In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of patients with inflammatory bowel disease in Israel (as in the West) in the form of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. These diseases are considered to be subtle, their causes are still not clear and many studies are being carried out in Israel and abroad in order to understand the roots of the disease and to develop appropriate treatments.
The Emek Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease is managed by Dr. Eran Zitan and includes a multidisciplinary team that includes nurses, dietitians and gastroenterologists, as well as surgeons, gynecologists, rheumatologists and dermatologists. The IBD Center at the Emek Medical Center is a partner in leading medical research with the aim of “cracking” the mechanism of the disease and finding suitable treatment for patients.
On September 8, 2017, a large patient conference was held at the Emek Medical Center in order to update patients and their families on new innovations in the understanding of diseases as well as medical treatments tailored to patients according to their medical condition. The conference was held in cooperation with the Israeli Society for the Support of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Over 200 patients, physicians and healthcare workers attended the highly anticipated event.
Dr. Eran Zitan, hailed by some as a “rock star” of motivational medical speakers, said, “In the past, the genetic and family background of the patient was given more weight, but today we understand that other factors are related to the cause of the disease, and we are investigating these factors in our medical center. The environment and the food we eat have a link to the development of the disease, and today we are making every patient a tailor-made therapy program according to the type of disease. It is very important to detect the inflammatory disease in the bowel early, before complications set in. Crohn’s disease may be ‘quiet’ in some people, without them knowing that they have it. In many cases people only notice that something is wrong when diarrhea or intestinal blockages begin. Our goal is early diagnosis and to adjust as accurately and quickly as possible. Preventing complications and even locating populations at risk for inflammatory bowel disease is our ultimate goal,” concluded Dr. Zitan.
Emek Medical Center
The Emek Medical Center has established itself as a leader in Israeli healthcare, offering the highest quality of care to a diverse patient population. The Hospital’s CEO is Dr. Orna Blondheim, the first of two women to head a medical center in Israel.
Located in Afula in the Lower Galilee region, Emek serves more than 500,000 individuals throughout Northeastern Israel who are for the most part in the mid to low socioeconomic range. The region is equally divided (50/50) between Jews and Arabs and Emek’s multi-ethnic staff serves them all.
By Larry Rich
Larry Rich is the Emek Medical Center director of international public relations.