The Council for Higher Education (CHE) cleared the way for Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to submit a curriculum for an occupational therapy program. There is a severe shortage of occupational therapists all around the country, but especially in the South.
A southern coalition was formed in light of the shortage to work with government ministries and the CHE to assist BGU in receiving the green light. The Beer-Sheva Municipality, led by Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, Soroka University Medical Center, Clalit Health Services, ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran Rehabilitation Hospital, and local organizations and activists all came together to push through the move.
Once the plan for the program is submitted and approved, the new Department of Occupational Therapy will open in the Recanati School for Community Health Professions. The goal is to open the department in time for the 2022-2023 school year.
BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz, "Our motivation for opening an occupational therapy program at BGU is both to meet the crucial need in the South and because rehabilitation is an up-and-coming research field. This coalition attests to the unanimous understanding of how much new therapists are needed and it is now up to us to ensure that the program comes to fruition for the benefit of the Negev populace and Israeli society."
Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof. Angel Porgador, "We pride ourselves on the fact that our medical schools and community health professions programs teach the students to see the patient and the community. Our efforts to open this program and our willingness to do whatever it takes to make it happen, is an example of that commitment, which we instill in generations of students in our community health professions programs."