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Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem
|By Gayna Bassin|
I visited Israel from June 14-24, 2009, mainly to see my son, Michael, who made aliyah last August and is currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces. Carol Ann Schwartz, Hadassah Central States Region President, helped us make an appointment for a tour of Hadassah Hospital on our last day in Israel.
So on Wednesday, June 24th, my husband Jeff and I drove to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. We followed the signs to Hadassah Ein Kerem, which were clearly marked in Hebrew, Arabic and English and with a big letter "H", the international symbol for "Hospital".
We parked in the garage underneath the main building and had a light lunch in the shopping center on the first two floors. Our appointment was at 12:30 pm, and we had no trouble finding the Visitors Center. Our tour guide was Claudia Rubinsztain, who works in the Tourism Department. She was from South America originally and was a little deprecatory about her English skills, but we had no trouble understanding her. First, she took us to the famous Abbell Synagogue that houses the magnificent Chagall stained glass windows.
Claudia then took us to the main lobby to see a model of the hospital's new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower, currently under construction. The tower will add to Ein Kerem's 800-bed hospital a 14-story structure with 500 beds, 20 operating rooms, a 50-bed ICU and the ultra-modern Heart Institute.
Every floor will include glass atriums with living plants and sunlight for patients to relax in to aid in healing. Semi-private rooms are designed for patient comfort and privacy.
We next visited the Trauma Center. We learned that Hadassah Ein Kerem is Jerusalem's only Level One Trauma Center. The walls are built like lasagna, in layers of steel and concrete, in case of attack.
Each Trauma unit can evaluate and treat a patient in 3 minutes, and extra beds can be brought in in case of mass casualties. We were very impressed that all equipment needed to diagnose a trauma case is right there in the room. X-ray machines are built into the operating table, and other emergency equipment hangs from the ceiling or walls.
We then walked over to the next building to see the Bloomberg Mother and Child Center. It is a tall tower next to the construction site for the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower. The center of the building is open and decorated with colorful neon animal shapes.
Inside, everything is decorated to appeal to a child's senses. In a common area, children can play on computer monitors arranged in a circular terminal. Clearly, Hadassah Hospital is attentive to patients' emotional needs as well as to health care.
We learned that while Mount Scopus has some more specialized centers, like pre-natal and hospice care, once the Davidson Tower opens in 2012, Ein Kerem will have expanded centers for Invasive Angiography, Immune Disorders, Minimally Invasive Surgery and Computerized Assisted Surgery, Cell Therapy, and Molecular Medicine; trailblazing research facilities to realize the promise of stem cell treatment and unlock the mysteries of heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease; and gene therapy, advanced imaging in operating rooms, robotics and computer-guided surgery, cutting-edge monitoring and telemedicine.
My husband and I were very impressed with our tour and were excited to see first-hand the incredible works of Hadassah.