ECCO Country Member Profiles: Israel

Matti Waterman and Henit Yanai, ECCO National Representatives, Israel

Israel   Israel

Name of group: IBD Society
Number of active members: 40
Number of meetings per year: 2
President: Yehuda Chowers
Secretary: Eran Israeli
National Representatives: Matti Waterman and Henit Yanai
Joined ECCO in:  2006
Incidence of IBD in the country (if available): 27/100,000

What has changed since your society became an ECCO Country Member?

  • Many IBD centres have been established all over the country.
  • The role of the IBD nurse has been developed and became very prominent, we have more than 15 active IBD nurses covering dedicated activities in most IBD centres around the country.
  • The Israeli IBD research nucleus (IIRN) has been established in 2012 and conducts many collaborative clinical and translational research. High profile papers have been published by prominent Israeli investigators focusing in IBD including basic science. The Israeli Crohn’s and colitis patients’ association has joined EFFCA.
  • All FDA and EMA approved biologics have been made available and reimbursed in the Israeli health budget.
  • Key opinion leaders from Israel have been appointed in ECCO Committees and the Governing Board.  

What are the benefits to you of being an ECCO Country Member?

  • Many collaborations have been formed through ECCO both in practice and in research.
  • Also, many personal ties have been formed and had an impact on personal career.
  • ECCO Meeting is one of the second most important congress to acquire knowledge in IBD.
  • ECCO Guidelines are widely known and mostly implemented in the present practice in Israel.   

Is your society making use of the ECCO Guidelines?
Yes, many of the ECCO Guidelines have been translated into Hebrew and are often quoted during clinical discussions over the country.

Have you developed links with other countries through your ECCO Country Membership?
Yes, strong ties have been formed with many medical centres and ECCO Members all over Europe.

  • Have you developed research projects with other countries through your ECCO Country Membership? 
  • Have you developed educational activities with other countries through your ECCO Country Membership?
    Yes, we had joined national meetings with the French and Greek Societies and collaborated with the Canadian society.
  • Has your country been involved in a fellow exchange through ECCO?
    We did not have a fellow exchange yet, however, we hope to establish a program in the near future.

What are your main areas of research interest?
Clinical and epidemiology, health service utility, cancer, pharmacology, response to medications, genetics, mucosal immunology, and personlaised medicine in IBD.

Does your centre or country have a common IBD database or bio bank?
Efforts to initiate a national DB for medical records are ongoing but are not yet available mainly due to patients ‘database protection.

What are your most prestigious/interesting past and ongoing projects?
As we do not want to make judgment on any specific IBD research project in Israel, we cannot pick any specific project. However, projects that use the special profile of Israeli multicultural and ethnically heterogeneous society have driven very interesting studies, focusing on the interaction between genetics environment and immunology.

Which ECCO Projects/Activities is the group in? 

What are your aims for the future? 
Israel is hoping to implement a national IBD DB, regrouping all IBD centres in the country. The main goal is to improve patients’ care and establish more research collaborations with European.

How do you see ECCO helping you to fulfil these aims? 
ECCO has been a wonderful platform for international collaboration. We hope to use ECCO resources in order to adapt a function research national DB.

What do you use ECCO for? Network? Congress? How do you use the things/services that ECCO has to offer?
Israeli IBD physicians use ECCO resources in order to learn and to periodically update in modern IBD care (cutting edge). Extensive networking through ECCO has allowed research collaboration initiatives. Finally, many of the Israeli young fellows have been extensively educated about IBD by participating to the EduCom activities and later became active experts in their home medical centres.

17 4 Matti portrait largeMatti Waterman
Matti Waterman
Henit Yanai b7e9bf94e89323275f26a3d4d78cf226Henit Yanai 

Posted in ECCO News, ECCO Country Member Profiles, Volume 13, Issue 2