Seventy-five years after it was founded on the Tel Aviv shore by a group of German immigrants as a soup kitchen for destitute European refugees, the Reuth Medical & Rehabilitation Center recently played host to President Shimon Peres, who came to witness a recent example of the hospital’s innovative research.
On a tour of the institution, Peres was guest of honor at the unveiling of the Wohl Ward, “the world’s first anti-bacterial hospital ward.”
Working with Cupron, an Israeli technology company, Reuth developed copper-imbedded textiles and work surfaces that research has shown are highly resistant to the spread of infections.
Copper has been used as an anti-bacterial agent for centuries. The copper-imbedded material will also be sewn into uniforms worn by nurses in the Wohl unit.
“Based on the impressive results of the clinical trial, both in terms of the patient benefit and the potential this technology has to reduce costs, the decision to purchase Cupron’s textiles for use throughout the hospital was clear,” said Dr. Nissim Ohana, the hospital’s director general. “It turned out that ordinary products used daily in the hospital could transform to extraordinary ones and provide a safer environment to the patient.”
During his visit, Peres also viewed an exhibition of advance rehabilitation technologies developed at Reuth, including a computerized system in a pair of shoes that helps patients learn to walk again following strokes, surgery or trauma.
The Israeli president commended Tamara Freudenstein, a volunteer from Scarsdale who is spending her gap year in Israel and regularly visiting Reuth’s children’s ward.
Reuth (Hebrew for “friendship”), which calls itself the largest rehabilitation and chronic care facility in Tel Aviv, treats thousands of people annually in its hospital wards and its Day Rehabilitation Center. The organization also runs subsidized housing for needy seniors, three seniors community centers, and three seniors residences.