Centers of Excellence at Shaare Zedek
At Shaare Zedek Medical Center we have many exceptional departments that are renowned throughout Jerusalem, Israel and in some cases world wide. Below is a short description of some of these centers and the amazing accomplishments they are achieving daily. For a full list of our different departments and their directors click here.
Shaare Zedek Overview
For more than a century, Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, a 500-bed facility located in the center of the city, has been known as the Hospital with a Heart. Patients have consistently streamed to our hospital, seeking top level treatment in a compassionate, supportive and nurturing environment. Today, while
our reputation as the most exceptional hospital for health care treatment continues to grow, Shaare Zedek has taken its commitment to its patients to the next level by providing industry leading, cutting-edge medical care.
Shaare Zedek first opened its doors as a 20-bed facility on Jaffa Road in 1902 with Dr. Moshe Wallach serving as the Medical Director for the first 46 years. In 1979, now a thriving and esteemed medical facility, the hospital moved to a more central location, a 14-acre site opposite Mt. Herzl. To fully ensure the safety of its patients, the first three stories of the ten-floor complex, housing vital areas such as the operating theaters, Emergency Room, Pharmacy and medical supplies, were built underground, so that even in times of military attack, the hospital can continue to function.
Shaare Zedek is a public non-profit hospital with 40,000 admissions, 125,000 outpatient visits and 60,000 Emergency visits annually.
As our departments gain international acclaim, the spectrum of treated ailments and diseases has become as vast as the diversity of the population we treat. Our staff of more than 2000 employees is made up of the most highly acclaimed and sought after physicians, nurses and medical professionals in their respective fields.
From the most advanced procedures in Laparoscopic Surgery to the latest technology in robotics, from the treating of victims of terror and IDF soldiers, to expectant mothers needing advanced prenatal care; from seniors with tragic illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, to cancer patients fighting for their lives, we provide a full range of services at the highest level to every patient who walks through our doors.
Like all other hospitals in Jerusalem, Shaare Zedek does not receive ANY funding from the Israeli government and therefore we rely on the generosity of our friends and family from around the world to help us to continue to provide the healthcare experience our patients have come to expect.
Jesselson Heart Center
According to statistics, heart disease is the leading cause of premature death and disability in Israel more than 40% of all deaths can be attributed to cardiovascular disease. Israel still ranks among the world's top 10 countries in the incidence of death from heart and vascular disease, despite a dramatic decrease over the past 20 years.
In 1994, as a result of a major gift from the Jesselson family, Shaare Zedek established the Jesselson Heart Center, a 70,000 square foot facility encompassing the entire 10th floor of the hospital. The Center was created in response to a long country-wide waiting list for open-heart surgery and invasive heart procedures such as catheterizations. Today, the Jesselson Heart Center is one of Israel’s leading providers of comprehensive cardiac care and an international center of excellence in the implantation of stents, stentless aortic valves and in the repair of mitral valves. The center attracts patients from throughout Israel and even from abroad 30% of its patients are not Jerusalem residents.
A complete spectrum of cardiac evaluation and testing is available at the Bendheim Department of Cardiology. A yearly average of 2,600 Heart Catherizations (50% of which are interventional angioplasties with stent implantation), and thousands of Echocardiograms, Treadmill Stress Tests, and Holter Monitor Tests are performed. In all, the Center’s outpatient clinics provide cardiac diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and preventative counseling for more than 12,000 men, women and children each year.
Despite the increased number of new non-invasive cardiac techniques, some cardiac problems must still be addressed by surgery. Other Israeli medical centers often refer their most difficult cases to the Jesselson Heart Center’s Ruth and Hyman Matloff Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. This department has achieved remarkable results in coronary bypass surgery, despite a patient mix with greater than average risk factors. Following the appointment of a senior thoracic surgeon in 2000, the department is now putting new emphasis on lung surgery, and has quickly become the primary destination for this type of surgery in Jerusalem.
Weinstock Family Department of Emergency Medicine
on the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Floor
Emergency Medicine is an ever evolving specialty and Shaare Zedek has always been at the forefront of the newest and most innovative practices, both medically and technologically. In September of 2004, Shaare Zedek completed a new ER that was three times the size of the previously department. Because of its central location, Shaare Zedek was the recipient of approximately 40% of those injured in major terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. Because of its stellar reputation, the Shaare Zedek ER now receives more than 60,000 patients each year.
Designed with the visionary guidance of the late Dr. David Applebaum, who was killed together with his daughter Naava in a terrorist attack in 2003, the Emergency Department is brilliantly constructed in a ring concept, with the outer rings used for the less serious patients, while the inner ring serves as a central core of activity for aggressive and sophisticated responses to the most critical cases.
One of the most impressive innovations implemented in the ER is the computer tracking of every patient. From the moment patients arrive at the ER, patients are registered in the system, which lists their arrival time, the name of the treating physician, their tentative diagnosis, their location in the department, which tests have been conducted, which drugs have been administered, which procedures have already been carried out and whether any additional procedures have been scheduled. A large tracking board in the center of the department enables staff members to determine at a glance the status of any patient.
Our ER epitomizes the synthesis of compassion and technology, and lives by the credo that we are about more than just steel, mortar and bricks. We heal with our heart, we heal with our faith and we heal with our ability to treat patients, not diseases.
Harry, Judith and Leonard Wilf Woman and Infant Center on “Charlie’s Floor”
There is nothing as joyous as the birth of a newborn; and bringing newborns into the world is something Shaare Zedek does better than any other hospital in Israel: more than 10,000 births a year! Walking through the hotel-like atmosphere of the beautifully designed Wilf Woman and Infant Center, it is no surprise that after conducting an in-depth survey rating 24 delivery rooms throughout Israel, the daily newspaper Maariv, rated Shaare Zedek’s delivery room as number one. The only hospital to receive a perfect score, the department promotes a sense of family, comfort and care as the staff addresses the full range of women’s health care issues from infancy to old age.
The Center, which opened in 1999, spanning the entire 9th floor, focuses on everything from treatment of endocrine problems in young adolescents, to gynecological-oncologi-cal surgery; from consultations concerning the changes triggered by menopause to the prevention of injuries due to osteoporosis. Whether offering emotional or physical support and care, Shaare Zedek provides a safe nurturing haven for women during their most extraordinary times as well as during their most trying times.
Jean Goldwurm Institute for Pediatric Medicine
Shaare Zedek has always dedicated itself to the well-being of children, going far beyond the provision of superior medical services. Every aspect of the hospital’s pediatric facilities is geared towards the special world of the child. From smiling doctors with cuddly toys attached to their stethoscopes, to colorful mobiles hanging from ward ceilings, our mission is to help children to smile.
For children suffering from serious diseases, smiling does not come easily, but the doctors, teachers and therapists at Shaare Zedek have developed a number of techniques that make it easier for children to cope with their illness. Through art, music, recreational games, pet therapy and even "clown medicine," the staff attempts to bring young patients’ fears out into the open, where they often seem a little less overwhelming.
The Institute has developed world-class standing in many areas. Our Pediatric Neurology Unit is considered Israel’s leading clinic for the diagnosis, treatment and research of attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), a brain-based disorder affecting three to five per cent of the population. The Unit also includes a multidisciplinary clinic for the treatment of Tourette syndrome.
Our Pediatric Nephrology Unit was the first unit of its kind in Israel and is still one of only four in the country. Because children who receive dialysis treatment spend more than 15 hours a week in the hospital, the Unit has essentially become a second home to our young patients, and we do everything we can to offer them not just the best medical care, but warm surroundings and warm hearts as well. With roughly an equal number of Jewish and Arab patients, the Unit serves as a model of tolerance and cooperation.
Gaucher’s disease is a genetic illness that is particularly prevalent among Ashkenazi Jews, and the hospital’s Gaucher clinic is the most active of its kind in the world. The Gaucher Clinic operates within the framework of the Children’s Day Hospital, which enables us to design these facilities taking the children’s special needs and sensitivities into account.
At Shaare Zedek, we heal with a smile and treat with a compassionate understanding heart.
Department of Medical Genetics
Imagine a world without diseases such as Tay Sachs, Gaucher Disease and Canavan’s Disease. Imagine having the ability to detect the potential for developing breast and ovarian cancer so that women have more control over their health. Such lofty ideas are no longer merely dreams, they are already being implemented at Shaare Zedek and moving us into a healthier disease-free future.
Shaare Zedek’s Department of Medical Genetics is currently the most prestigious unit in the Israel in terms of both research and clinical work. As a center of excellence, the ramifications and implementation of our research extend far beyond the Jerusalem area. Our research has established us as key players on the world stage in research of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that are associated with breast and ovarian cancer, and of Alzheimer’s disease. The Department’s crowning achievement is a highly sophisticated laboratory capable of conducting pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a relatively new technique for screening the embryos of a couple or the eggs of a woman with a risk of giving birth to a baby with a genetic disease. Only those eggs or embryos that are determined to be disease-free are used to create a new life. PGD is combined with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to bring healthy babies into the world.
Shaare Zedek’s PGD lab is capable of performing the procedure for any disease in which the genetic characteristics are known including Tay-Sachs, Fanconi anemia, Gaucher disease, Bloom syndrome, Canavan disease, and familial dysautomia.
Without PGD, a mother or father who actually have a genetic disease have a 50% chance of giving birth to a child with the disease. With the PGD method used at Shaare Zedek, the risk is virtually zero.
The PGD laboratory was established in 2003 thanks to the visionaries and sole benefactors of the lab, Rabbi David and Anita Fuld, who researched, planned and developed every facet of this project.
Oncology and Palliative Care
In early 2003, Shaare Zedek completed construction of its new in-patient Department of Oncology and Hematology situated adjacent to the new ambulatory oncology day treatment unit. The placement of these units next to one another allows for the consolidation of many of the oncolo-gy-related activities and permits full continuity of care, with the same team treating a patient throughout the course of his or her illness, regardless of the course that illness takes. Shaare Zedek has complete cancer treatment services offering the greatest convenience for patients and their families.
For critically ill patients and their families, a facility with comfortable home-like surroundings where 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week medical care is available, makes a significant difference in terms of their ability to cope with the situation. The ideal is "whole-person" care, with specialists able to help patients maintain their sense of purpose. These specialists, including psychologists, social workers, music therapists, and recreational therapists, among others, work together to optimize the value of life even as patients and their families confront the end of life. Each patient is part of a family, and his or her problems are addressed in the context of the family whenever appropriate.
Shaare Zedek treats most cancer patients on an out-patient basis whenever possible; however, there are situations when it becomes necessary to treat patients on an in-patient basis. The specific goals of the in-patient department vary according to the individual patient’s prognosis. For some patients, their disease is viewed as curable, and the emphasis is placed on treatment. For others, a cure is considered unlikely, and the department works with patients and their families to optimize patients’ quality of life during the time they have remaining. In every case, a plan is tailored to the specific needs of the patient and his or her family.
Shaare Zedek’s Cancer Pain and Palliative Medicine Unit is an integral element of the in-patient oncology department, and is consulted by all of the departments in the hospital that treat cancer patients. The Unit’s role is to optimize patients’ quality of life, addressing physical, spiritual and emotional issues, while they re ceive expert oncological treatment.