Some of the world's leading experts on pediatric chronic diseases will join their Israeli colleagues at the Regency Hotel in Jerusalem on Thursday and Friday for discussions of issues involved in treating children with chronic disorders. Organized by the Hadassah Medical Organization and Shalva (the Association for Mentally and Physically Challenged Children), the international congress is unusual not only because of its subject, but also because the general public is invited to attend - free of charge. Attendees must register first, however, at www.myreg.co.il/chronicdisordersinchildren. Fees have been waived thanks to a donation from Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman of Toronto, Canada. The scientific program features a forum of American and Canadian editors of leading textbooks and journals. Other sessions include lectures and presentations by international authorities on the medical, nursing, social work, rehabilitation and ethical aspects of chronic children's disorders. The pediatric department of the Hadassah University Medical Center on Jerusalem's Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, prepared the gathering, which over 300 health care professionals in the field from around the world are expected to attend. Speakers will address new methods of treating of genetic diseases; the impact of chronic diseases on the growth of neonates; early detection of mental diseases in adolescents with chronic diseases; growing up with celiac disease; prevention of long-term side effects in children with diabetes and other related topics. Beverly Goldsmith of the Nurses' Council of the Hadassah Women's Zionist Organization of America will describe her personal experience in coping with a child with a chronic disease. Hadassah's Center for Chronic Diseases in Children is the only center of its kind in Israel and one of a few in the world where children suffering from diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF), Down Syndrome, diabetes and asthma receive comprehensive multidisciplinary treatment. The center also provides the young patients' families with educational and psychological support to help them cope with the disease at home.