A Helping Hand to Heal Hands

When Dr. Aviva Wolff heard about the Harvey and Gloria Kaylie Rehabilitation Medical Center at ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran from one of her students who had volunteered in the center’s occupational therapy department, she decided that patients at the center could benefit from her expertise as an occupational hand therapist. Dr. Wolff reached out to Dr. Shilo Kramer, director of the Kaylie Rehabilitation Medical Center’s orthopedic rehabilitation department. After hearing details about the center’s important work in post-October 7 rehabilitation of wounded civilians and IDF soldiers, Dr. Wolff knew she had to join the team. Dr. Wolff booked a flight to Israel and made her way straight to ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran as a professional medical volunteer.

An occupational hand therapist, clinician and researcher specializing in hand and upper extremity damage with over 20 years of experience, Dr. Wolf received her doctorate from Columbia University in 2016 for her work on grasp control in typically developing children and children with cerebral palsy. Dr. Wolff works in the Department of Rehabilitation at the Hospital for Special Surgery where she runs the upper extremity clinical movement analysis program and hand and wrist biomechanics research as Research Operations Manager in the Leon Root, MD Motions Analysis Laboratory. Additionally, Dr. Wolff works with performing artists to prevent and manage performance-related injuries and serves as an expert consultant at The Julliard School of Music. Dr. Wolff also serves as Master’s Student Coordinator at Columbia University.

During the course of her volunteerism at the Kaylie Rehabilitation Medical Center, Dr. Wolff cared for a diverse range of civilian and war-related injuries. “Aviva is an amazing addition to our team,” commented staff at the rehabilitation medical center. “She brought outstanding professional knowledge and she related to each patient with such warmth. It is so uplifting to see such compassion for the welfare of the residents of the Negev.”

Dr. Wolff was deeply impressed with the center’s expertise and proficiency, as well as the camaraderie and affability between patients and staff. “The staff is so professional, the hospital is so beautiful, and everyone is smiling and always so appreciative. It’s an incredible place to practice medicine. I haven’t felt this way about treating patients since I was a new therapist.”

Health and health-related fields professionals interested in volunteering at ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran and the Kaylie Rehabilitation Medical Center through the Emergency Volunteer Project (EVP) can contact the organization through their web site at https://www.evp.org.il/contact.cgi

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