Life’s Door promotes and incorporates quality of life as a crucial tool in the medical treatment and care of people coping with serious illness and the elderly. We assist patients & their families and health care professionals – focus on hope and enhance their quality of life, at a time when quality of life is pushed side.
Through scientific research as well as programs and services for medical teams and institutions, the organization raises awareness of the importance of professional self-care, end-of-life conversations and mind-body tools to bring about hope, meaning and resilience for patients, families and healthcare professionals.
This unique organization was established, in 2004, by internationally recognized Oncologist, Benjamin W. Corn, MD Professor & Interim Director, Shaare Zedek Cancer Center, and his wife Dvora, a family therapist – to confront an acute void in the global medical establishment.
Life’s Door provides a model for platforms of care to address the needs of patients facing the impending end-of life, and their loved ones, people suffering from life-threatening or chronic illness, the elderly, and the medical and nursing professionals and therapists who are treating them.
Life’s Door programs are implemented on five levels: Public, Professional, Regulatory, Research and Networking.
Public – We are promoting new venues of professional help within the health and welfare systems in cases of ‘end-of-life’ and life-threatening illness. To enhance quality of life of the critically ill or elderly person, we incorporate innovative techniques such as the Dignity – Support and Hope for the elderly (spiritual counseling, mindfulness, and more), the Conversation Project to help people discuss wishes regarding their end-of-life-care and From Me to You, volunteer training.
Professional – We are training professionals to integrate a mind/body approach in the care of the patients and for the professionals themselves through our Conversation Circles and additional enrichment programs for professionals.
Regulatory – Life’s Door team members have an active role in professional conferences and in planning committees in the health care space, and in particular in the areas of oncology, end of life and aging. The organizations leadership had a key contributing role in the development of Israel’s newly set National Plan for Palliative Care.
We have outlined a tangible plan to enhance the emotional, mental and social wellbeing of patients with serious illness and the elderly. Our proposed policy will ensure that healthcare professionals address a patient’s wellbeing in addition to medical goals. It will bring about healthcare professional change. We are working with policy makers to ensure adaptation of our policy, on a national level.
Research – Life’s Door programs are developed based upon significant scientific findings in cutting edge research conducted with leading international partners including: Duke University, John Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, National Cancer Institute (USA) & Prof. Dan Ariely. Our most recent initiatives are focused in the area of Hope. Moving beyond existing theoretical models that are cited in the realm of social science, we are engaged in developing practical applications of “Hope Theory” for people facing illness. This includes assessing implementation models, parameters for behavioral and cognitive change, validating models for training patients and professionals and exploring the neuro-science of “hope”.
At Life’s Door we understand that the conventional equation of “hope=cure” falls short of meeting the needs of those we serve. Even when cure is not achievable, hope is possible! We are inspired by the journeys of people as they navigate — the often dark — road of illness. Hope, is the essence of life with meaning at all stages of the journey.
Networking – Life’s Door work is based upon collaborative efforts with many important partners in Israel and abroad. Our joint efforts in Israel have been a crucial force towards impacting patients countrywide. Our collaborative efforts with overseas partners are building new bridges between Israel and the Diaspora through our Caring Communities initiative – a collaborative initiative that provides supportive services, on-going education, & resources for healthcare professionals & others to learn, share best practices & establish an intra-denominational community.
As our efforts move towards expansion of our impact, we are proud to have been awarded the Midot seal of effectiveness.