A $10 million heart center at Hadassah’s Ein Kerem medical campus is doubling the Jerusalem hospital’s capacity to treat cardiac patients.
Inaugurated on October 12, the Irma and Paul Milstein Heart Center occupies the entire third floor of the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower, and will add 11 intensive-care private rooms, along with dozens of additional beds in the cardiac ward.
The center is a boon for the capital city, whose population has grown by over 100,000 in the last decade alone.
According to Prof. Chaim Lotan, director of the Heart Institute at Hadassah Medical Organization, the new facilities “catapult us 50 years ahead.”
“Several decades ago we established the most advanced cardiac intensive care unit in Israel. This new heart center covers more than four times the space of our previous department,” said Lotan.
The 4,500 square meter (roughly 48,500 square feet) center includes “four of the most advanced catheterization labs in the world – and another two are planned. An additional catheterization lab will operate at Hadassah Mount Scopus to prevent the need to transfer patients to Ein Kerem,” Lotan said.
The Irma and Paul Milstein Heart Center also boasts a direct passageway that conveys heart attack victims directly to the catheterization labs without stopping for processing in the emergency room.
Hadassah Hospital’s general director Prof. Zeev Rotstein said the comprehensive heart center at Hadassah “provides a full response to all types of heart disease, whether it is invasive, minimally invasive, and complex heart surgery.”
“The innovative center and its experts make Hadassah a world leader in treating such an important organ as the heart. I would like to thank the generous donors, the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization and all those who helped us reach this point,” Rotstein said.
Dedicating the new heart center to his parents, American entrepreneur and real estate developer Howard Milstein praised Hadassah for uniting people across the racial, cultural, and religious spectrum.
“My father, Paul, may he rest in peace, and my mother, Irma, saw Hadassah’s mission statement as the highest expression of the founding ideals of the State of Israel — to forge ‘links between patients of all nationalities, races and religions who come to its doors for healing,’” Milstein said in front of an audience that included Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and national president of Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America Ellen Hershkin.
“Here at Hadassah, all patients — Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Druse, secular and religious — get dignified care from a top flight team of equally diverse medical workers. As such, Hadassah is also a bridge to peace. If you need proof of that, look no further than the Syrian children who, in the midst of a horrific humanitarian crisis, have been brought to Hadassah for treatment of congenital heart defects,” Milstein said.
Milstein attended the dedication ceremony with his wife, Abby Milstein, along with a large delegation of American Hadassah supporters and Israeli leaders in the health field.
The Milstein family are no strangers to Hadassah.
“Irma Milstein, a dedicated member of Hadassah Women, personally chose to support and advance cardiology,” said Hadassah president Ellen Hershkin. “Irma knows that by improving the medical methods and facilities, the excellent physicians at Hadassah will continue to improve research and treatment in the field.”
The Milstein family has long been a patron of the fields of health and medicine. Its $10 million contribution through the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America enabled the establishment of the center. In addition, the family supports education, the arts and scientific research, including the Milstein Building at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York.
In his speech, Howard Milstein noted that most of the family’s support went towards US-based institutions. Hadassah Medical Center, he said, was an exception due to “Hadassah’s own dedication to patient-centered care and high impact medical research.”
“Hadassah research has yielded world-renowned, riveting breakthroughs, which we admire from afar, in New York,” Milstein said. “Immunotherapy for advanced melanoma; gene therapy to replace failing heart cells; regenerative medicine. Cutting edge treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.”
On Friday, the family took an in-depth tour of the center.
“It contains some of the most modern equipment on the planet,” Milstein said. “They don’t even have these machines in New York yet – or anywhere else – and the directors had to sign non-disclosure agreements when they looked at them with the manufacturer.”
The center houses giant high resolution screens connected to imaging equipment which display all of the patient’s vital data at once. Additionally, the catheterization labs include a room that operates a bi-plane system that uses two cameras simultaneously to provide three-dimensional imaging of the heart.
“Our experts use these imagines in real time for maximum accuracy,” said Lotan. “In a hybrid room, we can switch from catheterization to open heart surgery if necessary without moving the patient and losing valuable time. The 2019 dual-camera system is among the first installed in the world. There are inner-aortal cameras and numerous other technological advances that were considered science fiction not long ago.”