BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INSTITUTION

The research group at the Ben-Gurion University is located at the Soroka Medical Center. This is a hospital in Beersheba, Israel. It is the largest medical center in southern region of the country, and the fourth largest in Israel with approximately 1000 beds. It is owned by Clalit, the largest Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) in Israel. Soroka provides medical care to members of all populations in the region, including Negev Bedouins and Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. BGU has been recently involved as a main partner in the EU-project PREDICT, aimed at tackling the persistent exclusion of older people from clinical trials.

BGU brings in the project its long-standing expertise with the involvement of older people in research, which is one of the core issue of the SCOPE project. In addition, BGU has a specific know-how in Ethics, testified by the many appointments in this area held by the PI of the participating research team.

DESCRIPTION OF ANY SIGNIFICANT INFRASTRUCTURE AND/OR MAJOR ITEMS OF TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT

The faculty of medicine at Ben-Gurion University is well known for its community orientation. The Department of Geriatrics at the affiliated Soroka Hospital treats elderly patients from a catchment area which includes the whole southern part of Israel. It is actively involved in research on dementia and rehabilitation, as well as why elderly patients are not studied adequately in clinical research. Teaching activities focus on medical students, and the residency program in geriatrics.

SHORT PROFILE OF KEY STAFF MEMBERS

A. Mark Clarfield: MD, FRCPC is the Director of the Geriatrics Dept. at the Soroka Hospital and a Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Ben-Gurion University and adjunct professor, McGill university, Montreal. He was for many years the director of Geriatric Medicine at McGill University in Canada and he served as Director of the Division on Geriatrics for the Israeli Ministry of Health. As Director of Academic Affairs at the Sara Herzog Memorial (Geriatric) Hospital, he served as chairman of the Research Ethics Committee. He has also published widely and has won several awards.

Prof. Itshak Melzer: PhD, PT - a senior lecturer in the Physical Therapy Department and Director of the Schwartz Rehabilitation and movement Analysis Laboratory at the faculty of health sciences at Ben-Gurion University. Dr. Melzer received his doctorate in 2001. From 2001-2003 he worked in the US at the NeuroMuscular Research Center at Boston university as a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Melzer’s research interests include 1) Mechanism of postural control in the elderly; 2) Developing improved methods of testing postural balance and physical functioning; 3) Developing interventions to reduce the incidence of falls.

Ms Sahar Anavis-Ohayon: Geriatric Social worker.

LIST OF THE FIVE MOST RELEVANT PUBLICATIONS AND/OR PRODUCTS, SERVICES, OR OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS

  1. Crome P, Lally F, Cherubini A, Oristrell J, Beswick AD, Clarfield AM, Hertogh C, Lesauskaite V, Prada GI, Szczerbińska K, Topinkova E, Sinclair-Cohen J, Edbrooke D, Mills G. Exclusion of older people from clinical trials: professional views from nine European countries participating in the PREDICT study. Drugs Aging. 2011 Aug 1;28(8):667-77.
  2. Clarfield AM. Good advice, if you can follow it. CMAJ. 2010 Oct 25.
  3. Clarfield AM. Screening in frail older people: an ounce of prevention or a pound of trouble? J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Oct;58(10):2016-21.
  4. Odeh JH, Clarfield AM, Waterston T. What can cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian doctors achieve? BMJ. 2010 Jun 25;340:c3081. Ioannidis JP, Ahmed T, Awasthi S, Clarfield AM, Clark J, Dandona L, Howe A, Lozano JM, Li Y, Madani H, Marusic A, Mohammed I, Purcell GP, Rhoads M, Sliwa-Hähnle K, Straus SE, Edejer TT, Tugwell P, Ward R, Wilkes MS, Smith R. Open letter to the leader of academic medicine. BMJ. 2007 Jan 27;334(7586):191-3.