Following years of planning, development and construction, Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center welcomed its first patients today into the Wilf Children’s Hospital. Children hospitalized in the Jean and Eugen Gluck Department of General Pediatrics were transferred from the previous location of the Pediatric Wing on the Sixth Floor of the Main Building to the Department’s new home in the Nagel Family Pediatric Inpatient Pavilion on the Seventh Floor of the Next Generation Building. The transfer required an extensive logistical effort taking into account that many of the patients are bed ridden and connected to monitoring equipment and IVs.
The development of the Inpatient Pavilion was made possible through the generosity of Jack and Gitta Nagel of Los Angeles. The May 5th opening of the new facility coincided with the 70th anniversary of the date Gitta Nagel was liberated from the concentration camp Bergen Belsen.
Shaare Zedek’s Director General Professor Jonathan Halevy was closely following the opening of the new facility from Katmandu, Nepal where he is currently directing the Internal Medicine Ward of the IDF Field Hospital set up in the wake of last week’s devastating earthquake. “This is truly a memorable day for Shaare Zedek and indeed for all the people of Jerusalem as the Wilf Children’s Hospital will enable our medical center to offer a significantly expanded level of care and deliver the best response to the needs of our community,” Professor Halevy said.
He thanked the Nagels saying, “This facility, designed to improve health and promote life, serves as the perfect reflection of how you have rebuilt your lives in the face of the ultimate darkness of the Holocaust. It is therefore so fitting that these first young patients, who represent our future, are being treated on this remarkable anniversary,” he said.
The new center has been built to the highest standards of patient safety and is inspired by designs of leading pediatric facilities around the world. At approximately 3,400 square meters in size (34,000 square feet), the inpatient pavilion represents a significant expansion over the former pediatric facility. The two-story Wilf Children’s Hospital includes both the inpatient center and the soon to be opened Friedman Family Outpatient Pavilion.
The new Hospital has placed a significant focus on interior aesthetics intended to benefit patients, staff and visitors. Immediately upon entrance, one immediately takes note of the bright and “child-friendly” colors and layout designed to allay children’s fears and provide distraction from any discomfort that comes from hospitalization.
“A modern children’s hospital is not simply an issue of ensuring we have the best equipment and medicines- which I am proud to say we have here in this new center,” said Professor Yechiel Schlesinger, Director of the Wilf Children’s Hospital. “It is also about creating an environment that promotes healing and optimal relaxation for the patients and their families. This was the vision which guided the development of this new hospital.”
Also opened today is a fully operating school for the children. The Lincoln David Abraham Paediatric Educational Institute is located at the center of the Pediatric Inpatient Pavilion. The Institute comprises a large complex for children to both relax and focus on their studies together with the experienced staff of the Institute.