At a ceremony attended by Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman, representatives of government agencies, municipal leaders, the president of Bar-Ilan University, Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, President of Friends of Galilee Medical Center, Raya Strauss Ben-Dror, and executives in the fields of education and economy, the new Women’s Health Wing of Galilee Medical Center was officially opened.
At a ceremony attended by Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman, representatives of government agencies, municipal leaders, the president of Bar-Ilan University, Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, President of Friends of Galilee Medical Center, Raya Strauss Ben-Dror, and executives in the fields of education and economy, the new Women’s Health Wing of Galilee Medical Center was officially opened. Completed at a cost of 130,000,000 shekels (approximately $33.2 million) the new facility includes 12 fully protected labor and delivery rooms, two maternity wards and two nurseries.
Galilee Medical Center continues to grow and expand significantly to advance health services available to the people of the country’s north. The ceremony marks the official inauguration of the first building in the new Women’s Health Wing, which includes 12 fully protected labor and delivery rooms (including natural childbirth rooms), a new Ultrasound Unit, Clinical Obstetrics and follow-up care for pregnant women, two Maternity Wards made up entirely of private or double hospitalization suites, two neonatal nurseries and an emergency underground hospitalization wing. Galilee Medical Center and its Friend’s organization are currently in the process of raising funds for the construction of Phase II which is also estimated to cost 130 million NIS including equipment and will become the future home of the High Risk Pregnancy Unit, the Department of Obstetrics, four Operating Theaters, the In-Vitro Fertilization Unit (IVF) and Neonatal intensive Care Unit (NICU).
The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Galilee Medical Center already holds a reputation as a center of excellence in quality and advanced medical services to women in Israel. With about 5,000 births a year, it is one of the leading departments in the country in terms of volume of activity, and acts as a referral site for rare diagnoses which are only performed in a small number of hospitals in Israel, such as the treatment of invasive placenta.
The department offers a multidisciplinary approach encompassing all aspects of medical care for women. In recent years, the department has grown to become a prominent feature of the medical academy as a major training site for the Bar Ilan University Medical Faculty of the Galilee. Department Director, Prof. Jacob Bornstein, also serves as Deputy Dean to the medical faculty which sees over 60% of its medical students trained in the Galilee Medical Center as the main university hospital. The modern structure spreads over 10,000 square meters including the fully fortified delivery rooms and emergency underground hospitalization as well as three floors of hospitalization and treatment that exist above ground. This new home for the department and its many health services is a true reflection of the professional capabilities and advanced medical services for women’s health in a single space.
Construction of the new Women’s Health Wing was initiated by several key players: the Israeli Ministry of Health was responsible for the sizable budget towards the establishment of the new facilities in addition to the contributions of Friends of the Galilee Medical Center, the hospital’s Healthcare Fund, Jewish and Christian organizations from around the world and private donors, led by the Honorary President of the Friends organization Raya Strauss Ben-Dror. The construction of the Labor and Delivery Department was made possible through the generous contribution of Paul and May Arieli – Goldschmidt after whom it is named while the fully fortified emergency underground hospitalization space was built through the generosity of John Hagee Ministries.
MK Yaakov Litzman, Minister of Health remarked “I see great importance in opening the maternity ward in an area that serves so a great population. However, I intend to continue to promote and strengthen the Galilee Medical Center in other areas such as Departments of Internal Medicine and additional Operating Theaters as part of strengthening the health system of the periphery.”
Dr. Masad Barhoum, CEO of Galilee Medical Center stated “This is a celebration for the North. We work hard throughout the year to provide professional and humane care to the community that we serve. That is why we work tirelessly to open new departments and units, including the procurement of advanced medical equipment, enabling our professional staff the ability to provide the needed care to our population. I have no doubt that this joyous event marking the opening of the Women’s Health Wing signals a change in the quality of hospitalization for both infants and new mothers and an appropriate home to the dedicated professional teams who accompany our patients from their arrival, to delivery and upon their healthy release home.”