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First patients move into revolutionary new tower at Hadassah’s hospital in Jerusalem

Press Release
Donors worldwide helped fund new building

March 19, 2012

Pamela Vassil
Director, Marketing & Communications, Hadassah
(212) 303-8120 (o); (202) 303-4525 (f)

Samantha Friedman
Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications
(202) 265-3000 (o); (202) 215-9260 (c)

JERUSALEM – Today, urology patients at Hadassah Medical Organization were the first to move into its new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower at Hadassah-Ein Kerem in Jerusalem. In subsequent weeks, patients from the Departments of Orthopedics, General Surgery, ENT, Plastic Surgery, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, OB/GYN and Vascular Surgery will be transferred. Toward the end of the year, 14 of the 20 new operating rooms and the major new intensive care units will be opened. The remaining inpatient departments and intensive care units will move in 2013.

"The new hospital tower at Hadassah-Ein Kerem is among Hadassah's most significant contributions to the State of Israel," said Marcie Natan, National President of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America. "It expresses the Zionist vision of generations of Hadassah women and emphasizes our deep commitment to the development of health and education in Israel. During the last 100 years, Hadassah women have established institutions and created projects that dramatically impacted the fields of health, education and the empowerment of women in the country."

A cadre of distinguished speakers was on hand to mark the occasion, a keystone of the centennial celebrations of Hadassah. "This is one of the most important buildings in the city," said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, as he commended the women of Hadassah in his remarks. "Thank you for your dedication and devotion to Hadassah. Thank you for your show of love for the people of Jerusalem."

Tower fundraising campaign co-chairs Judy and Sidney Swartz, major Hadassah supporters, presided at the ceremony, and members of the family of the late Bill Davidson were honored for the family's groundbreaking contribution. Davidson family member Emily Reaser announced that her family will provide a subsequent matching gift of up to $12.5 million.

Natan honored immediate past Hadassah Director General Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef for his 11 years of leadership and his role in the construction of the tower. She announced that the new Shlomo Mor-Yosef Prize for Excellence will be awarded annually to an outstanding young doctor to acknowledge Mor-Yosef's commitment to the next generation of physicians.

"We are extremely proud of the new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower and most appreciative of all who were involved in helping us realize this vision," said current Hadassah Director General Prof. Ehud Kokia. "Throughout the planning and construction, the care and comfort of our patients were uppermost in our minds. The result is proof that the medicine of the future is already here. The Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower is one of the most comfortable and sophisticated inpatient facilities in Israel and the region, providing a healing environment unlike any other in Israel."

The Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Sidney Schwartz concluded the ceremony by affixing a mezuzah to the new building.

Also attending were U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and his wife, Julie Fisher; Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman; Hadassah Board of Directors Chairman Esther Dominissini, who is the board's first woman chairman; along with other members of the board, Hadassah leaders, government and municipality officials, senior healthcare system officials, representatives from the principal construction companies Shikun & Binui Solel Boneh and Electra, architects from Spector – Amisar – Shauer in Israel and HKS in Texas, and representatives of many companies and authorities involved in the planning, approval and construction of the new building.

Photos from today's ceremony are available here, and original high-resolution versions can be sent upon request.

About the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower

Planning began in 2002 with construction commencing in 2007. The total cost of the project is $363 million, most of the funding provided by generous donors. $300,500,000 has been raised so far in private philanthropic moneys, and $62,500,000 remains. The Tower contains 19 floors – five below ground and 14 above. Along with 60 intensive care beds, it will contain 530 fully equipped beds in spacious rooms designed to comfortably accommodate one or two patients each, each with their own magnificent view of the Judean hills. Four unique healing gardens provide a curative and therapeutic atmosphere for patients and their visitors. 20 operating rooms are situated in a specially protected location four floors below ground. Construction will be completed by the end of 2013 and will significantly advance the capabilities of Hadassah to maximize its advantages in innovative areas such as minimally invasive surgery, telemedicine, computer assisted procedures and medical robotics, areas for which Hadassah is already recognized for having made global breakthroughs.

About the Hadassah Medical Organization – Jerusalem

Founded, owned and supported by Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA), the largest women's and largest Jewish organization in the United States, with over 330,000 members in more than 1,000 chapters and Hadassah International chapters in over 20 countries around the world.

The Hadassah Medical Organization includes two university hospital campuses in Jerusalem: Hadassah–Ein Kerem, an 850-bed tertiary care referral center, and Hadassah-Mt. Scopus, a 350-bed community hospital. Together, they incorporate all medical and surgical sub-specialties, treating more than one million people annually.

In addition to the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, Hadassah-Ein Kerem contains the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Mother and Child Center, the Patricia and Russell Fleischman Center for Women's Health, the Judy and Sidney Swartz Center for Emergency Medicine, the Goldyne Savad Institute for Gene Therapy, the Sidney and Judy Swartz Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Center, the Altura Dept. of Genetics and Metabolic Diseases with the Monique and Jacques Roboh Department of Genetic Research, a comprehensive cancer diseases center, the Heart Institute, the Institute for Liver and Digestive Tract Diseases, the Center for Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery, the first in Israel, a stroke center, a nuclear medicine center, with the only cyclotron unit in an Israeli hospital, a multidisciplinary imaging center, and many other specialty centers and units.

The computer-assisted joint replacement center, the Eli Douer Family Center for Pediatric Genetics and Chronic Diseases, the Ina and Jack Kay Hospice and the Guggenheim Rehabilitation Center are located at Hadassah-Mt. Scopus.

The largest employer in Jerusalem excluding the government and municipality, Hadassah has more than 5,000 employees: 850 physicians 1,940 nurses, 1,020 paramedical and support staff at two campuses with more than 1,000 beds, 31 operating theaters, 9 intensive care units and over 120 outpatient clinics. Hadassah hospital, known for its extensive research capabilities, was the first hospital in Israel to establish a technology transfer company, Hadasit, which promotes and commercializes the intellectual property and R&D capabilities continuously generated by Hadassah physicians and scientists. The Hadassah Medical Organization welcomes every individual who requires medical attention without regard for race, religion, gender, ethnicity or political persuasion -- and has done so since its inception.

Hadassah is partners with the Hebrew University in five medical academic institutions: the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Medicine, the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing, and the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, located on the Ein-Kerem campus, and the Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Occupational Therapy located on the Mt. Scopus campus.

Hadassah was nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for its ongoing initiative to use medicine as a bridge to peace. Hadassah conducts a wide variety of training programs for medical personnel and students from the Palestinian Authority as well as 90 countries throughout the world.

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