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Designing for Wellness: Place2Heal’s Vision for Pediatric Care

A groundbreaking nonprofit redefines the pediatric MRI journey at Safra Children’s Hospital through Simul Park, offering comfort to young patients.

At Sheba’s Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital, comforting and preparing young patients for medical procedures remains integral to their care. The formidable nature of MRI and CT machines often instill fear in children, given their inability to fully comprehend the experience. Despite the groundbreaking imaging capabilities of these machines, their noisy operation can be unsettling for children.

Innovating Pediatric Healthcare Experiences

In 2016, Judy Bogen, a British immigrant, founded Place2Heal, a nonprofit that collaborates with healthcare professionals, designers and engineers. Together, they create tranquil environments featuring calming lighting, cozy furnishings and soothing aesthetics, guided by evidence-based healthcare designs to prioritize patient wellbeing and enhance healing experiences.

By embracing the concept of ‘wellness by design,’ Place2Heal has addressed the anxieties of young patients at Safra Children’s Hospital by way of an engaging, fun and educational experience. Judy Bogen and Michal Raz, Head of Safra’s Weizmann Educational Center, explored innovative approaches to educate children about MRI scanning. This led to the development of Simul Park, an interactive room simulating an MRI procedure using Alexa, a slide show and an old MRI bed.

Safra Hospital’s New Simul Park

Reflecting on this initiative, Bogen expressed, “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.”

The room was designed as an amusement park to engage both children and adolescents. This project, dedicated to Johnny Baker, an expat who sadly passed away from cancer at Sheba, garnered significant support from his friends from Bnei Akiva England, who raised funds by running a marathon.

During the unveiling ceremony, Bogen remarked, “It is a great pleasure for us to know that together we will improve the quality of life of young children in Israel,” reflecting her commitment to enhancing healthcare experiences for children in need.

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