Prof. Gavriel Gorman, who has just retired as director of anesthesiology and intensive care at Soroka University Hospital in Beersheba, will take over as full-time chairman of Israel Transplant, the national organ transplant coordination center, on Friday. He is replacing Prof. Jonathan Halevy, director-general of Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Hospital, who filled the post voluntarily for six years. Health Minister Ya'acov Edri said Thursday that he saw great importance in advancing organ transplantation. "Today, there are still too many patients waiting long periods for a transplant because of the lack of organs. It touches my heart, and we must do all we can to change this," he said. He thanked Halevy for his dedicated service at the head of Israel Transplant, which promotes registration as potential organ donors with the organization ADI, supervises the work of transplant coordinators in all the general hospitals and chooses recipients according to criteria processed by a computer program. During Halevy's time in the post, 20,000 potential donors were added when he introduced a line in the donor card stating that organs would be taken only after consultation with the patient's clergyman. He also helped implement here the international "Donor Action" program in which files of deceased patients whose organs were not used for transplants are examined to find out why they were "missed" and to improve performance. More than 850 Israelis are waiting for an organ donation, and the sign-up rate remains relatively low compared to other countries due to religious and psychological reasons.