Every anniversary of the State of Israel is precious and emotional for all of us. The newborn State of Israel had many challenges, but it didn't have to create a medical infrastructure. Hadassah had already done that. The doctors and nurses who fled from the Holocaust and reached Israel had been integrated into hospitals and clinics. A professional well-baby mother and child clinic system, Tipat Halav, could be turned over to the new State. Sixty-nine years later, we have so many accomplishments to be proud of.
From the beginning, Hadassah has modeled vision and flexibility. We are constantly evaluating the present in order to improve. We're not afraid to make changes.
Over the fifteen months, during which I have been privileged to stand at the helm of HMO, we have experienced steady levels of occupancy often exceeding 100 percent We carefully studied every parameter, and found new ways to make the hospital even more efficient for an overcapacity patient-load. For example, we decided to move neurology, neurosurgery, and cardiothoracic surgery to Level 12 of our Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, with a combined Intensive Care Unit on the same floor.
Because of the need for more beds for babies and children in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, we have moved PICU from its former home on the seventh floor of the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Mother and Child Center to expanded facilities on the second level of the SWD Hospital tower, across the bridge from Mother and Child.
Because of the growing population and a greater need for adult hospitalization facilities, the Internal Medicine Departments were shifted from their crowded location in the Round Building to the well-appointed Tower. This allowed us to serve more patients than before and to make them more comfortable.
Hadassah's leadership in neurology was also strengthened by the opening of our Stroke Unit, headed by Professor Ronen Leker. Hadassah's life-saving ability to quickly ameliorate the impact of strokes has brought hundreds of additional patients to the hospital.
Next to move out of the Round Building will be cardiology, taking up facilities in the Tower's Heart Center on Level 3. All of these are marks of success and herald a period of expansion and growth that reflects not only a growing population but also renewed energy at Hadassah. You've made this possible. All recognitions will, of course, move along with the life-saving facilities you have gifted us with.
I hope that you saw the latest news about the breakthrough technology you've made possible in the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower. Many of you who visited remember the hybrid operating room — the huge one with the pink flowers on the walls. There you were told about a new robot, called Zeego. In April, the Zeego and the sister robot Renaissance were both put into use at the same time to save the back of a steel worker who was pinned to the floor by a steel wall that crushed him. A 42-year old dad, he was sure his life was over. But Prof. Iri Liebergall, Dr. Amal Khoury and Dr. Josh Schroeder and the two computers — which communicated with each other — made it possible to fix his crushed leg and broken back (six vertebrae) with exactly placed screws, something that would have been impossible without the facilities you provided. It was a world first.
We need to move forward. Having committed ourselves to the Recovery Plan, we need to further expand our activity. Our new success has brought upon a huge demand for Hadassah services in Jerusalem. The hospitals are full with patient occupancy of up to 110%. The next step in my vision is to restructure the Round Building, opened in 1962, to update and expand the historical building. The physical structure needs to be strengthened, and rooms that were planned for six patients with one bathroom need to be brought up to 21st century standards. Fortunately, the building was designed with balconies and a large space like a donut hole in the middle, both of which can be renovated to provide needed space. We don't have to start from scratch. My vision is that we will add floors so that we will have two state-of-the art modern, fully-equipped towers on the Ein Kerem campus.
Across town at Mount Scopus, we've opened a new radiology center with its own MRI, and the expansion of the new delivery department and larger pediatric emergency room, as well as the new rehabilitation center, are now underway.
Today's New Hadassah today of 2017 is fully equipped with cutting-edge technology and offers the highest quality of medical treatment and a high level of service to the people of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the State of Israel.
How appropriate that all this is happening as we celebrate the return of the keys to Mount Scopus 50 years ago. We are thrilled to mark the reunification of Jerusalem as well as the reunification of the Hadassah Medical Organization.
Lighting one of the 12 torches at Mount Herzl marking the beginning of Independence Day celebrations will be our own Professor Ahmed Eid, a transplant surgery pioneer and head of the Mount Scopus Department of General Surgery. Professor Eid has saved so many lives, including victims of terror. He also stands proudly for Hadassah's ethic that healing goes beyond all borders.
Together with your ongoing support, Hadassah will continue our mission of healing all the people of our beloved Jerusalem and the entire State of Israel.
Yom Ha'Atzmaut sameach!
Prof. Zeev Rotstein