Photo Credit: Maya Tzaban, spokeswoman for the Pedah-Poriya Medical Center
French medical clown in Tiberias hospital

Representatives of the medical clowns association in Lyon, France, visited Merkaz Tene for the Treatment of Victims of Sexual Violence at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, outside Tiberias. Merkaz Tene is the first facility of its kind in the world to integrate the treatment of victims of sexual violence and medical clowning.

Mireille and Michel Imbaud, both presidents of the Medical Clown Association in Lyon, France, arrived with Dr. Herve Fanrizi, a forensic expert, Professor Prof. Olivier Claris, an expert in forensic medicine and neonatology, and the medical clown Blandine Thevenon-Nicoli.

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Four years ago medical clown Thevenon-Nicoli arrived on a study tour at Merkaz Tene, the first medical facility in the world to use medical clowns as part of the testing and treatment of victims of sexual violence. Upon her return to Lyons, she worked with medical staff there to harness medical clowning in the treatment of sexual abuse victims.

Tzur Shriki, CEO of the Dream Doctors Association, who created the connection with the French group said, “The goal of the association in Lyon is to include there, too, medical clowns as part of the treatment for victims of sexual violence. They were convinced that the medical clown is helpful in treating both the child and the staff, and now they are working to change the procedure and guidelines in their locale.”

Shoshi Ofir, a medical clown who works at Merkaz Tene, added, “Blandine was here four years ago and was very impressed by our achievements thanks to integrating the medical clowns. Since she was here, she has been working to bring medical clowning to sexual assault centers there, and it appears that now the conditions are ripe to create this important change.”

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