(photo credit: Courtesy)
Health Minister MK Ya’acov Litzman has announced his support for the “Danielle Foundation” initiative, which has this year established an annual prize for doctors and nurses in hospitals throughout the country.
The “Danielle Prize – Healing with a Heart” was established to promote warm and personal relationships in hospitals in order to improve the medical situation for patients. The “Danielle Foundation,” which is behind this initiative, was established by Mr. Elio Moti Sonnenfeld in memory of his daughter, Danielle Sonnenfeld, who devoted her life's work to helping children afflicted with cancer. The prize was inspired by her personal story.
This year, the “Danielle Prize” will be awarded to professionals practicing in the field of pediatric oncology in hospitals throughout the country. The Prize will be awarded based on recommendations made by families of children suffering from cancer and will be formally awarded to the recipients at a ceremony at President Reuven Rivlin's residence, with the participation of the Minister of Health and other senior government officials, as well as medical and business leaders.
To date, over 650 families have joined in this initiative and have nominated deserving candidates. At this time, Litzman is calling on additional families of children being treated in oncology departments around the country to join in this worthy initiative and nominate those special doctors and nurses who have gone above and beyond for patients under their care.
The Health Minister said that The Danielle Prize "is an opportunity to publicly praise those devoted professionals who perform holy work on a daily basis. I commend the Danielle Prize initiative and call upon all the patients’ families in Israel to participate and show recognition to the medical teams that have accompanied them, and continue to accompany them, along their journey.”
The prize's namesake was born in Brazil and moved to Israel as a child. After graduating high school with high honors, she began volunteering at the pediatric oncology department at Schneider Hospital, which she continued to do with love and devotion until her last day. Danielle passed away nine months ago, at the age of 20, in a car accident while returning from her hospital volunteer work. The Danielle Foundation was established in her memory and, as part of its initiatives in the fields of education and health, has established “Tzevet Danielle” (the “Danielle Team”) – an ambulatory medical team at Schneider Hospital that visits homes of patients who are unable to travel to the hospital for their treatments.
Danielle set a goal for herself in her lifetime – to attend, with great dedication, to children suffering from cancer. Recognizing the importance of infusing the healing profession with a true and unique compassion, love and human kindness, Danielle was preparing to pursue the study of medicine. Her unique personality touched the lives of tens of patients and their families, who desperately needed tender loving care in dealing with their pain.
The Danielle Foundation has now transformed Danielle’s vision into a national mission. To attain this goal, the Foundation is calling upon patients’ families to submit their nominations for those they believe are deserving of the Prize.
The Prize committee, comprised of leading public figures for whom this project has special meaning, will review the submissions and, in January 2016, select whom they believe to be the worthiest awardees. Members of the Prize committee include: Mr. Yossi Ackerman (Chairman), Mr. Miki Federmann, Mr. Rami Ungar; Maj. Gen. (Res) Yiftah Ron-Tal, Maj. Gen. (Res) Yossi Ben Hanan, Mr. Yehoram Gaon and Judge Hila Gerstel. Rabbi Elimelech Firer, chairman and founder of the “Ezra Lemarpeh” organization, is an advisor to the committee.To nominate worthy candidates, please visit www.danielle.org.il or send nominations by fax to 02-5673424.
For those families who participate in suggesting candidates, names will be entered into a drawing which will be raffling off five weekend retreat packages.