Sponsors: Office of the Executive Director for Israel,
Middle East and North Africa Regional Disability Working Group and
HDNSP Disability and Development Team
Presenter: Meir Handelsman, Head of International Cooperations, Yad Sarah
Chairs: Yoav Soffer, Advisor to the Executive Director for Israel
The presenter gave an overview of Yad Sarah - Israel’s leading humanitarian volunteer organization, providing a spectrum of free or nominal cost services designed to make home and community care possible for special needs, sick, disabled, elderly and recuperating people and their families. The organization has over 100 branches throughout Israel run by more than 6,000 volunteers.
The second part of the presentation dealt with the financial ramifications of Yad Sarah’s services to the Israeli economy. The presenter discussed how the organization save over $320 million annually in direct hospitalization and medical costs, with an annual budget of approximately $17 million.
Yad Sarah has been granted special consultative status to ECOSOC and is associated with the DPI/UN. Yad Sarah strives to make life easier for people with disabilities and special needs within Israeli society and welcomes the opportunity to do the same for people worldwide. The presentation concluded with a discussion of possible ways of implementing the Yad Sarah model in other communities/countries, wishing to benefit from its know-how, and where they have implemented - or are in the process of implementing - some of their services to date.
Mr. Meir Handelsman
Meir Handelsman is an expert in Public Health with emphasis on Health Information Systems. He has had over 30 years of experience in this field at the Israel Ministry of Health. For the past 10 years, he has been Director of the Computer Department at Yad Sarah, and in conjunction has created Yad Sarah’s International Cooperation Department. His vast expertise in this unique field allows him to acquaint others with the advantages of the Yad Sarah model.
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