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: Outside view of the new ER

 Outside view of the new ER

On October 22nd, Rambam dedicated Israel's first emergency medical facility fortified against conventional and chemical warfare.

The aluminum-cladded Emergency Trauma Center is the new home of Rambam's Emergency Medicine Department, Internal Emergency Room, and Trauma Unit. The facility can accommodate over 100,000 patients annually, care for sixty patients simultaneously, and be expanded to one hundred treatment stations. Its six trauma and ICU stations, built in cooperation with the Technion's  Human Engineering and Patient Safety Department, can be expanded to eleven stations. Additional features include two digital x-ray rooms, two isolation rooms for patients with suspected infectious diseases or weakened immune systems, and fully computerized record-keeping and monitoring systems developed in cooperation with the Technion and IBM. The soaring, fan-shaped parking roof is wide enough to shelter six ambulances.

גזבר ה-UJC-מר מייקל גלמן, מנהל רמב"ם-פרופ' רפי ביאר, מנכ"ל הסוכנות היהודית -  מר משה ויגדור, יו"ר קבוצת IDB - מר נוחי דנקנר, יו"ר הוועד המנהל של ועידת התביעות - מר ראובן מרחב, הגב' אורלי דנקנר וראש עיריית חיפה – מר יונה יהב.

Cutting the ribbon from right to left: Treasurer of The UJC – Mr. Michael Gelman, Director of RHCC -  Prof. Rafael Beyar, CEO of The Jewish Agency – Mr. Moshe Vigdor, Chairman of IDB Group – Mr.Nochi Dankner, Chairman of The Claims Conference – Mr. Reuven Merhav, Ms. Orly Dankner and The Mayor of Haifa – Mr. Yona Yahav.

"Now we have the most beautiful and functional emergency room in the world!" enthused Gila Hyams, RN, who coordinates the Trauma Unit and directs the Teaching Center for Trauma, Emergency and Mass Casualty Situations. "The wide spaces are patient-friendly; the storage is transparent so that everything [will be] in my hands quickly when treating critical patients; the Shock-Trauma Room is rich in technical equipment and designed for maximum efficiency when resuscitating patients. Now, we can put into practice all that we have dreamed of, read of, and taught."

 The 60 million shekel project was initiated during the Second Lebanon War by Mr. Nochi Dankner, Chairman of the IDB Group; whose largesse attracted a consortium of funding partners: the Ministry of Health, the Jewish Agency, the United Jewish Communities (UJC) of the Jewish Federations of North America, the Claims Conference, and the NGO Reut for the Advancement of Medicine in Israel. 

At the dedication, RHCC Director General Prof. Rafael Beyar spoke of that war and of the outdated, overcrowded and unprotected ER that cared for 7,000 routine-emergency patients and war casualties while itself under fire. "The ER was filled with badly wounded. I looked at the physicians and nurses ignoring the [exploding] missiles," he recalled, his voice thickening.  "The need for a modern, protected building was obvious, and we at Rambam took it upon ourselves as a national mission."

view of the Trauma Unit

Additional speakers included Mr. Yona Yahav, Mayor of Haifa; Rabbi Yakov Litzman, Deputy Minister of Health; Mr. Moshe Vigdor, Director General, Jewish Agency; Mr. Michael Gelman, Treasurer, UJC; and Mr. Reuven Merhav, Chairman, Claims Conference. Chief Rabbi of Haifa Sha'ar Yashuv Cohen affixed the mezuzah and recited the traditional blessings.

We are honored to give Mr. Dankner the last word: "This visit closes a circle from my previous visit in August 2006, when I saw an old facility without a doubt too small to serve Haifa and the North, especially during a crisis, and only with these wonderful doctors and nurses [to keep it going]. I adore Rafi Beyar for his determination and ability to realize this project, and I am so happy to come here only three years later and see an exemplary, all-inclusive ER."

Fortified Emergency Trauma Center Opens