pediatric MRI experience at Safra Children’s Hospital, creating Simul Park for comforting young patients.

At Sheba’s Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital, comforting and preparing pediatric patients for procedures is always part of the treatment process. MRI and CT machines can be very intimidating and even frightening for a young child, who can’t fully grasp and understand what they’re going through. While these machines produce some revolutionary results in terms of imaging, they can make a lot of disturbing noises.

Revolutionizing the Way Kids Experience Healthcare

In 2016, British immigrant Judy Bogen, founded Place2Heal, a nonprofit that collaborates with hospital staff, designers, and engineers to create serene environments with calming lighting, comfortable furnishings, and soothing aesthetics. They embrace Evidence-Based Healthcare Designs, prioritizing patient well-being, reducing stress and enhancing healing experiences.

The nonprofit has since provided Safra Children’s Hospital with a solution to the fears their youngest patients experience. Being dedicated to the notion of ‘wellness by design’, Bogen met with Michal Raz, the head of Safra’s Weizmann Educational Center and learned about the current status quo of verbally explaining the procedure to young patients, but not showing them. They began thinking of a more experimental way of informing children of MRI scanning.

Introducing Safra Hospital’s Simul Park

Bogen further explained, “We found a corner room of a really weird shape, and we worked with Michal and her amazing staff to transform it into a room where children and parents could go to learn about an MRI simulation using Alexa, a slide show, and an old MRI bed.” She continued, “The educational staff at Safra created a comprehensive program, preparing children for the process they are about to undergo, and allowing them to experience it and to receive answers to all of their questions and doubts.”

The room was officially named Simul Park and was designed like an amusement park that would appeal with both children and adolescent patients. Simul Park was dedicated to Johnny Baker, a British expat who passed of Cancer. His friends from Bnei Akiva England, who were at the opening ceremony, raised half of the 70,000 NIS needed to fund the project by running a marathon.

At the ceremony, Bogen commented about her work at Sheba, as well as other medical centers in the country, “It is a great pleasure for us to know that together we will improve the quality of life of young children in Israel.”

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