On the cusp of Rosh Hashanah 5779 we look back on a year of unprecedented expansion and development across Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

To the casual visitor’s eye, the most noticeable new developments are a new shopping pavilion in and around the hospital’s main lobby that opened this year for the benefit of patients and their visitors, as well as the foundation-laying of the Radiotherapy Institute atop a large parking tower. More on those in a moment but, at this writing, there is on our campus a 13-story hole in the ground! Less immediately noticeable but also of prime importance was the opening of several new Outpatient Care services.

Over the course of the past 12 months Shaare Zedek Medical Center has recorded the following statistics:

  • 163,000 Emergency Department cases including 34,756 Pediatric ER cases
  • More than 36,000 surgical procedures
  • 576,797 Outpatient Clinic patient visits
  • 88,388 Inpatient hospitalizations
  • 22,350 babies born
  • The Helmsley Neurological Institute recorded:
    • 338 Neurosurgical procedures
    • 216 Interventional Neuroradiology cases
    • More than 1,000 cases of patients experiencing stroke symptoms or TIA (temporary ischemic attack)
    • Of the stroke cases, 130 required tPA (an intracranial drug used to break up blood clots in the brain.)

As noted, construction has begun in earnest on the Radiotherapy Institute which will play a major role in our future Cancer Care Center. Already completed is the vast majority of the excavation of the 800-space parking facility which will significantly address the current shortage of parking spaces.

A large and modern shopping area was completed for the benefit of patients, families, and staff. It includes eateries, a mini market, a bookstore, and a pharmacy to open soon.

Several specialized clinics opened including a “Dry-Eye Condition Clinic,” an Artificial Heart Clinic, a Multi-Disciplinary Clinic for Brain Tumors, Merkaz Talya — Breast Oncology Center for Young Women, and the Heidi Rothberg Sports Medicine Center. In the coming months, a new eye clinic will begin offering laser and other eye corrective services.

Shaare Zedek continues to invest in the purchase of advanced medical equipment and we take pride in offering a leading international standard in this regard. Included, we have recently purchased a highly-advanced laser optical system for eye imaging as well as an OCT camera also used in ophthalmology surgeries. A CT FORCE system is the only one of its type in the country being used for enhanced imaging and diagnostics in cardiac disease.

In our Weinroth Department of Neurosurgery, we are perfecting a minimally invasive balloon for the treatment of intra-cranial malformations.  A unique treatment is being used for the care of joint inflammations in the knee.  An innovative new surgery is being applied for addressing cardiac arrhythmias — the first of its type to be performed in Israel.

Shaare Zedek’s research activities are continuing to expand:

Over the course of the year, researchers in our Stem Cell Laboratory succeeded in innovating a new form of gene therapy. A study performed in cooperation with Bar Ilan University has produced highly positive results for the application of nano-drops for the treatment of eyesight deterioration. This study was the subject of considerable national and international media coverage as it has the potential to see these drops replace the need for eyeglasses. Similar global attention has been paid to remarkable studies being advanced in our Pediatric Neurology Unit on the efficacy of medical cannabis for the treatment of Autism. The Klein Breast Health Institute produced encouraging research about pregnancies following breast cancer care. In early 2019, Shaare Zedek will head the Israeli partnership in a large-scale international study surrounding the genetic mutation BRCA-1 and the reduction of cancer risk in healthy carriers of this mutation.

International “Medical Diplomacy”: As part of our mission of caring, Shaare Zedek is regularly involved with medical support efforts far beyond Israel’s borders. Included in this regard, we were again involved with a medical training course for physicians in the Gondar region of Ethiopia. We also carried out a humanitarian act by performing a surgery for a Mongolian child born with a rare defect.

International Recognition: Shaare Zedek was the recipient of numerous international awards and recognition. The American Heart Association recognized our hospital as a training center in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). The International Society for the Prevention of Infant Death (ISPID) recognized research performed in our hospital by Dr. Anat Schatz and Dr. Shmuel Goldberg that focused on addressing breathing structure in infants and how that can lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Professor Dan Turner received an honorary recognition from the University of Pudan in China for his work in researching and treating Pediatric IBD. Professor Ephrat Levy Lahad, Director of the Fuld Family Department of Medical Genetics received the prestigious EMET prize for her work in the area of medical genetics. Professor Francis Mimouni, Director of the Huberfeld Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) received international recognition for his work in researching and treating neonates in our Unit, the largest and most advanced of its type in Israel.

New Faces: The hospital saw the recruitment of many new staff members including senior physicians who are widely recognized as leaders in their respective fields. Professor Ben Corn was assigned as the head of the Radiotherapy Institute. Professor Michael Glikson assumed the head of the Jesselson Integrated Heart Center. Dr. David Smadja was announced as Director of the Refractory Eye Care Service and Ophthalmology Research Unit. Dr. Salis Tajar is the new head of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Unit of the Jesselson Integrated Heart Center. Dr. Shani Paluch-Shimon is the head of the Breast Cancer Unit. Dr. Eliel Ben David will serve as the head of the Neuroradiology Diagnostic Service.

The following appointments were also announced:

  • Yoav Gronovitz, Director, Plastic Surgery
  • Tal Shachar, Director, Neuro-oncological Surgery
  • Professor Boris Chertin, Director, Urology
  • Ori Chen, Director, Maternity Ultrasound
  • Aharon Tevet, Director, Delivery Rooms
  • Linda Shavit, Director, Adult Dialysis
  • Adi Butnero, Director, Non-Invasive Cardiac Care
  • Talia Valk, Director, Internal Medicine D
  • Ilan Kafka, Director, Endo-Urology
  • Ehud Yaakovson, Director, Cardiac Arrhythmia Care
  • Vered Huber-Machlin, Director, Physiotherapy
  • Ravit Zamir, Director, Social Work

All of these important medical and operational activities and additions to our staff are made possible with the help of Shaare Zedek’s friends and donors in the United States and around the world. We thank each of you and alert you that we expect 5779 will not be any less exciting!