Shaare Zedek Medical Center marked the opening of the Ninth and Tenth Floors of The Next Generation Building with a ceremony welcoming the participation of hundreds of hospital staff members alongside friends of the hospital.
Shaare Zedek Director General Professor Jonathan Halevy said it was a historic day for the hospital and for the city of (or the people of ) Jerusalem. “While over the course of my more than twenty five years at Shaare Zedek, I’ve participated in many openings of new departments, I view this event as truly special as it reflects our sincere commitment to constantly advancing our level of care.”
Professor Halevy thanked the many professionals and consultants who contributed to the development project as well as “the thousands of donors from around the world without whom this day would not have been possible.”
The two new floors will house Israel’s largest and most advanced Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and an expanded Mother and Infant Department. The new facilities will help Shaare Zedek better respond to the more than 15,000 births which take place at the hospital’s main campus. According to Professor Halevy, the delivery room is the busiest known maternity center in the world.
The program included a musical interlude provided by Shaare Zedek staff led by Professor Francis Mimouni playing the guitar. Professor Mimouni recently re-joined the Shaare Zedek staff after a two year absence and now serves as the Director of Neonatology at this critical point in the hospitals development.
Professor Mimouni addressed the celebration saying that he has always welcomed the chance to serve as a department head in Jerusalem, a professional opportunity he viewed with both practical and emotional significance. “When I was the head of a network of neonatal facilities in New York in the mid-1990’s I began to ask myself why I wasn’t fulfilling that same role in Israel,” he said. He soon returned to Israel to accept a position in Tel Aviv but said that Shaare Zedek was always the model that he sought to emulate in his care and management style. “And now I have the chance to work alongside those very people that I looked up to so this is truly a remarkable opportunity.”
The opening of the Ninth and Ten floors will be followed later in 2014 with the projected opening of The Wilf Children’s Hospital which will establish The Next Generation Building as an advanced comprehensive center of pediatric medicine for children from infancy through adolescence.