TAU Receives $12.67M Grant for Medical Simulation Center

The Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at Tel Aviv University Receives a $12.67 Million Grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust to Create a Medical Simulation Training Center

01 April 2024
The Helmsley Medical Simulation Center Team
The Helmsley Medical Simulation Center Team

TEL AVIV, Israel & NEW YORK—A $12.67 million lead grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust will support the creation of the Helmsley Medical Simulation Center (“Center”) at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at Tel Aviv University. The Center will provide student training for a new generation of skilled, experienced, and compassionate medical, dental, and healthcare professionals. The skills learned through simulation trainings will lead to increased patient safety and improved health outcomes. The grant will be used to plan, build, equip, and begin operating the Center in an existing building on Tel Aviv University’s campus.


The term "medical education” encompasses many goals, but its key challenge is to teach medical professionals the clinical expertise and communication skills they need to successfully treat patients while managing complex interactions with patients, families, and team members. Managing these sensitive interactions appropriately is critical for ensuring high-quality care and patient safety. In addition, students must practice providing care without causing harm or putting patients at risk. Medical simulation training centers have thus become the standard of care worldwide and a synonym for excellence.


The Center will be a dynamic and vibrant facility in use from morning to night by 1,400 medical and dental students, 3,000 MDs receiving continuing education at the Center for Continuing Medical Education at Tel Aviv University, and an additional 500 nursing students, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and more. With Israel facing an acute shortage of medical staff, the Center is a timely initiative, enabling the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences to expand medical training opportunities by revamping medical curricula, prioritizing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and promoting a holistic patient care approach.


The Center will provide comprehensive, high-quality, safe, and culturally sensitive educational services by employing state-of-the-art technologies in a teaching and research environment that is innovative and collaborative. Under the supervision of medical faculty members, the Center will include mock doctor-patient encounters featuring either life-like mannequins or actors as patients, and assessment that includes video-based feedback. Such activities will allow trainees to hone their communication and technical skills in a safe and controlled learning environment that is also dynamic and interactive. Such an environment can help improve student performance, engagement, and retention, ultimately leading to better outcomes for students and later for patients. The Center will implement extended and virtual reality technology, as well as extensive multimedia platforms, with a strong research component.


“We support the people of Israel, and we are committed to supporting Israel’s world-class healthcare services,” said Sandor Frankel, a Trustee of The Helmsley Charitable Trust.


“The Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at Tel Aviv University is a powerhouse of teaching and research in medicine and the health sciences, and we recognize the impact the University will have through providing state-of-the-art medical training for a new generation of students, physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, and other health professionals.”


Helmsley aims to expand healthcare services so that everyone in Israel has access to quality healthcare no matter where they live, strengthen Israel’s contributions to basic scientific, technological, and medical research, and promote global understanding and appreciation of Israel and its people. Previous grants from Helmsley have supported Tel Aviv University’s research on nanomedicines for personalized "theranostics" for cancer, cardiovascular, and inflammatory diseases, and research on advanced communications technology.


Tel Aviv University President, Prof. Ariel Porat, said, “We are deeply grateful for this vote of confidence by the Helmsley Charitable Trust in our medical faculty, which is the largest and leading one in Israel and among the most advanced in the world. With the visionary Helmsley gift, we will be able to build a major facility that is comprehensive, collaborative and innovative, and that will bring our medical training to new heights for the benefit of the Israeli people.”


Prof. Karen Avraham, Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, commented: “Our remarkable team has worked tirelessly in the recent months to bring this dream to reality, Inspired by our former Dean, Prof. Ehud Grossman. At a time when medical and health care is on the verge of transformations in AI and gene and cell therapy, providing competency and compassion remains a priority.” 


About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed $4.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes, including over $605 million for projects in Israel. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit helmsleytrust.org


About Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv University (TAU) - Israel's largest and most comprehensive institution of higher learning - is home to over 30,000 students studying in nine faculties and over 125 schools and departments across the spectrum of sciences, humanities, and the arts. Situated in Israel's cultural, financial, and technological capital, TAU shares Tel Aviv's unshakable spirit of openness and innovation – and boasts a campus life as dynamic and pluralistic as the metropolis itself. Tel Aviv the city and Tel Aviv the university are one and the same – a thriving Mediterranean center of diversity and discovery.

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